Persuasive Rich Content; RankBrain; Rich Results Content Strategies

I found the information around Rich Results most interesting. It’s rather amazing how I have failed to notice how impactful the rich snippets are when they include a photo or a video or the complete recipe or the news article date. Of course as a user I find them incredibly useful, but I hadn’t given them much thought as a marketer. And what a conundrum it is that a rich snippet could be so complete that although it brings your webpage to the top of the SERP it will result in zero click throughs because it has already satisfied the user’s question.

I have summarized key points from each lecture below:

Persuasion:

When creating content, consider the goal of persuasion. Nearly all content could be considered persuasive (or by another word, compelling) in some way so practice the art of persuasive writing. A well written persuasion includes three elements:

Appeal to credibility (Ethos): 

Proving your credibility as an author, a speaker, or an organization. Quote experts in a field, cite sources, use testimonials from clients, and share case studies. Developing ethos means avoiding hyperbolic language and promises that you can’t keep.

Appeal to emotion (Pathos):

Humans are persuaded by emotion, whether we are aware of it or not. Be careful not to come across as manipulative, but appealing to emotion can compel an audience to take action: try creating a sense of urgency, a fear of missing out, or a sense of belonging.

Appeal to logic (Logos)

In rhetoric, logical appeals usually involve syllogisms, which are composed of two premises and a conclusion. The key is to have your audience believe both of your premises and therefore agree with your conclusion.

To use an example from the Purdue Online Writing Lab, a syllogism reads like this: “All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” In the context of marketing, a syllogism may look something like this: “I want my home to be safe. Homes with security systems are safer. Therefore, I need a security system.” In a persuasive argument, premise one plus premise two should end in a logical conclusion. –Ashley Walton l Content Marketing Institute

 

RankBrain:

RankBrain is Google’s machine learning algorithm that continually split tests search results for what the user finds most useful.

Tips from Neil Patel to take advantage of how RankBrain works:

  1. Fine tune copy, INCLUDING title tag and meta data
  2. Improve length of time user spends on your site using audio and video
  3. Improve the user experience: Does the user find what they are looking for?
  4. Don’t stop! Keep testing and improving your site continuously

 

Rich Results:

What are rich search results?

Rich search results, aka rich results, are called “rich” because they include different types of information – text, images, data – in various combinations, formats, and screen positions. For many types of searches, the results page includes or may even be dominated by rich results. We have to do more than get on Page One. We have to also compete with any rich results that appear. –Source: Kristen Hicks | Content Marketing Institute

Kristen Hicks’ Strategies for Rich Results:

  1. Use schema markup on your web pages where appropriate.
    • Some schema content types: News articles, Videos, Ratings/reviews, Events, Recipes.
  2. Find out what types of rich results show up for your target search terms and make more of that type of content.
    • Create – and mark up – the kind of content that people expect to find in the searches where you want to compete.
  3. Create content that goes beyond simple answers.
    • When people get instant answers in the search results, they don’t need to click through to any web pages… so, Focus on customer questions whose answers don’t fit in Google’s answer box.
  4. If you target local customers, aim to get on the map.
    1. The main step: create a business listing in Google.
    2. Make sure you’re listed in as many online directories as possible with consistent information in each of them.
    3. Encourage positive reviews from customers.
    4. Make sure your address is included on your website.
    5. Put your city and state in your title tag.
  5. Pay attention to changes in search.
    • Stay on top of the constantly evolving Google algorithm and keep improving your content and code.

 

 



Want more information? Check out the Lecture Notes that follow:


How to Create Persuasive Content: Lessons from Aristotle

Source: Ashley Walton l Content Marketing Institute

Aristotle, the original master of persuasion, taught how to create the most compelling, powerful arguments. Even though Aristotle lived centuries ago, his foundation in persuasion tactics remains the gold standard. The same principles that apply to writing an opinion piece apply to writing compelling marketing content, starting with Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals: Ethos, pathos, and logos.

