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Search Data Expert Tyson Stockton

Tyson Stockton from Searchmetrics speaks about using search data to drive business decisions during Textbroker’s 2020 Digital Marketing League.

Tyson Stockton from Searchmetrics speaks about using search data to drive business decisions during Textbroker’s 2020 Digital Marketing League.

Read the full transcript

[00:00:05.230] – Tyson Stockton

So the topic for the session right now is going to be applying search data for strategic business decisions and this topic is particularly interesting to myself for two main reasons. One, I feel that search data is underutilized in organizations as a whole. And we’ve been familiar and we’ve used them obviously for a long period of time within SEO, within SEM and within digital marketing. But I still feel like we’re scratching the surface into what search data can actually bring to an organization.

 

[00:00:40.150] – Tyson Stockton

The other side of it is.

 

[00:00:42.340] – Tyson Stockton

I also feel like too often SEOs are not empowered and enabled to be more part of kind of the leadership and leading in the organization.

 

[00:00:52.900] – Tyson Stockton

So part of this conversation, too, is how us as SEOs can use the power of search data to gain the seat at the table and to be part of the larger kind of business and strategy conversations and use this as a way to further evangelize not just our own career path, but just the value that we bring to an organization. So before we jump into all that, just a quick little piece on search metrics, we are a software and data company, so we have a platform and suite that covers both search data as ranking information’s crawl data of content data.

 

[00:01:36.370] – Tyson Stockton

And then we also have a service branch of the organization that works hand in hand with our clients to bring that data to life into real action. We have locations and our headquarters in Berlin and based here in the Bay Area. And then we also have representation in London, New York and Croatia.

 

[00:01:56.790] – Tyson Stockton

A little bit more on myself. So, as Cody said, I oversee the service side of the business at search metrics.

 

[00:02:05.550] – Tyson Stockton

I’ve been in sales and digital marketing for over 10 years. And I’ve actually worked with Phillip and the text broker team in the past with some shared and large enterprise e-commerce clients. And then before search metrics, I was on the in-house side and I was managing the CRM and SEO efforts for a collection of sport specialty e-commerce sites that was both here in the US as well as for a period of time in India, and also spend some time working with those companies in Australia as well.

 

[00:02:41.290] – Tyson Stockton

So our story starts in a different place, and what I mean by that is obviously this year has been a whirlwind, to say the least, but a lot’s changed in this year. And if we go back and looking at kind of 2019, there was a study that Alpha UX did. And essentially what they’re looking at is how are people making decisions and of those decisions, how many of them are being kind of driven by data intuition like how are we making decisions?

 

[00:03:14.590] – Tyson Stockton

So in that study, one of the first kind of pieces is how important is it to use data in strategic decisions? No surprise here. Basically, everybody said it’s, you know, important or very important.

 

[00:03:28.660] – Tyson Stockton

So to me, no surprise, like, obviously more information, you can make a better decision.

 

[00:03:33.250] – Tyson Stockton

That’s a no brainer. But how does that actually pan out when you’re actually making those decisions? And what we found here is even though 90/91 percent or expressing that data driven decisions are important, only 58 percent were actually practicing it. So that’s a that’s a big divide and a gap or an opportunity for us as SEOs and organizations as a whole. And why, then, is that such a big deal or why is that happening to so many people think that it’s important?

 

[00:04:06.730] – Tyson Stockton

Well, the top reasons from this study that people said was too much deliberation, entrenched thinking, lack of autonomy. And I think all those are kind of reasonable.

 

[00:04:18.250] – Tyson Stockton

I think we’ve all been in the places where it’s like, yeah, we have to move quick. We don’t have the time to do it or no, it’s just kind of like how we do things. And the one that really jumped out to me and it was the the largest or one that explained this for the most was the lack of data quality. And this one I thought was particularly interesting for this year, because when we think about traditional market research, it’s typically has a significant lagging kind of like lead time to it.

 

[00:04:51.940] – Tyson Stockton

So if you’re contracting with a market agency, well, typically those studies are going to take maybe six months to produce very high cost.

 

[00:05:01.330] – Tyson Stockton

And then you’re faced with a year like 2020 when there’s so much change and so much variation in consumer behavior.

