The One-Hour Guide to SEO: Searcher Satisfaction – Whiteboard Friday

Satisfying your searchers is a big part of what it means to be successful in modern SEO. And optimal searcher satisfaction means gaining a deep understanding of them and the queries they use to search. In this section of the One-Hour Guide to SEO, Rand covers everything you need to know about how to satisfy searchers, including the top four priorities you need to have and tips on how to avoid pogo-sticking in the SERPs.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to our special edition One-Hour Guide to SEO Part III on searcher satisfaction. So historically, if we were doing a guide to SEO in the long-ago past, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about searcher satisfaction.

What do searchers want from Google’s results?

But Google has made such a significant number of advances in the last 5 to 10 years that searcher satisfaction is now a huge part of how you can be successful in SEO. I’ll explain what I mean here. Let’s say our friend Arlen here is thinking about going on vacation to Italy.

So she goes to Google. She types in “best places to visit in Italy,” and she gets a list of results. Now Google sorts those results in a number of ways. They sort them by the most authoritative, the most comprehensive. They use links and link data in a lot of different ways to try and get at that. They use content data, what’s on the page, and keyword data.

They use historical performance data about which sites have done well for searchers in the past. All of these things sort of feed into searcher satisfaction. So when Arlen performs this query, she has a bunch of questions in her head, things like I want a list of popular Italian vacation destinations, and I want some comparison of those locations.

Maybe I want the ability to sort and filter based on my personal preferences. I want to know the best times of year to go. I want to know the weather forecast and what to see and do and hotel and lodging info and transportation and accessibility information and cultural tips and probably dozens more questions that I can’t even list out here. But when you, as a content creator and as a search engine optimization professional, are creating and crafting content and trying to optimize that content so that it performs well in Google’s results, you need to be considering what are all of these questions.

How to craft content that satisfies your searchers

This is why searcher empathy, customer empathy, being able to get inside Arlen’s head or your customer’s head and say, “What does she want? What is she looking for?” is one of the most powerful ways to craft content that performs better than your competition in search engines, because it turns out a lot of people don’t do this.

Priority 1: Answer the searcher’s questions comprehensively and with authority

So if I’m planning my page, what is the best page I could possibly craft to try and rank for “best places to visit in Italy,” which is a very popular search term, extremely competitive? I would think about obviously there’s all sorts of keyword stuff and on-page optimization stuff, which we will talk about in Part IV, but my priorities are answer the searcher’s primary questions comprehensively and authoritatively. If I can do that, I am in good shape. I’m ahead of a lot of the pack.

Priority 2: Provide an easy-to-use, fast-loading, well-designed interface that’s a pleasure to interact with

Second, I want to provide a great user experience. That means easy to use, fast-loading, well-designed, that’s a pleasure to interact with. I want the experience of a visitor, a searcher who lands on this page to be, “Wow, this is much better than the typical experience that I get when I land on a lot of other sites.”

Priority 3: Solve the searcher’s next tasks and questions with content, tools, or links

Priority three, I want to solve the searcher’s next tasks and questions with either content on my own site or tools and resources or links or the ability to do them right here so that they don’t have to go back to Google and do other things or visit other websites to try and accomplish the tasks, like figuring out a good hotel or figuring out the weather forecast. A lot of sites don’t do this comprehensively today, which is why it’s an advantage if you do. 

Priority 4: Consider creative elements that may give you a long-term competitive advantage

Priority four is consider some creative elements, maybe interactive tools or an interactive map or sorting and filtering options that could give you a long-term, competitive advantage, something that’s difficult for other people who want to rank for this search term to build.

Maybe that’s the data that you get. Maybe it’s the editorial content. Maybe it’s your photographs. Maybe it’s your tools and interactive elements. Whatever the case. 

Do NOT give searchers a reason to click that back button!

One of the biggest goals of searcher satisfaction is to make sure that this scenario does not happen to you. You do not want to give searchers a reason to click that back button and choose someone else.

The search engine literature calls this “pogo sticking.” Basically, if I do a search for “best places to visit in Italy”and I click on, let’s say, US News & World Reports and I find that that page does not do a great job answering my query, or it does a fine job, but it’s got a bunch of annoying popovers and it’s slow loading and it has all these things that it’s trying to sell me, and so I click the back button and I choose a different result from Touropia or Earth Trackers.

