At CMA, we’re striving to help people create the best possible content that exists online because ultimately that’s what customers want.
Customers don’t want to waste their time searching through content for the answer, they want the answer now.
You, as business owners and marketers, need to be creating the single best answers and solutions that our customers need to have to give us the best chance of growing our business.
Can you truly say you are creating the best possible content that exists online today?
In this episode, Chris discusses why we need to be creating the best content and shares some recent Google insights from an article by Andy Crestodina.
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- How to Find and Steal Featured Snippets – Ahrefs
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The vision that we have for content marketers, which comes through in our teaching and in everything we do, is to help you to create the single best version of that piece of content that exists online today.
There’s a lot of really good reasons for that, which I’m going to cover some of them in this episode.
Thus having the best answer to a specific question or the best solution to a problem that exists online today, we believe that the way to cut through all the noise out there is to be better. There’s always room for better.
Based on my experience of helping people to create literally thousands of articles and pieces of content, there is a ton of room for better content in every industry of every type.
I think this is not only a very honest mission to have, especially when you look at the state of marketing today.
Now I appreciate you might not see the world like I see it. There’s a lot of people who try to pull the wool over people’s eyes and try to get quick wins and things like that.
At CMA we’re really about building businesses in the right way and the best way by creating honest and transparent content that’s helping our prospects to make the best buying decision for them, whether they buy from us or not.
So this whole mission, this vision, this is like everything that we’re about here at CMA. But it’s driven by one thing and one thing alone, really. The only thing that really determines why we need to approach it in this way is how our consumers search and find and use content to make buying decisions. What are the trends in that space? How are consumers using information to make buying decisions? And that really informs us about what kind of content we need to create and how we need to create it.
For example, as a consumer, we’re all consumers, you and I. We don’t want to trawl through lots of crap to find the answer we’re looking for or the help that we need, and that’s what Google’s job is. Google’s job is to return to you the single best answer based on your search term. If Google wasn’t doing everything that it could to be the best at that job, to filter through all the results and to deliver to you the results in an order that goes from the most accurate or most helpful first down, we’d go somewhere else, and that’s not in Google’s best interest.
Google doesn’t want us to go anywhere else, so it’s in Google’s best interest to serve the consumer in this way. To deliver to us the best answer based on the search term that we put in, because if it didn’t do that, it would hurt the revenue that they generate from ads, and that is not what Google wants.
So first of all has to serve us as consumers in order to serve itself. So it has to be really good at it, right. So Google’s continually changing and testing and developing ways to deliver to you the single best answer and in the quickest way possible.
As a side note, I also want you to consider the development of voice search. Now voice search is becoming increasingly popular, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Have you ever used voice search to find the answer to something and the voice assistant literally reads you a list of search results from the search engine page, right? That’s not what we want, right, and we’re not quite ready for the single best answer.
In other words, when we use voice search, the whole purpose of voice search is built to ask a question and get an answer, but we haven’t got a single best answer for all searches yet. There’s still a lot of room for single best answers to questions.
So when we’re asking these questions and we’re looking for that single answer, when we think about the future of being able to ask that question using voice, we don’t want someone to read to us a list of answers. We want the answer, and that’s what we’re working towards. That’s the world that we’re going to live in, and that’s what Google is doing here as well. Even in Google search engine results, we are seeing this happening.
So I’m going to go into a little bit more detail about what that looks like and why this should be your mission, too. Why this should be your mission to create the single best answer that exists online today through your content. So for those that are listening that understand the They Ask, You Answer philosophy and the Big Five methodology, you will quickly see how fundamentally important it is to not only grasp these concepts, but run with them, and to just not question it. Because it makes complete sense that they ask, you answer and the big five leans directly into the way that consumer behaviour is going and how Google is changing and how everything around us is moving towards having the single best answer.
So we need to be moving towards it as well. We need to create the single best answers and solutions that our consumers need to have addressed as part of that sales process.
Now I appreciate that some people listening might not know what the Big Five and They Ask, You Answer is, so I’ve popped some links into the show notes for you for additional podcasts. You can go and have a look at that, but also, that’s what we teach at CMA, right? So from less than £4.99 per month, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to help you get the results that you’re looking for from your content. Just head over to CMAMembership.co.uk. Find out more, and I’ve also popped some links into the show notes for you there as well.
Let’s get back into it.
I was reading an article this week from Andy Crestodina over at Orbit Media based in Chicago in the states. One of my favorite marketers, I’ve learned tons from him over the years. And there’s a few things that I want to point out from that article that confirm that what we’re doing here at CMA, the teaching we’re doing and what all our students are doing, is the right approach to securing not only the short term but long term results from content marketing.
Now it’s absolutely critical to understand this. This is not tactical. This is looking at how consumers’ behaviour is changing. That’s what determines what we do as marketers. That article, it says that 61% of all searches do not, I repeat do not result in a click through to a website. 61% of searches do not result in a click through to a website. Now, why is that? Why are people searching and then not clicking through? It is due to the increase in the features that appear on the search engine result page.
In other words, Google is providing the answer that people need right there on the Google search page. So there’s two main features, really, to keep an eye on, and they are the featured snippet box and the related questions boxes. Now you’ve seen these I’d imagine, but you’ll definitely see them now that I’ve mentioned them to you.
You search for something on Google and above all the other organic listings this is where this appears. The snippet box is exactly what I’m talking about. The snippet box is the single best answer that exists online today, and then underneath that, occasionally there will be these related questions. People also ask this, and you can sort of drop them down, they’re toggled and you can look at these.