 

[00:05:08.290] – Tyson Stockton

Will data that we got from 2019 may not really be representative of the market today? And to me, that really comes down into data quality. And so I feel like this year there’s even greater need to have sources and means to get to actionable and representative data that shows the entire kind of industry. In addition, besides shifting, it could also be in a location size. So maybe you’re operating within a specific group of products and there may be some market research available in some markets, but you’re looking to expand into a smaller region or something that you haven’t had presence before.

 

[00:05:47.950] – Tyson Stockton

But maybe the data doesn’t exist in that region. So when we think about it and for this conversation, we’re going to be a little bit more grounded in e-commerce.

 

[00:05:58.400] – Tyson Stockton

And so if you think about how consumers are making purchase decisions, there’s been several studies on this. And sixty-five percent of all e-commerce sessions start with a Google search.

 

[00:06:12.830] – Tyson Stockton

Well, wouldn’t that be a really good source for decision making then, if people are essentially already saying what they’re interested in, what they want to buy and even details around like that purchase? And as SEOs, don’t we already have a lot of search data?

 

[00:06:32.840] – Tyson Stockton

In addition, dozens search metrics already have a lot of search data, and these are all excellent points and this is really where we’re getting to, how do we surface this and how do we talk about search data in a larger lens of guiding and influencing business decisions?

 

[00:06:51.570] – Tyson Stockton

So as SEOs and digital marketers, I think we’re all pretty well familiar of some of the basics of what can be surfaced through keyword data, and essentially you can have the search following the way you can know who owns what market share that even getting into more tactical sides like CPC, where they’re using that for campaign management or kind of optimizing your bidding or even using that as almost a proxy into, you know, as one input into something like a competition for that keyword.

 

[00:07:24.940] – Tyson Stockton

But how do we take that and how do we go to influencing the things like go to market strategy or how do we influence things like an advertising strategy?

 

[00:07:36.610] – Tyson Stockton

How do we even get out of marketing and influence things like product selection? Maybe this could be in purchasing of how many bikes do we want to purchase for the upcoming year or should we and should we buy and double down on skiing or snowboarding?

 

[00:07:54.300] – Tyson Stockton

And we can do all this research data is just a matter of how we package and how we aggregate this and how we get this in front of our shared stakeholders.

 

[00:08:06.900] – Tyson Stockton

And what we look at in what we need to do is we need to assemble the data. If you just dump and give a, you know, thousands and thousands of raw CSFI or spreadsheet to an executive team of keywords. Well, that’s not really going to resonate with them.

 

[00:08:27.330] – Tyson Stockton

And so we have to learn how to assemble and aggregate this into a more digestible format and also in a more representative format so that the other stakeholders in the organization and the other applications outside of our day to day jobs can really take life. So if I think about how do we go about kind of market demand or keyword research data in the past, and I think most of us are familiar with doing manual keyword research, it’s something that’s been part of SEO from the beginning.

 

[00:09:01.340] – Tyson Stockton

And oftentimes people would turn to tools like AdWords, keyword planner, or maybe even going into the search metrics. We looking at keyword discovery.

 

[00:09:12.140] – Tyson Stockton

And so for this example, I was like, I want to learn about running shoes and see what that can tell me about the market.

 

[00:09:19.550] – Tyson Stockton

So great. I can grab the keyword search volume for running shoes. Awesome. I can actually cluster other similar keywords as well and then look at them based on search volume. So from this I’m able to capture things like Nike running shoes, Brooks running shoes, running shoes, but it’s usually all tying back to did it include that same word?

 

[00:09:42.350] – Tyson Stockton

And so this is is helpful.

 

[00:09:44.300] – Tyson Stockton

And it brings us beyond just one keyword, but it brings in some inherent kind of biases because it has a human element to it. So I didn’t necessarily need to think of Nike, Brooks or best, but I didn’t think of that keyword to start it.

 

[00:10:00.350] – Tyson Stockton

So this works as long as you’re able to capture all those different synonyms and stuff.

 

[00:10:06.560] – Tyson Stockton

But when you’re getting to things and like a more obvious one could be like shoes or sneakers. All this input here wouldn’t capture sneakers. And that one’s kind of more obvious.

 

[00:10:16.790] – Tyson Stockton

But as you grow and do this in larger, larger scale, this is something that may you may have these more inherent biases that could pop up.