Over time, Google will figure out that US News & World Reports is not doing a good job of answering the searcher’s query, of providing a satisfactory experience, and they will push them down in the results and they will push these other ones, that are doing a good job, up in the results. You want to be the result that satisfies a searcher, that gets into their head and answers their questions and helps them solve their task, and that will give you an advantage over time in Google’s rankings.

All right, we’ll see you next time for Part IV on on-page optimization. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

How to Design an SEO Quiz for Your Prospective SEO Manager

Use this guide to create an SEO skills test and hire the most qualified SEO Manager for your team!

I was a new team lead. I knew the ins and outs of being a good SEO and a good content creator, but within my first month as a manager I faced a challenge I had never had to tackle before…

Someone left and I had to find a backfill.

I started desperately Googling things like “interview questions” and “what to look for in a new employee” but quickly realized that was too generic for what I needed. There was really no guidance available on what makes a good SEO manager. I had to wing it.

What I wish I would have thought of back then was creating an SEO assessment. My organization had test projects for content developers based on writing prompts, but there was really nothing comparable to gauge a prospective SEO’s skillset.

An assessment like this might be good for a second stage interview after your candidate has passed a basic round one interview. If you already know you like this person, the next step is to make sure they can walk the talk.

What to cover in an SEO skills test

There are so many things you could cover in an SEO quiz for your prospective new hire.

Generally though, there are three main pillars that I think represent SEO well on the whole: technical (the foundation), content (the house), and links (authority — yeah, yeah… I couldn’t keep up with the house analogy).

A good test of your prospective SEO manager’s skills should hit somewhere in the middle.

Just keep in mind that, while I think this is a good representation of SEO on the whole, it’s not comprehensive. For example, local SEO isn’t addressed here, so if you run a local SEO agency then you could choose to focus on GMB optimization, NAP, etc. Cater your assessment to your unique needs.

How to structure your SEO skills test

There are three main types of SEO assessments that I’ve seen:

  1. The multiple choice test: These are the types of tests that ask things like “what’s a robots.txt file”? These tests gauge someone’s head knowledge (or their Googling prowess), but don’t gauge their practical, rubber-meets-the-road skills.
  2. The checklist: These types of tests give someone a list of tasks to see how well they’re able to perform them. For example, “change this title tag.” These tests stop short of gauging someone’s problem-solving abilities.
  3. The ambiguous audit: This might involve handing someone a website and saying “see what you can find.” These can be highly subjective: your candidate might focus on the “wrong” things (things you don’t care about your new hire knowing), and the candidate could just end up relying on tools to do a lot of the work for them.

While all have their merits, none of them felt 100% appropriate for gauging a potential new hire’s SEO chops. That’s why I landed on a hybrid.

You’re not just handing your prospect a website and saying “see what you find,” but you’re not just having them color-by-number either. What you’re doing is asking them guiding questions about a specific website, such as “what’s wrong with this?” “Why?” and “How would you fix it?”

Setting them up for the test

There are a few considerations you need to make before handing them the test and wishing them good luck. For example:

  • How much time do they have? Decide whether you want to bring your candidate in for a 3-hour window (good if you’re watching out for the Costanzas of the bunch) or whether they can take the assessment home and email it back by a certain date.
  • What website will they be evaluating? You’ll have to decide whether you’ll be giving them a website you control or picking a random website. If it’s a website you control, try not to choose an immaculate website — give them something to find.
  • What tools can they use? You might want to let them use their preferred auditing tools or you can suggest they use your team’s preferred tools (if you have any).
  • Will you pay them for their time? There are differing opinions on this, but if you’re giving them a project that you know will take more than a few hours (especially if you might end up using their findings to improve the website) I would consider paying them for their time.

Content: Can your candidate discern high quality?

This section will focus on gauging how well your candidate understands what type of content it takes to perform well in the search engines for particular queries.

Here’s what I might suggest asking:

  1. Find the low-quality content on example.com and list some examples here. Why are they low quality?
  2. How would you recommend fixing the low-quality content? Why would that method work?

This will show you if they have a good grasp of what search engines like Google consider low quality content, and what viable courses of action exist for remedying it.

For example, you might expect to get back something like this:

Example.com/page-two/ is low quality because it is a near-duplicate of example.com/page-one/. It’s also getting little-to-no organic traffic. If it’s necessary to keep /page-two/ on the website, you could add a rel=canonical to indicate which version of the pages is the primary/original. If /page-two/ needs to remain in the index, consider modifying the content so it’s unique. If it’s not necessary to keep /page-two/ on the website, consider 301 redirecting it to /page-one/.