Ethos – an appeal to credibility

Pathos – an appeal to emotion

Logos – an appeal to logic

The trick to effective persuasion is to use the best combination of all three rhetorical appeals – ethos, pathos, and logos. Rhetoric is, as Aristotle explained, “an ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion.” It’s a marketer’s job to see all the tools, all the potential ways of approaching a piece or a problem, and to make well-informed, purposeful decisions to best educate, help, and influence the audience.


RankBrain

Source: Neil Patel video

RankBrain is Google’s machine learning algorithm that continually split tests search results for what the user finds most useful.

Tips:

  1. Fine tune copy, INCLUDING title tag and meta data
  2. Improve length of time user spends on your site using audio and video
  3. Improve the user experience: Does the user find what they are looking for?
  4. Don’t stop! Keep testing and improving your site continuously

Lecture 6.8: SEO Content Strategies that Produce Rich Results

Source: Kristen Hicks | Content Marketing Institute

In addition to optimizing for semantic content, it is important to create content that produces rich results in Google searches. Rich results come in a combination of text, images, data. Rich results help pages standout in search results, which usually leads to greater traffic. This following article provides strategies for creating content that will appear in the form of rich results.

What are rich search results?

Rich search results, aka rich results, are called “rich” because they include different types of information – text, images, data – in various combinations, formats, and screen positions. For many types of searches, the results page includes or may even be dominated by rich results. We have to do more than get on Page One. We have to also compete with any rich results that appear.

Strategy 1: Use schema markup on your web pages where appropriate.

Schema markup, is “code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.”

“Schema” refers to a particular standardized set of content types: news articles, videos, books, and so on; “markup” refers to the standardized code – metadata– that has been defined for those content types.

Schema markup helps machines understand what kind of thing a piece of content is. In other words, schema markup gives a piece of content a way to tell search engines, “Hey, I am a book” or “I am a video” – and then to identify its elements: “Here’s my title and author,” and so on.

Here are a few schema content types that businesses might benefit from:

  • News articles
  • Videos
  • Ratings/reviews
  • Events
  • Recipes

Strategy 2: Find out what types of rich results show up for your target search terms and make more of that type of content.

What you see on the first page of search results varies dramatically based on the kind of search you do. Part of your content strategy should be looking to see what types of rich results claim those top spots for the terms you’re hoping to rank.

Create – and mark up – the kind of content that people expect to find in the searches where you want to compete.

Strategy 3: Create content that goes beyond simple answers.

When people get instant answers in the search results, they don’t need to click through to any web pages… so, Go deep. Focus on customer questions whose answers don’t fit in Google’s answer box.

Strategy 4: If you target local customers, aim to get on the map.

The main step you need to take in order to compete for those three spots doesn’t involve schema markup; simply create a business listing in Google. Then:

  • Make sure you’re listed in as many online directories as possible with consistent information in each of them.
  • Encourage positive reviews from customers.
  • Make sure your address is included on your website.
  • Put your city and state in your title tag.

Strategy 5: Pay attention to changes in search.

Google just announced the release of rich cards. As of this writing, rich cards show up only for recipes and movies, and only on mobile devices. Rich cards, with their dominant images, provide a subset of search results that appear above other search results.

Conclusion

To help your organization benefit from today’s expanding ecosystem of rich search results – including rich snippets, rich cards, maps, and other kinds of rich results now available or still to come – consider these five strategies:

  • Use schema markup where appropriate.
  • Find out what types of rich results show up for your target search terms, and make more of that type of content.
  • Create content that goes beyond simple answers.
  • If you target local customers, aim to get on the map.
  • Pay attention to changes in search.

Above all, keep delivering quality, well-researched content that provides information your audience is looking for. That’s how you get your content to rank in the first place. Then, a few tweaks in your code, and possibly a shift in the types of content you create, can help your content stand out in those search results.