 

[00:10:26.510] – Tyson Stockton

Another way that we’ve kind of backed into this and tried to kind of expand the reach from it is also looking at kind of like what’s ranking on a domain so I can input my own domain into our research cloud. And you can see all the ranking keywords that we have in our database on that particular domain. I can do a domain domain comparison where I’m looking at, let’s say, you know, Nike versus Adidas. And I can say, OK, if I’m one of those brands, I can see maybe keywords that the other competitors are thinking on that I’m not.

 

[00:11:00.170] – Tyson Stockton

But both of these scenarios, you have an inherent bias into the human input that’s going into the tool, or you have this bias that’s going into like a preexisting rankings. And so I think both of these can be really useful and powerful. But when we’re trying to get a larger is this representative of the entire market or the entire category, that’s where we begin to kind of get a little more cautious of maybe those limitations, traditional methods.

 

[00:11:34.200] – Tyson Stockton

So the key to this, and I think the key element to also elevate search data into the executives and into the other parts of the business is having a larger data set, having a larger breadth to the number of keywords, how we’re aggregating those and thus making it a more representative sample and increasing our confidence that it’s a true representation of what the market demand is. So the search metrics we’ve been working on other ways to go about this, and we’ve introduced something that we’re calling search metrics, insights, essentially this is another way to gather and aggregate keyword data into different taxonomies and structures that then can be representative of those markets.

 

[00:12:22.880] – Tyson Stockton

And not to kind of go too into the weeds of that, but essentially what we’re doing is we’re able to look at a category or a structure and then look at keywords that fall into that category. And then we’re not only able to query through our database for the more traditional ways in going about it, like what we saw previously. But we’re also then able to dig into what you are also ranking on, those looking at the top ranking you or else we’re able to see all the keywords that are ranking on those same URLs that are ranking on that keyword.

 

[00:12:57.170] – Tyson Stockton

And then from that, we’re able to see how Google is interpreting what else is relevant to that page.

 

[00:13:03.350] – Tyson Stockton

And by doing that at scale and querying through the entire database, both from the keyword level and the URL level, is we’re able to establish an programmatically grab a larger volume of data.

 

[00:13:16.010] – Tyson Stockton

And just to give kind of context to that, if I’m looking at maybe one category within commerce and maybe I’m looking at sports and traditional methods, maybe I can get to a thousand, five thousand, maybe even ten thousand keywords from manual efforts. And this, again, could be grabbing from search console. But again, you have that existing ranking bias. And this method actually will allow us to get some volumes closer to five hundred thousand keywords. And by having that larger sample size, we’re going to be more representative.

 

[00:13:53.090] – Tyson Stockton

And then what we’re able to do from that, and this is where it’s very similar with traditional keyword research, is we’re able to look at all the different attributes and KPIs that go to that.

 

[00:14:03.110] – Tyson Stockton

And I think this is a real key of making those connections between business decisions and kind of the larger market is by having those attributes.

 

[00:14:13.490] – Tyson Stockton

So we’ve clustered these attributes into the groups of demand growth, competitive and consumer. And we’ll walk through maybe some of the examples or some of the ways that this could be applied outside of more traditional means.

 

[00:14:30.280] – Tyson Stockton

So the first one is kind of our baseline piece that we look at is demand data.

 

[00:14:36.010] – Tyson Stockton

So in this visual here we are looking at the sporting goods sector and we want to see across three different markets and all markets here is actually the German, the UK and the US market.

 

[00:14:50.530] – Tyson Stockton

And from this, we’re able to determine what is the market potential or the search demand of running soccer or cycling. And from this, it’s pretty baseline. But I’m able to say, OK, I can confidently say that running has a stronger global market demand than soccer. I can also go into something more granular.

 

[00:15:10.450] – Tyson Stockton

Something that kind of jumped out to me is, hey, hiking, climbing and camping actually has a stronger demand than basketball, which being one of the leading sports in the US, you’d kind of think the other way.

 

[00:15:22.510] – Tyson Stockton

But due to the volume and also in outside markets, hey there. I have more of an opportunity there, even though you can see here, they’re not too far off.

 

[00:15:32.290] – Tyson Stockton

So that’s kind of your baseline.

 

[00:15:34.120] – Tyson Stockton

And this would be looking at the average monthly search volume. So rather than looking at something like a monthly, this would be the aggregate. So I’m thinking in absolute terms, I’m not necessarily thinking on a tactical like marketing campaign activation, but I’m looking at this in terms of overall, where should my focus be?