What this means is that in other words, even if you rank number one on Google for a specific term, you might not be first position in Google if you don’t have the snippet box. If your competitor has the snippet box then you won’t be number one on Google. Sorry, you won’t be at the top of the organic listings. You’ll still be ranked as position one.
What that also means is that your position one on Google is actually further down the page, which is not great if you think about it, right? So we’re looking at another source as well, and I’ve put a link into this in the show notes for you too so you can go and dig in a little bit more if you want to. This source tells us that when people do click through to websites, above 8% of clicks go to the snippet box, and the other 20% or so goes to the position one on Google.
So if you have both the number one ranked spot in the organic listings and also the snippet, you’re going to be getting a better, around on average 30% of clicks to your website. The other 70% will be from position two onwards, just scattered across those. But what this means is that if you don’t have the snippet box, you’re getting roughly 30% less traffic because you don’t have it. What we’ve got to think to ourselves is, how do we do that?
The snippet box is by Google’s standards the best answer that exists online for that search term and as I said already, that’s the way the world is going. That’s what we’re looking for. We want the answer quickly, we want it easily, and we don’t want to be messing around. So if Google’s already done that hard work for us as consumers, answered the question for us, then if we want more we can click through to a website but the answer’s there for us. So what does this mean?
Let me wrap things up by a sort of what does this mean for you section and then some questions and actions to get you moving. If you want to be relevant now and into the future, you need to have the single best answer that exists online today. There’s no doubt about the direction that we are going in. We want our answer quickly and easily, so the content that you’re creating needs to be …
You need to be working towards creating the single best piece of content that exists online today. Better, that’s all there is. That’s all there’s left is to be better, and there’s so much room for it. Trust me.
When you start to look at what your competition are doing, you’re going to see so much room for you to be the best. You need to get specific, as specific as possible. Specificity is the key to success with content marketing.
We can’t approach things generally. We can’t have these listicles anymore, seven ways to, five ways to. We need to be addressing very specific questions and problems that our prospects have. We need to go deeper and we need to be better than anybody else. So specificity wins here.
We need to aim to get that snippet box for your content. So to do that, we need to make sure that we have a really clear section in your article, probably near the top, that answers the question in clear and simple terms, either in bullet points or in steps or in one or two paragraphs. Something that’s going to make it really easy for Google to say, oh yeah. There’s the answer I’m looking for. I’m going to put that above the number one ranked place on the organic listings.
It also means that there will be less traffic to your website, because the answer’s sitting right there on Google. But as mentioned, it is better to have the snippet than not to have it. It’s better to be in the features that Google creates now and into the future than not to be in the features, because if you leave it wide open it leaves it wide open for your competition to get in there instead.
So we need to be working towards being involved in these features, whatever features they happen to be. Right now we’re talking about the snippet box and we’re talking about the related searches, but it could be anything else in the future and there’s other features as well to look out for.
Also, we’ve got to think about ranking. We’ve discussed that position one on Google is actually further down the page than potentially it ever has been due to these new features, so even though you might have that position on Google, that you hold that ranking on Google, you’ll probably lose traffic over time to these features. So what are we going to do about it, what are we going to do?
Do you know what you already have a snippet for? Have you looked at Google, have you done your research? Are you looking at your reports to see where you are, what articles, what pages on your website already have the snippet? Look at your top performing content and see what you can do to optimise it for the snippet box.
While you’re doing all this research, try and get as much of a win as possible from it. Use it to your advantage.
When you’re looking for these snippets and doing all of these related searches, you should think about the different phrases and different words that people are using to search and start dripping those what’s called semantic research, or different words and phrases that you’re going to put into your content. You could perhaps use them in your subtitles or maybe it’ll give you ideas for other articles that you need to create because people are searching for slightly different terms.
So think about that. How you can rank for related questions or a people also ask. So look out for all of those, because people are searching for things in slightly different ways and words matter when it comes to search. So we’ve got to get the semantics, we’ve got to approach it in a way that embraces the semantic research.
Finally, keep an eye on where the top ranking on Google is sitting. So when you look at Google and you’re doing all this research, how far down is position one in the organic search? It might be like, is it two scrolls down? Do you have to scroll down twice in order to get to page one?
Depending on what features appear on Google’s search result pages, position one can be very far down. Therefore what that tells us is that ranking isn’t really the only factor for success in organic search. It’s good to be position one on Google, but you also need to be considering these features as well.
That was my objective today was to not only tell you about these features, but help you understand that everything that we teach at CMA and everything that we talk about on the podcast is geared … We’re pushed by this philosophy and this philosophy is to be the best, to create the single best answer that exists online today. It’s not because it’s a nice thing to do or the right thing to do. It’s because that’s what we need to be doing based on what consumers are doing, and if we see Google changing how it’s doing things to suit that too, then that confirms exactly what we’re doing here as the right approach.
That’s what I want to help you with. I want to push you in that direction. No more lazy content, no more easy content, no more of the quick wins.
Is it possible that we can be the best? Can we create the single best content that exists online today? Can we get specific? Can we do it in a way that Google recognises that as the single best answer? Because that’s going to matter now, that’s going to matter in the future, and if you can get there before your competition, there’s a good chance that you will hold that position as well.
So we want to be pushing in this direction. If you’ve got any questions about anything, you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can tweet me @ChrisMarr101.
My door is always open. I love to hear your thoughts and ideas and questions.
Until next time, don’t forget to be awesome.