3 Lessons from Big Data to Make Your Content More Relevant
Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics founder, suggests three key ways to make your content more relevant and to improve your SEO visibility.
We talk a lot about the importance of content, like here and here. Content is everywhere, and companies are working hard to continually produce new content. But not all content is created equal.
Searchmetrics founder Marcus Tober discusses how data is changing the relevancy of content in his conference talk, Mastering the World of Deep Learning: How Big Data Is Making Content More Relevant in Search. As a pioneer in search-analytics software, Tober has watched search engines become more advanced at figuring out which web pages people will find relevant. Through years of research, Tober offers three lessons to make your content more relevant.
3 ways to make your content more relevant
Develop your content niche.
“Experts are not called upon because they are the smartest person in every room; they are called upon because they are the smartest person in a specific room.” John Gordon
Find your area of expertise, or niche, in your market and focus your content around this topic. Instead of writing broadly about various subjects relevant to your industry, your writers should tackle tough questions and introduce cutting-edge thought leadership in one key area that defines your company’s strength.
Marcus says, “This means that if you specialize in something and make it really good because you understand the user, you can have great search performance” compared with a huge site that produces content about everything.
Through this valuable and focused content, your company will stand out as a leader in your industry. Audiences will know how to categorize you, which sounds like a bad thing, but isn’t. When they have a specific question, they know to turn to you as a specific expert.
Get rid of ROT.
ROT (redundant, outdated, and trivial content) can sink your website. “Think about your house. We’re all a bit messy and a bit lazy. Likewise, I can imagine that you have a lot of content that maybe you should get rid of or should merge with something else you have,” says Tober.
Many companies keep older ROT content because of the volume of posts they want under their belts. Tober worked with a German company, Pflege.de (similar to care.com), which was afraid of cleaning out its ROT because of the internal links and the possibility of older posts still bringing in traffic.
On Tober’s recommendation, Pflege purged ROT and lost 95% of its content. 95%! The content the company was left with was more relevant and ranked higher with search engines. Pflege’s SEO visibility grew 240% within a few short months.
Update remaining content to address user intentions.
It’s not enough to just get rid of ROT. You also need to keep an eye on older content and make sure you continue to update as needed. “You have to make what’s left really good,” Marcus says.
What is meant by content that is “really good?” He means content that addresses people’s intentions – content that meets the information needs underlying the keywords and phrases they use.
Big data can help brands track their older content and make changes to address audience questions and relevancy. Tober’s company, Searchmetrics, is an example of a data service that helps companies take an in-depth look at older content and how it addresses user intentions. When brands update content to address specific wants and needs, it can boost online visibility and reveal new potential for older posts.
Improving your company’s SEO visibility can be easier to achieve than you think. Using these three steps, you can get ahead of search engines and place your brand in front of untapped audiences.
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