Again, you’re just looking for whether they understand what low-quality content is, how to find it, and how to address it.

Other content-related questions you might want to consider asking:

  1. What topical gaps (if any) exist in this website’s content?
  2. What are some reasons their competitor’s content might be performing better?

Links: Does your candidate know how to build authority & avoid penalties?

This section would focus on gauging how well your prospective SEO Manager understands inbound links (backlinks) and their effect on a domain/page’s performance in search results. Again, without giving too much away, I would instruct them to:

  1. Find any inbound links that might be harming example.com’s performance. Why are they harmful?
  2. What action would you recommend taking to address the harmful inbound links? Why?

For these types of questions, you might expect to get something back like this:

Example.com has a number of inbound links utilizing exact-match anchor text that are not nofollow and appear to match Google’s definition of a link scheme, specifically “low-quality directory or bookmark site links.” They do not appear to be harming the site’s performance in search results, but you could add these links to their disavow file preemptively.

Other link-related questions you could consider asking:

  1. What’s one strategy you would recommend using to help this site get more links? Why?
  2. Benchmark this site’s links against its competitors and list out any key insights you find.

Technical: Does your candidate know what makes a strong website foundation?

“Technical” is broad and not everyone agrees where the lines are drawn between technical and non-technical activities, but here, I’m using “technical” to refer to uncovering your prospective SEO Manager’s competence at diagnosing and fixing any barriers to crawling, issues with the indexing of a site’s content, areas for improving how a search engine understands the website, and areas for improving the user experience.

  1. Are there any crawl inefficiencies/problems with this website? If so, please describe what they are and how you would fix them.
  2. Are there any issues with how the pages appear in the index? If so, please describe what they are and how you would fix them.

In response, you might expect to get an answer such as:

As is common with many e-commerce websites, this one uses a faceted navigation. However, because these filters are open to crawlers, crawl budget is being wasted on non-unique, thin pages. Disallow crawlers from crawling non-valuable facets in robots.txt to save crawl budget.

Other questions you might consider asking to gauge their technical chops:

  1. How does this site utilize (or fail to utilize) structured data? Why is that significant?
  2. What (if anything) is harming visitor experience on this website? How would you fix?

The work doesn’t stop there…

I hope these tips on developing an SEO assessment help not only make the hiring process easier, but help you get the best SEO talent you can — your team deserves it!

But we also know that adding a new member to your SEO team involves so much more than this. You’ll need to work with your organization’s hiring manager to put together the job posting and you’ll also need to invest in training this new employee so they can hit the ground running quickly to start making an impact for your team.

We hear ya — that’s why we also put together “The Agency’s Guide to Finding & Onboarding New SEO Managers” white paper.

Download your free copy!

If you’ve ever been tasked with finding, assessing, hiring, and training a new SEO manager, we’d love to hear from you! What methods have been successful for you in the past? What mistakes can you help others avoid? Share them in the comments.

MozCon 2019: The Initial Agenda

We’ve got three months and some change before MozCon 2019 splashes onto the scene (can you believe it?!) Today, we’re excited to give you a sneak preview of the first batch of 18 incredible speakers to take the stage this year.

With a healthy mix of fresh faces joining us for the first time and fan favorites making a return appearance, our speaker lineup this year is bound to make waves. While a few details are still being pulled together, topics range from technical SEO, content marketing, and local search to link building, machine learning, and way more — all with an emphasis on practitioners sharing tactical advice and real-world stories of how they’ve moved the needle (and how you can, too.)

Still need to snag your ticket for this sea of actionable talks? We’ve got you covered:

Register for MozCon

The Speakers

Take a gander at who you’ll see on stage this year, along with some of the topics we’ve already worked out:

Sarah Bird

CEO — Moz

Welcome to MozCon 2019 + the State of the Industry

Our vivacious CEO will be kicking things off early on the first day of MozCon with a warm welcome, laying out all the pertinent details of the conference, and getting us in the right mindset for three days of learning with a dive into the State of the Industry.


Casie Gillette

Senior Director, Digital Marketing — KoMarketing

Making Memories: Creating Content People Remember

We know that only 20% of people remember what they read, but 80% remember what they saw. How do you create something people actually remember? You have to think beyond words and consider factors like images, colors, movement, location, and more. In this talk, Casie will dissect what brands are currently doing to capture attention and how everyone, regardless of budget or resources, can create the kind of content their audience will actually remember.


