On the last day of the class, we have the chance to hear a panel of professional content strategist to share their experience in the content industry. They told us about how they started in the business and many valuable key factors to be successful to stay in the content business. One of the key factors I learnt from this experience is their opinion on content in mobile search. I will reflect upon their idea and provide some of my insight in the novel content ecosystem.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to use SEO to increase your rankings, you simply crammed your website as full of keywords as possible. Some less scrupulous web designers crammed their sites full of popular, but irrelevant, keywords. Of course, that only worked for websites who only wanted to display ads and were not concerned with getting visitors to come back.
Mobile users are different from desktop users. Just as you don’t get to decide what platform your visitors use to access your site (they do), the same philosophy applies to your content development.
Let your users tell you what content they want to see. How can you do this? One great way is by leveraging query logs. Look at what those logs tell you about what users want to see. Just as Google will look at query logs to determine what questions to answer next, Britton applied the same strategy to his website and let user traffic tell him which celebrities the users themselves wanted information about. When queries came in and he had no corresponding content, he created that content. In essence, user demand drove the content creation.
Perhaps the most important SEO factor after creating good content is good keyword research. There are a variety of tools that allow you to discover the specific ways that people may be searching for your content.
You want to create content using those keywords, the actual search terms people are using, so you can produce content that effectively “answers” that query. Quality content should produce meaningful interactions with users. Search engines may try to measure this interaction – engagement – in a variety of ways.
For example, how long do users stay on your page? Did they search, click through to your listing but then immediately “bounce” back to the results to try something else? That “pogosticking” behavior can be measured by search engines and could be a sign that your content isn’t engaging.
Conversely, are people sending a relatively long time reviewing your content, in relation to similar content on other sites? That “time on site” metric or “long click” is another type of engagement that search engines can measure and use to assess the relative value of content.
Mobile has a drastically user experience from desktop, however, from the ideas of the content strategist in our panel session, I learn that the core factor regarding whether a page is interesting enough to attract tractions is not too different from the desktop market. I believe that as a content strategist, our job is to find the subtle difference and recreate our content layout to cater to the readers in the most friendly way.