 

[00:15:57.620] – Tyson Stockton

Drilling down a little bit further, we can then go into individual categories within the parent categories, so it’s not just sports and then one level down from that. This one we’re actually looking within like the home improvement sector, fireplaces and then segments within fireplaces.

 

[00:16:16.340] – Tyson Stockton

And we’re comparing the US to the German market and we’re able to see some pretty big differences between the two.

 

[00:16:23.750] – Tyson Stockton

So the total aggregate, if you take population size, is, you know, I mean, Germans from this obviously love their fireplaces.

 

[00:16:33.050] – Tyson Stockton

But you can see really well, if I’m operating more in the US market, I’m going to not have as much focus in two fireplace ovens. But electrical fireplaces needs to be a larger part of my marketing strategy. And at this point, it’s where we actually break out even beyond just like marketing strategy, but then also could be purchasing decisions.

 

[00:16:56.810] – Tyson Stockton

If I’m one of the buyers for the fireplace category within a home improvement company, I’m going to purchase and have go more aggressive on the electrical ones. And sure, there could be differences between regions of why this might be.

 

[00:17:15.590] – Tyson Stockton

We know, at least here in California, any new buildings due to kind of the wildfires and environmental reasons. You’re actually not allowed to have a wood burning fireplace in a new structure in California.

 

[00:17:28.460] – Tyson Stockton

So as a result, you have more people turning to electrical gas and that becomes more prominent in this market.

 

[00:17:35.420] – Tyson Stockton

But if I was a company and AMEA looking into expanding into the U.S., I may not have that level of detail on it where this will tell me, hey, there’s something there, you need to look into it more. Going on from that, and now we’re looking at, again, a broader category, but for this, we’re able to break down search volume, not just from the aggregate of annual or average monthly, but we’re able to break down search volume into individual months, which then we can aggregate into quarters.

 

[00:18:11.320] – Tyson Stockton

And then from this, if I’m looking within this home improvement or kind of like household goods category, I’m able to then start making and giving guidance to other teams into when they should be prioritizing.

 

[00:18:25.750] – Tyson Stockton

So from this, if I’m thinking for like a campaign activation, I can give guidance of, hey, within the air conditioners to even know maybe temperatures are going to be a little bit higher in Q3 depending on where you live.

 

[00:18:41.650] – Tyson Stockton

Hey, we really need to activate those campaigns going into Q2 to make sure that we capture that demand across the entire summer months.

 

[00:18:50.290] – Tyson Stockton

This could also be used in the form of content production.

 

[00:18:54.220] – Tyson Stockton

If I know the peak category or the peak search volume for a quarter for a given category, I can go to the previous category and say that’s when I want to be producing my content for it. So in this scenario at the beginning in January, I would be wanting to actually have my content efforts and my content production moving so then I can get it live. The site crawled index ready to go for that market demand. Moving on from the demand data is growth data, and this is an area that I think is oftentimes overlooked by a lot of SEOs because we typically default to just what’s the immediate?

 

[00:19:34.240] – Tyson Stockton

And I think by only looking at the immediate demand, you’re losing contacts into your industry as a whole.

 

[00:19:43.270] – Tyson Stockton

And this is an area that is particularly interesting to myself because oftentimes, like, let’s say like you’re leading an SEO team, you join a new company, more than likely.

 

[00:19:56.350] – Tyson Stockton

One of the first questions that you’re going to get from the executive team in what this could be, the CMO, the SEO, whatever is going to be, what’s the viable market potential for this category. And so you have to understand what the current is. But then also what’s the rate of growth? And this really helps also in putting context into your performance.

 

[00:20:18.850] – Tyson Stockton

So if this year I’m operating within the, let’s say, fitness category, well, I’m up 20 percent this year. I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

 

[00:20:32.200] – Tyson Stockton

But then I look into the numbers and I see well, actually, for especially like in the home fitness category, the market has grown a lot more than 20 percent this year, given to the closure of gyms, et cetera. And so if the actual market growth is 40 percent or 30 percent, even though I’m growing at 20 percent, I’m losing market share to my competitors.

 

[00:20:55.900] – Tyson Stockton

This you could reverse the other way around, say, like maybe you’re in high end luxury, which has taken a hit this year, maybe even travel.