Ruth Burr Reedy

Director of Strategy — UpBuild

Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents

The push and pull of making decisions for searchers versus search engines is an ever-present SEO conundrum. How do you tackle industry changes through the lens of whether something is good for humans or for machines? Ruth will take us through human-readable quality signals and their machine-readable equivalents and how to make SEO decisions accordingly, as well as how to communicate change to clients and bosses.


Wil Reynolds

Founder & Director of Digital Strategy — Seer Interactive

Topic: TBD

A perennial favorite on the MozCon stage, we’re excited to share more details about Wil’s 2019 talk as soon as we can!


Dana DiTomaso

President & Partner — Kick Point

Improved Reporting & Analytics within Google Tools

Covering the intersections between some of our favorite free tools — Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager— Dana will be deep-diving into how to improve your reporting and analytics, even providing downloadable Data Studio templates along the way.


Paul Shapiro

Senior Partner, Head of SEO — Catalyst, a GroupM and WPP Agency

Redefining Technical SEO

It’s time to throw the traditional definition of technical SEO out the window. Why? Because technical SEO is much, much bigger than just crawling, indexing, and rendering. Technical SEO is applicable to all areas of SEO, including content development and other creative functions. In this session, you’ll learn how to integrate technical SEO into all aspects of your SEO program.


Shannon McGuirk

Head of PR & Content — Aira Digital

How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom

Everyone who’s ever tried their hand at link building knows how much effort it demands. If only there was a way to keep a steady stream of quality links coming in the door for clients, right? In this talk, Shannon will share how to set up a “digital PR newsroom” in-house or agency-side that supports and grows your link building efforts. Get your note-taking hand ready, because she’s going to outline her process and provide a replicable tutorial for how to make it happen.


Russ Jones

Marketing Scientist — Moz

Topic: TBD

Russ is planning to wow us with a talk he’s been waiting years to give — we’re still hashing out the details and can’t wait to share what you can expect!


Dr. Pete Meyers

Marketing Scientist — Moz

How Many Words is a Question Worth?

Traditional keyword research is poorly suited to Google’s quest for answers. One question might represent thousands of keyword variants, so how do we find the best questions, craft content around them, and evaluate success? Dr. Pete dives into three case studies to answer these questions.


Cindy Krum

CEO — MobileMoxie

Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future

Before you ask: no, this isn’t Fraggle Rock, MozCon edition! Cindy will cover the myriad ways mobile-first indexing is changing the SERPs, including progressive web apps, entity-first indexing, and how “fraggles” are indexed in the Knowledge Graph and what it all means for the future of mobile SERPs.


Ross Simmonds

Digital Strategist — Foundation Marketing

Keyword’s Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing

Many marketers focus solely on keyword research when crafting their content, but it just isn’t enough these days if you want to gain a competitive edge. Ross will share a framework for uncovering content ideas leveraged from forums, communities, niche sites, good old-fashioned SERP analysis, and more, tools and techniques to help along the way, and exclusive research surrounding the data that backs this up.


Britney Muller

Senior SEO Scientist — Moz

Topic: TBD

Last year, Britney rocked our socks off with her presentation on machine learning and SEO. We’re still ironing out the specifics of her 2019 talk, but suffice to say it might be smart to double-up on socks.


Mary Bowling

Co-Founder — Ignitor Digital

Brand Is King: How to Rule in the New Era of Local Search

Get ready for a healthy dose of all things local with this talk! Mary will deep-dive into how the Google Local algorithm has matured in 2019 and how marketers need to mature with it; how the major elements of the algo (relevance, prominence, and proximity) influence local rankings and how they affect each other; how local results are query dependent; how to feed business info into the Knowledge Graph; and how brand is now “king” in Local Search.


Darren Shaw

Founder — Whitespark

From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

From zero web presence to ranking hyper-locally, Darren will take us along on the 8-month-long journey of a business growing its digital footprint and analyzing what worked (and didn’t) along the way. How well will they rank from a GMB listing alone? What about when citations were added, and later indexed? Did having a keyword in the business name help or harm, and what changes when they earn a few good links? Buckle up for this wild ride as we discover exactly what impact different strategies have on local rankings.


Andy Crestodina

Co-Founder / Chief Marketing Officer — Orbit Media

What’s the Most Effective Content Strategy?

