What’s the article about?
- Is there a place for creativity in SEO?
- What unconventional approaches can circumvent restrictions and obstacles?
- How to promote for voice queries?
- Is it worth using contextual advertising along with organic promotion?
Who can benefit from this article?
- SEO-specialists, to familiarize themselves with creative and unusual solutions for promotion.
- Marketers, to understand the peculiarities of building a SEO strategy in a limited environment.
- Key employees of large and medium-sized companies looking for points of growth in website promotion.
Grigory Bogachev, representative of the Russian office of MediaCom talks about the specifics of international teams. And at Optimization-2020.
A whole section will be devoted to Western SEO. The leading speakers will tell you the most interesting things about SEO in 2020. Come and get answers to your questions.
#1 – Local SEO with two physical outlets (UK)
The Plumbs case study on how creativity helps you get around the constraints.
Plumbs is a medium-sized family business with a very narrow focus. The company deals in upholstery for armchairs and sofas. Their output for basic queries is very localized, and all the major brands – Amazon, eBay, IKEA – are in their top. At the time they started, the company was ranked 15th in Google for their main query “sofa covers.”
That said, Plumbs only has two physical showrooms. But it has 130 consultants nationwide who travel to customers’ homes. It was their presence that sparked the idea for the solution.
The solution is
Google My Business created a card for each consultant with a home address and phone number. In order to verify that the information remained hidden, the solution was first tested on a few consultants. And only when it worked, cards were added for everyone, and special training was conducted. So they were able to close service zones all over the country, having only two physical points in the arsenal.
The company reached the top for its main requests and surpassed all of its major competitors.
We also know how small companies can outrun such giants as Wikipedia in search engines. We told you about it in one of our articles.
No. 2 – Promotion of content through external sites (Poland, Thailand)
The next case study is about a company that deals with healthy food products.
For a number of reasons, the brand is not allowed to post content on their site. Therefore, they used external platforms for promotion.
The solution is
Sites were selected and their SEO potential analyzed.
- We analyzed Google rankings.
- We analyzed which content was popular in the social environment and found the greatest response from the audience – in other words, we conducted social listening.
- We measured with different tools what content was most often shared on Facebook or Pinterest.
It is worth noting that Pinterest is a very effective and popular method of SEO promotion in the West. You can read about it in our article.
By combining the results, the team created a template of ideal content and then the content itself, which they placed on the selected sites.
To create the best content, you need to analyze user reactions to how it’s written, tone-of-voice and the multimedia used. Draw conclusions, put it together with organics, and build promotion on that.
The brand ranked at the top with content alone, while not being able to influence anything on someone else’s site. A comprehensive approach worked – choosing a good site that suited the characteristics and potential for promotion, and creating the perfect content. In this way, the brand was able to legally gain several positions in the search engine at once.
№3 – Spam in UGC on a microinvestment platform (USA)
This is the case of a microinvestment platform that came under Google’s manual filter for spam in UGC (User Generated Content).
The platform had 200,000 investor profiles, but no one was tracking what users were posting to them. When the profiles had a pile of spammy links, ad units and ads, Google applied a filter.
The solution was
We checked each profile for spam words in a special database of e-mails – spam profiles and links leading to them were deleted. Also deleted comments from the profiles.
The case is interesting because it took Google a long time to review the request to remove the filter. It took almost three months after the fixes were implemented.
If your projects have user-generated content or profiles, it is worth to have protection against spam, such as moderation, in advance, so you do not fall under the filters of Google. It is possible to remove them, but it takes quite a lot of time, effort and nerves.
Opinion of an expert
Alexey Guberman, head of search engine optimization department “Ashmanov and partners”:
“In this case, I would draw attention to the initial problem – the emergence of a large number of spam profiles. It is likely that the user registration process may have been simplified for the sake of usability factors, which led to spam and a Google filter. Therefore, in addition to removing unwanted comments and profiles it would be good to work with the script of user registration taking into account the peculiarities of CA investors.