 

[00:21:04.180] – Tyson Stockton

And you see, hey, I’m down flat, I’m zero percent growth, but my industry or my category is down 20 percent this year. I can now go back to leadership and actually have a really positive story and back at my data to show that, hey, yes, we’re flat or slightly down, but we’re still outpacing the market.

 

[00:21:28.060] – Tyson Stockton

And in this visual here, what we’re looking at is fireplaces. Again, we can also dive into nuances between industries. And so in the U.K. and German markets, it’s a little more evenly distributed. It follows more of the weather patterns. But then in the US, we see the sharp spike at the same time every year, no surprise, you look for that time lines up and it’s right around Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, you know, it’s a time off and you’re getting together with family after you eat the meal.

 

[00:22:00.700] – Tyson Stockton

You’re watching football hanging out by the fireplace.

 

[00:22:04.300] – Tyson Stockton

Maybe people are even thinking of Christmas to come. Hey, we need a fireplace. Put the stockings on. But it’s interesting to see how sharp and how poignant this growth is.

 

[00:22:14.470] – Tyson Stockton

And this thing can be really valuable information that you pass on to the marketing teams because it could tell them, hey, for the marketing campaigns for it, we really want to target that peak time to make sure that we’re present there. We’re in these other markets. I might actually be launching a little bit earlier because it has a more even distribution throughout.

 

[00:22:38.750] – Tyson Stockton

Going on again, we can see the difference between subcategories. This is for the German market. This one’s a little painful for me personally, seeing how skin is actually above snowboarding on it.

 

[00:22:53.090] – Tyson Stockton

I would disagree as far as which is the better sport, but I can’t argue with the numbers. And so if I’m talking to other business managers within the organization, I can say, hey, we need to go more aggressive on skiing, even though it might hurt me a little bit to say that. Moving forward to the competitive side and this, I think, is an area of us, as SEOs are pretty familiar with, but it does, again, give more line of sight.

 

[00:23:20.930] – Tyson Stockton

So if I’m looking at international expansion and I’m in the home improvement category, I can see in the US this is predominantly owned by two companies or two domains. And so I’m going to be hyper focused on those two. I know that’s who’s going to be owning that kind of top of page one. And so this is breaking down. Traffic index would be the estimated traffic based on this search demand of those keywords, position of rankings, search features that are present on those queries.

 

[00:23:51.400] – Tyson Stockton

And what I can estimate their traffic was during given the period of time, if I’m looking at the U.K. or German market from this, well, it’s a little more even distribution. And I can expect that there’s probably going to be highlights or strengths of those brands that I need to dive into a little bit more, which is going to shift how I want to compete with them. Next level to this competitive data, this one is something that’s been emerging over the last couple of years as Google’s understanding and 10 more, you see more variety in the service.

 

[00:24:27.740] – Tyson Stockton

And what we’ve been doing is we’ve been classifying keywords into informational, transactional or navigational intent. And if we look at kind of two big outliers in this group, Cable Ties has a significant transactional intent where Transformer’s has a larger informational intent.

 

[00:24:47.600] – Tyson Stockton

So what that tells me then is if I’m looking to drive revenue within cable ties, I’m going to put a huge focus on product pages, category pages. And I can also expect, even though the average order value might be smaller for that type of category, the conversion rates are going to be a little bit higher.

 

[00:25:07.200] – Tyson Stockton

If I switch over and I look at Transformers or Transformers has a higher search volume, it’s not shown in this visual. But I could go back to previous ones and look at like the surge demand of it. But Transformers has a huge informational intent. So now this is a cue to me of, hey, if I want to compete and I want to do well within that category, I should probably also invest in more editorial blog type content that’s going to be discussing and educational around transform transformers, which will be a higher funnel and then kind of trickle down to my category pages where I’m actually trying to make the transaction.

 

[00:25:49.640] – Tyson Stockton

Similar to that is we are scraping these different SERP features that are present on the queries, this you can be using again into the more tactical side of how do you optimize different page templates or categories?

 

[00:26:05.720] – Tyson Stockton

The one here we’re looking at business and home security decor, home spa. And from this, I would actually see that, OK, within the business and home security, there’s huge presence of videos in the SERPS. So in that area we might want to invest in more video assets, have YouTube videos, have some integrated onto our pages. But then if I’m kind of shifting over to the core area, I see that images are much, much higher in the suburbs.