There’s so much advice out there on how to craft a content strategy that it can feel scattered and overwhelming. In his talk, Andy will cover exactly which tactics are the most effective and pull together a cohesive story on just what details make for an effective and truly great content strategy.


Luke Carthy

Digital Lead — Excel Networking

Killer CRO and UX Wins Using an SEO Crawler

CRO, UX, and an SEO crawler? You read that right! Luke will share actionable tips on how to identify revenue wins and impactful low-hanging fruit to increase conversions and improve UX with the help of a site crawler typically used for SEO, as well as a generous helping of data points from case studies and real-world examples.


Joy Hawkins

Owner — Sterling Sky Inc.

Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic

Google’s local algorithm is a horse of a different color when compared with the organic algo most SEOs are familiar with. Joy will share results from a SterlingSky study on how proximity varies greatly when comparing local and organic results, how reviews impact ranking (complete with data points from testing), how spam is running wild (and how it negatively impacts real businesses), and more.


Heather Physioc

Group Director of Discoverability — VMLY&R

Mastering Branded Search

Doing branded search right is complicated. “Branded search” isn’t just when people search for your client’s brand name — instead, think brand, category, people, conversation around the brand, PR narrative, brand entities/assets, and so on. Heather will bring the unique twists and perspectives that come from her enterprise and agency experience working on some of the biggest brands in the world, providing different avenues to go down when it comes to keyword research and optimization.

See you at MozCon?

We hope you’re as jazzed as we are for July 15th–17th to hurry up and get here. And again, if you haven’t grabbed your ticket yet, we’ve got your back:

Grab your MozCon ticket now!

Has speaking at MozCon been on your SEO conference bucket list? If so, stay tuned — we’ll be starting our community speaker pitch process soon, so keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks!

The 5 SEO Recommendations That Matter in the End

One of the biggest challenges in SEO is measuring impact — we know what matters (or doesn’t matter) until the rules of the game have changed. And when they do, we’re all scrambling to find a baseline again. 

I decided to put together a list of what I consider to be steadfast SEO recommendations. This list has yielded wins for a number of my clients — they had an impact that we were able to identify and quantify — and might be useful to you and your clients. While not all of them may be applicable (they should ultimately be tailored to your site’s specific needs) I will provide further details and examples of what I mean within each.

Here are the five SEO recommendations that I’ve consistently seen make a positive impact in SEO’s ever-changing world.

1. Structured data matters

The short explanation of why structured data is helpful is that it tells crawlers what there is within your page. If you are not familiar with this you can follow this helpful Structured Data guide to get you quickly up and running.

This is a clear example of tailoring the advice to your site’s needs and industry — I have consistently seen structured data making a positive impact for clients in different industries, but different structured data will be required for different sites and pages within the site.

Below, I show the increase in impressions that occurred after we updated the information included on structured data of product pages. In this case, the correct type of structured data was already selected, but the information given to it was incomplete or inconsistent with what was on page:

Above is an anonymized graph of a client’s impression performance during a month after the structured data update.

Here are the industries where I’ve seen structured data being useful:

  • Jobs/recruiting
  • Events
  • Beauty services

Structured data makes it faster and easier for crawlers to understand the information within the page, making it a powerful (but often misused) tool. If applied correctly, it will make quite a positive impact on your pages.

Here are a few additional steps to help you get started:

2. Page freshness

Your page’s freshness is determined by multiple factors, but simply having a date on a page is one of the easiest ways to indicate to Google how fresh your page is. This applies to blogs and news, but it’s also relevant for product pages related to dates, such as event sites.

If you think about page freshness from a user perspective, it’s easier to understand why it matters so much. When you obtain search results that have an old date, such as articles, depending on the subject, you might consider them less relevant than if they had a recent date. Crawlers know this too and have the ability to differentiate between fresh and old content whether it has a date or not.

For one of our clients in the event industry, an old date took a toll on their rankings. After updating their page’s content to ensure it was search relevant, we went through and made sure no content within the page (i.e. page copy or text at the bottom of the page) was referring to older dates. We also updated the date on structured data to match the new date.

After the update, we observed improved ranking on SERP results, which doubled impressions and CTR.

Page freshness matters for any industry, and while dates are helpful, your content freshness should always reflect and target what users are searching. Here are a few other things to consider if you think you may need to refresh your pages:

  • How often have you conducted keyword research in the last 18 months and updated your page’s content based on keywords results?
  • Are you featured on SERP results with dates and if so how old are these dates?