#4 – SEO without keywords (USA)
The case of Land Rover and Jaguar is interesting because with the creative concept it was possible to bypass strict corporate policies. Those tools that are considered standard and correct, in their case could not be used.
“There is always room for creativity in SEO. It occurs most often when working with large clients, because they have so many different constraints.”
1) Before the global launch of new models, the brand has a policy of “silence.” You can’t mention the word and model, you can’t write about them anywhere, and you can’t release pages. That’s why, for example, pages about the new Jaguar F-TYPE and JDX models took the top positions in search only 41 days after the announcement. Land Rover estimated that in that time they lost about 13,000 clicks from organics that they could have gotten.
2) The launch comes with a warm-up on queries that may have been null before. For example, the launch of the Jaguar I-PACE electric car concept used media content that warmed up demand. But at the same time, it created additional competition for the brand.
3) At the launch of Land Rover Discovery, it took about a month for Google to understand that it needed to give out information about the new model, not the previous one.
It is clear that if you want to get to the top faster than 41 days, it is desirable to prepare pages and content in advance. And, having promoted them, to meet the global launch on more favorable positions.
For the launch of the Range Rover Velar model, a new SEO promotion approach was developed.
The team turned to the brand’s history: Range Rover first used the Velar name for its prototypes in 1969. That’s when the idea came up to develop a “Range Rover History” page on LandRoverUSA.com, and to legally mention and use the word “Velar” there. The page was used as a landing page for contextual advertising, and it was also used to collect pre-applications.
- Bypassed the delay in the release of pages of new models in the top.
- After the launch of the page occupied the top positions within a day instead of 3 weeks;
- Received 115,000 organic traffic in the first three weeks;
- Received about 1,000 leads in applications from organic and contextual sources.
No. 5 – How to Get to the Featured Snippet? (Germany, Italy)
Case about a branded website of a company in the pharmaceutical industry whose name cannot be disclosed for commercial reasons.
Initially, the company used basic content marketing techniques – writing informational content on the site and competing on informational queries with it.
The task was not only to get into the Featured Snippet block where the company was not, but also to try to influence the appearance of this block itself.
The solution is
- In order to Featured Snippet – at position 0 in the search results list – our team decided to apply a complex approach.
- They analyzed all the queries and ideas concerning what this block should contain. That is mostly queries.
- We looked where this block really occurs.
- They checked where in these blocks they encountered the company.
Subsequently, when creating content, the team used the exact form of the question and placed it at the very beginning of the pages. Rarely, it was placed in other parts of the page as an experiment. A controversial technique is to give as clear an answer to that question as possible, in the form of a definition. As a result, by analyzing what kind of content in terms of structure and content gets into snippets, the team tried to add just that kind of content to the site. And for some queries, snippets did start to appear in the results.
Opinion of the expert
Alexey Guberman, head of search engine optimization at Ashmanov & Partners:
“This case is interesting in terms of how search engine algorithms work. One way to understand how they work and influence the appearance of a null snippet is to analyze the existing snippets for your competitors. Pay attention to what kind of snippets appear in the search results? How are they positioned in relation to the entire text of the article? Which keywords and headings, from those in the snippet, are found on the competitor’s page? In this way, you can hypothesize and test the snippets you want to get into the featured snippet.
At the time of the presentation, this project was still in progress and there was no information about the results. But you can discuss this case with your colleagues at Optimization-2020.
#6 – Using voice queries for promotion (India, Italy, UK)
This is a case study on how classic and voice search are related, how to find and work with voice queries.
Since 2018, sales of voice devices have been growing at an explosive rate. At the same time, in India, half of mobile searches are already done by voice, and that number is expected to rise to 2/3 by the end of 2020. SEO specialists must take such queries into account and be able to promote client sites for them.
- From the search console you need to get queries and separate those that were made from mobile devices.
- In the GDS, prescribe filtering rules and sort the downloaded data in descending order of query length.
- Check the list manually and select the queries that were most likely made through voice search.
- Use the results to create content.