 

[00:26:37.160] – Tyson Stockton

So therefore, I’m going to probably put a little bit more time into my image optimization and make sure that we have the proper markup for those pages. And that’s going to be more part of my strategy for that category. So from all of this, I would say SEOs evolving, it’s always evolving, but this year in particular, it’s as more companies are being more and more reliant on SEO and digital marketing in general.

 

[00:27:07.130] – Tyson Stockton

The opportunity is there for us as SEOs to take this user search data and not only influence how we are marketing and how we’re being strategic within our own efforts, but how we’re also applying it and getting it to other parts of the organization.

 

[00:27:26.680] – Tyson Stockton

So it’s up to us to engage with the executives, the strategic marketing groups, portfolio managers, business leaders, and show them the value in the power of search data for their individual domains.

 

[00:27:44.820] – Tyson Stockton

Couple plugs here, if you are interested in hearing more on these types of reports or this type of data, you can go to this URL here and have a little information on it if you’d like to hear a little bit more as far as what’s going on in SEO, Cathy Brown of our senior managers myself will be doing a Q3 report next week. So feel free to join that. And I’d say the search data to guide us and with that, thank you.

 

[00:28:23.360] – Cody Christensen

I think and I’m sure you’ve seen it as well, but when I said we as digital marketers and SEOs, we’re becoming more and more dependent on data and that kind of spark to me, seven talking points I wanted to go over. And one of those is being when you’re publishing or when your publishing, but when you’re getting ready to plan your content strategy. So let’s say we’re planning for twenty, twenty one now. Right. And you had a slide about you wanted you to do three in Q4 data or you look at the trends with fireplaces.

 

[00:28:56.370] – Cody Christensen

When would be, in your opinion, the correct time to publish the content about an electrical fireplace? Because I’m guessing if you publish it on Thanksgiving, you’ve missed the boat. So I think what would you recommend would be a great strategy to use that data and the trends that you provide it? Excellent, I would rough rule of thumb is I usually go for 60 days prior, depending on kind of like your bandwidth to like other strategies that I’ve seen is trying to have like a first published piece of content, maybe even a little bit before, and then having an additional iteration or optimization six weeks prior to actual peak time.

 

[00:29:45.480] – Tyson Stockton

So the key elements that you want to consider for that is you do want to give enough time for that page to be called indexed. If you do have the bandwidth to do further iterations or optimizations, you’d also want to take that in as well. But I’d say rule of thumb usually go for a kind of 60 days prior.

 

[00:30:04.760] – Cody Christensen

Cool, I guess, to me, just to follow up with that, and then I’ll let Phillip, I know, fill out a couple questions, too, but I know you pointed to it in one of your last slides there, but I think this data helps with the content strategy, right, with getting everybody in line with your content teams going to publish something but your marketing and sales team, you want to make sure they’re on the same boat when it comes to promotions and stuff like that.

 

[00:30:30.880] – Cody Christensen

So not to kind of say what you’ve already said, but I think it’s worth pointing out again that this data that you can get from searches really helps get everybody on the same page. So when the sales team is promoting something, the content team has already had that stuff indexed. Like you said, some information.

 

[00:30:52.750] – Phillip Thune

Now we’ve got a question coming in on the chat. Just a reminder, feel free to put any kind of question in that chat. You can ask Tyson anything and we’ll relay your questions. Before we get to the chat, though, I had a question. You mentioned sort of showing how you can see who the heavyweights are in your category. And I guess my question would be kind of what’s your advice? Excuse me? What’s your advice? When you when you see that, do you attack them where they’re strong, know?

 

[00:31:23.450] – Phillip Thune

So focus on kind of the topics and keywords where they’re really strong and you try to beat them out if they’re the heavyweights, or is it better to kind of trying to find the longtail keywords where they’re they’re weak or something else?

 

[00:31:35.650] – Tyson Stockton

I think that’s a great question. And I would kind of I’d qualify a little bit by being honest with your own domains, power and authority, so to speak.

 

[00:31:47.380] – Tyson Stockton

So if would say you’re a large domain that’s been weaker in a specific category and then you’re looking at, OK, I need to now compete with Home Depot and let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re Amazon. OK, well, I can be a bit more aggressive. I’m going to head and with those key areas.

 

[00:32:07.320] – Tyson Stockton

To your question, too, though, and I think more common is you’re entering in and you may be a smaller player and you’re looking at this daunting Home Depot, Lowe’s, how am I going to compete with them?

