The Stack is a weekly podcast where we share and discuss the latest trends, news, and content from the world of marketing, sales, and tech. You can listen and subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Google Play Music.
In this episode, we discuss updates to Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool as well as their steps to SEO. We also share our takeaways from an interview with Brian Halligan from HubSpot.
By Andrew Moore for The Keyword (Google’s Blog)
A few months ago, Google announced that there would soon be some pretty big changes coming to Search, primarily around the way that modern searchers use the tool to complete tasks. A part of that announcement was the fact that Google would allow users to pick up from where they started in previous searches, particularly helpful for searches related to longer-term problems or goals.
“To help you with these ongoing search journeys, we’re launching new activity cards to help you pick up where you left off. If you’re logged into your Google account and search for topics…you may find an activity card at the top of the results page that provides easy ways to continue your exploration. You’ll find links to pages you’ve visited in the past along with searches you’ve done. From there, you can easily click back to that recipe that you tried and loved, or re-issue a search to discover new facets of that topic.”
- Potential to significantly change the way that people use Google (and other search engines) to complete their tasks
- It’s more important than ever for your content to be amongst the first that your potential buyers encounter through search
Sean O’Keefe for Google
We might all be thinking that Google is the all-knowing ruler of search when it comes to SEO best practices. Marketers may feel they are constantly playing catch-up with Google updates and algorithm changes but Google isn’t always perfect either.
“That’s no different for us internally. We at Google own 7,000 websites that are managed by hundreds of product and marketing teams all over the world.”
They give three major tips start small, understanding updates and trying them out, and don’t try to cover too many bases. They give some great insight in their article about what worked well when they started off and where they might have dropped the ball.
- When you first start making SEO updates to your site, start small. Look at your title tags, meta descriptions, broken links, and other basic SEO best practices. Start slow and simple.
- Make sure to keep your eye out for algorithm changes and other updates. Use these to your advantage. If you’re aren’t willing to implement it, someone else will be and they might outrank you.
- Don’t create a bunch of websites because you think you need them to target different keywords. You can easily rank for multiple keywords with the same site.
With Google’s launch of the Rich Results Testing Tool people are now able to test out structured data features on their site. Google’s new tool lets you edit and change all structured data mark ups on your site so you can get it right the first time.
- Structured data will let your content be displayed in ways that encourage clicks
- Google has an easier time understanding the type of content you have on your site when you use this mark-up
Ben Jacobson for Marketing Land
This was a really interesting article where Brian Halligan, co-founder of HubSpot and major early proponent of the Inbound Marketing movement sat down and discussed the current state of Inbound Marketing: Where it came from and how it’s changing. It’s full of interesting insights, but some of the more interesting ones are those about the future.
“Marketers getting started with inbound marketing now are doing so in a more crowded content landscape than ever. You can’t start blogging and then declare inbound marketing doesn’t work when you’re a month in and don’t have any new customers from it yet. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, though. It just requires more patience.”
That being said, this in no way means that Inbound Marketing is dead or that you shouldn’t pursue it. It just means that you need to be smarter about how you do it.
- Focus on creating really valuable, unique content instead of worrying about volume. Google has always, and will always, reward quality, so the surest way that you can ensure you rank in search is to create high-quality content that your customers actually want to read.
- Remember that inbound is one part of the marketing puzzle. Other forms of marketing, like conversational marketing through live chat and Facebook Messenger, for example, show a lot of promise and can really move the needle for your business.
- Supplement with paid ads to get the ball rolling. This is particularly important for companies who are just starting out. Because Inbound is a growth engine that takes some time to really warm up and get started, it may make sense for you to supplement your content marketing efforts with paid search and/or social ads while you wait for your content to begin to rank and bring in customers.
- Remember that inbound is a long-term game. You might not get a bunch of deals right away, but over time as you continue to add content to your website it’s possible to really gain a lot of traction. Content you create today could be one of your top sources of traffic to your website five years down the road.
- Look for a niche. While the amount of content on the web has exploded in recent years, there are still markets and industries that have been underserved by content creators. In these cases, it’s still possible to very quickly begin ranking and growing traffic to your website that can turn into business.
App of the week
This website offers a compilation of free automated tools and templates built on Google Sheets. The templates will help you save a significant amount of time on activities connected to SEO, link building, content marketing, site audits, and more. It’s a dream-come-true for time-constrained and overworked marketers everywhere.
This collection of tools will help you automate daily tasks that probably take you more time than you need.
In this section, we quickly run through some other updates that we didn’t have enough time to deep-dive on, but we still felt were noteworthy.
- Instagram now lets you regram your posts to multiple accounts
- 11 Little-Known Features in the Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Facebook is the New Crapware
Listen or watch for new episodes each Friday, or check out the archives to watch past episodes on-demand. Like what you hear? Leave us a review or let us know in the comments!