3. Internal linking (still matters)

The right balance of internal linking is never a straightforward answer, so I am not here to advise you on the absolute right way to do it. However, I am here to tell you that not having too many links on one page can make a positive impact.

For example, linking to all categories from your homepage could be the best user experience or the fastest way for crawlers to discover your pages but it will also impact the amount of equity the page is sending to all the pages it links to.

If all of your category pages are crawled and indexed, as was the case for my client, you can decide to link from the homepage only to specific categories or services. There are many factors to consider when changing how you internally link from the homepage, some of which are:

  • Likelihood of these pages to better compete
  • Revenue that comes from these pages

When we recommended a change in internal linking to one of our clients in the personal beauty service industry, we saw an overall 21 percent increase in sessions from the previous month for the site as a whole. About half of these came from the category pages we kept a link to, which offset any loss in session from the category pages we excluded.

Balancing internal linking is definitely an important ranking factor because it will dictate how users and crawlers discover your pages. If you are revisiting your site’s internal linking, or think that your client should, my colleague Shannon wrote this helpful guide on the subject that covers all the various aspects of balancing internal linking for SEO.

4. Title tags

Changing your title tags and finding out if they made a positive impact can be quite difficult to prove. At Distilled, our ODN clients can easily test and measure how a different title made a positive or negative impact. I’ve tested this many times for clients in different industries, and changing a title has always changed (positively or negatively) the amount of session variant pages were getting.

How you change your title will depend on your page type, so there is no absolute rule on what to change a title to. In my client’s case, we’ve positively tested the following changes:

Include the year in the title, which also signals freshness. 

Here is an example I made up:

Original title: “Book a Trip to Hawaii Now | [brand name]”

Changed title: “Hawaii Trips 2019/2010 | Book Now | [brand name]”

Include the lowest product price of the page, for example:

Original title: “Cheap Flights to Hawaii – [brand name]”

Changed title: “Cheap Flight to Hawaii from $400 – [brand name]”

We also tested these following changes, which had a negative result in terms of the number of sessions:

  • Adding the number of products for sale on the page to the title tag
  • Adding emojis to the title tag

The successful tests were measured in the travel industry particularly, while the negative tests occurred in the fast fashion industry. Specifically, through the ODN platform, we measured a 7 percent increase in sessions for pages with a year or price in the title.

What you change your title to will depend on many factors, so a year or price might not help in your case. However, if some of your category pages have seasonal products or your industry competes heavily on prices, adding the year — or date, if applicable — or a price in the title could be quite beneficial.

5. Obtain backlinks

One thing that consistently helped my clients to obtain external links is creative pages — not shocking, I know. These are usually interesting articles or campaigns related to the business, not commercial pages (pages that are just trying to sell something), and they end up obtaining quite a lot of coverage from different sources and, subsequently, external links.

Building successful creative pages are not easy and won’t guarantee that an increase in any specific amount of backlinks, but it’s one of the safest ways to obtain organic backlinks. The process can also be quite expensive for big pieces but we’ve also experienced a positive impact with more lightweight pieces on a smaller budget.

If your budget or your client’s budget is on the modest side, you can still create a great piece. Here are a few tips to achieve that:

  • Think about the data you have collected and what insights it might have for users who do not have access to it: can you spot trends and patterns that could be interesting for a wider audience?
  • Surveys: you can certainly reach an audience to ask questions on a topic you want to create a piece of content for. If you can’t reach an audience for free, you can do this cheaply through paid surveys and collect your data this way.
  • Hire freelancers: there is a lot of great talent you can scout on sites like Upwork to help you create a visually enticing piece

One of the best examples I have is a Distilled client who increased traffic by 70 percent (yes — really!) thanks to creative content. While this client’s budget was not small, the traffic obtained paid off the initial investment. My colleague, Leonie, who led and worked on the project, does a great job detailing what they achieved after publishing creative content for this client. I would summarize the main takeaways of her post with these reminders:

  • Know your primary campaign goal
  • Do not expect short term — focus on the long term strategy
  • Measure results with multiple tools

Wrapping it up

Measuring the impact of SEO changes is a consistent challenge and not every SEO technique you throw at content will work. My hope is that this short list can provide you with some ideas and directions on things to consider when helping your site or your clients. As I mentioned above, these are not hard written rules, but they are the ones worth their weight and are certainly worth analyzing for the sites you are working on.

If you’ve you been able to measure an impactful SEO change that consistently helped your clients, please share your experience in a comment below.