If everything was done correctly, you can get to the Featured Snippet mentioned above, but only by voice query.
Opinion of the expert
Alexey Guberman, head of search engine optimization department “Ashmanov and partners”:
“Good advice, but we should not forget about the basic processes of optimization. Voice search provides for a quick answer to a user’s question. From this we can draw simple conclusions: high loading speeds on mobile devices are important, content should be displayed correctly, and the answer to the user’s question should be as high up on the page as possible. It’s good practice when the user is shown contact information with which they can clarify their question from their phone. Ensure that the number is displayed in the “header” of the site, update the data in services Google My Business and Yandex.Gazetteer, add organization micro-patterning to all pages of the site.
Additionally, you can mark up content using Speakable markup (in beta). It prompts which part of the text the voice assistant should read out.
#7 – SEO + contextual advertising
Joint promotion in SEO and contextual advertising is actively used in the West, as the integrated approach gives excellent results.
The impact of SEO on contextual advertising is evident in the Quality Score, which, unlike Ad Rank, is an external metric. It is rated from 1 to 10 and consists of three blocks, one of which is the quality of the landing page, where contextual advertising leads. Since pages and the technical state of the site are optimized for organic growth, Quality Score increases. This indirectly affects Ad Rank, which in turn affects cost per click.
This is one of many examples where organic growth contributes to a decrease in the cost of clicks in contextual advertising, and the average position can grow. On large budgets, you can save up to 20% in this way.
This approach has the problem of cannibalization. Below is a preview of one of Google’s studies.
The effect of cannibalization is that context takes away from the organic clicks. If you turn context off, you can see how the number of clicks in organics increases.
So is it worth running contextual ads when you already have an organic position in the top, given that we’re paying for clicks? The answer to that question is not so simple.
As part of the experiment, one brand was able to turn off its contextual campaign for several days. You can see in the graph how conversions from context fell, while organics rose.
However, the total conversion rate ended up falling.
In the next example with the same mechanics, we also turned off context for a while.
It can be seen that the organic receives more clicks than it was before the ads were launched. But their total number has decreased, and the maximum is achieved only with the simultaneous use of both organic and context.
The following example shows an effect opposite to the cannibalization effect. When you include context and organics at the same time, on the contrary, organics began to get more clicks than it should have.
This happens, but more often it is the cannibalization effect that works. The basic approach, in such a case, is to monitor clicks on organics. Where the cannibalization effect is particularly pronounced, requests in context will be very expensive. Therefore, you can either reduce the rates for such requests, or turn them off at all, and transfer budgets to other keys.
The news of interesting international receptions does not end there. At Optimization 2020.
Western SEO will have a section dedicated to it. This is the best opportunity to learn all the latest news and techniques, to get acquainted with the tools and content results for the year. We have gathered the leading speakers who will tell all the most interesting things about SEO in 2020. You can get answers to your questions from the experts.
Blitz with a speaker
About local SEO: What to do in situations where a point was created, it appeared, and then disappeared? Sometimes Google considers such points as affiliate ones and does not show them.
Answer: We have not seen such situations in our practice. The highest number of affiliate points we have ever created is about 500. To make sure the outlets are not lost, you need to correctly onboard (introduce the product or service to the user-customer): explain to the contact persons in each point that Google can call and give a template of answers. Google pays increased attention to quality point verification, so you need to prepare for this.
About SEO reliance on contextual advertising: Is there software that can monitor positions in incognito mode and manage contextual advertising? For example, to turn off context when the company is in the top 3, and then turn it back on when the company is in the 5th or 7th place.
Answer: You can take the API of any rank-tracker, and with the help of such programs like Zapier, K-50, Marine Software, for example, send data from rank-tracker to bider. And in the bidder is already set up the appropriate rule. Many SEO-tools can also monitor context. However, the tactic of turning off the context of getting to the top positions is not always justified. It is better to analyze the number of clicks and conversions that the company receives with the simultaneous use of two tools, if it is objective, normal in value requests.