 

[00:32:20.400] – Tyson Stockton

And I think and you kind of alluded to this is going after those niche areas that you can offer additional value.

 

[00:32:28.200] – Tyson Stockton

And also they may not be paying as much attention to it. So if I’m a smaller player and I’m looking that, I’ll look for gaps of where they are weak and it’s you know, oftentimes you can find those more long tail kind of specific categories and then I’ll look to build upon those to work my way up to those larger categories.

 

[00:32:50.410] – Tyson Stockton

So I think for smaller companies, look for the gaps, for the weaknesses, maybe it’s subcategories or maybe it’s even, you know, further levels down. But I think that’s typically a good strategy, especially if you’re, you know, the smaller company trying to compete with the heavyweights.

 

[00:33:10.140] – Phillip Thune

I mean, just as table stakes, do you need something on your site about kind of the big keyword, the keyword that has the volume, knowing you’re probably not going to topple the heavyweights. Right. And then you kind of go niche. Are you saying you should you know, I’m not sure if that’s a great example. Let’s say it’s washer dryers. That’s a huge keyword, whereas, I don’t know, stackable washer dryer, maybe not so much.

 

[00:33:35.550] – Phillip Thune

Should you need to have some kind of just general content about the big category and then you go into the detail on the stack of the dryer or you’re saying start with stack or dryer, because that’s a niche and that’s where you can kind of make some headway and then you’ll build yourself up.

 

[00:33:49.980] – Tyson Stockton

I would say, like make sure first and foremost, I’d like the user experience when, you know, if they’re just coming through your site. So it’s like I would want to have the like the basics for the washer and dryer. But then if I’m like, where am I doubling down and really making my effort, that’s where maybe like Stackable. So I’d say it’s not to say, hey, you can completely ignore that because you want to show that you’re relevant to that larger kind of category.

 

[00:34:17.580] – Tyson Stockton

But as far as like, where do I think I can achieve higher rankings and then build upon that success? That’s where I think the more niche is, is the way to go. Got to. So I like Phillips said, we do have a question coming in before I get to that question, I am going to share a handout that Tyson sent over. Oh, it’s just a PDF about search metrics and their insights that they can offer to you.

 

[00:34:49.720] – Cody Christensen

I don’t know, Tyson, if you want to give a little bit more background on that PDF that I just shared, but that is out there for people to click on.

 

[00:34:58.750] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah, it’s it’s pretty simple information that we talked about. I mean, I think the big takeaway for this that I’d have is regardless if you’re using our insights reports or you are doing this in more traditional, I think you can apply the same takeaways and the value of search data is there.

 

[00:35:17.740] – Tyson Stockton

And so the biggest, I guess, a recommendation or kind of being on a soapbox is to leverage search data beyond just the tactical sense. And so, yeah, I like this link or this PDF will give just a little more information of that product to it. But I would say, you know, regardless of what you’re already operating with, think of search data in how it can influence other parts of the business, which I think, again, is a way for us as SEOs to, you know, get out of the corner a little bit of the organization and be more of kind of like a driving force versus a responsive hey, we already launched this. Can you optimize these pages?

 

[00:36:03.160] – Cody Christensen

That makes sense. All right, so the first question is from Jim, and it’s a question that I’ve had looking at content and content strategy before, and he said, is it worth. Is it worth it to target featured snippets now that you lose the organic spot?

 

[00:36:20.200] – Tyson Stockton

Great, great question. This is I’ve been in several debates are on this topic actually with other SEOs, and you’ll get a variety of different answers. So I’m just going to give my personal side of it. So, one, I’ve heard the argument, hey, I’d rather actually get the clicks on it than them just getting the information on the query.

 

[00:36:39.910] – Tyson Stockton

So the first thing that I would say to that is I get the point. But then you’re also giving that presence then to someone else.

 

[00:36:48.400] – Tyson Stockton

And if you’re thinking of one of the users getting the information from the featured snippet already, wouldn’t that have an indirect impact on your click through rate of being in the actual number one organic place?

 

[00:37:02.710] – Tyson Stockton

So I typically would default to wanting still to have that presence, even if I lose out on it.

 

[00:37:10.840] – Tyson Stockton

But I think where it gets a little more interesting is one to think about the information that you’re trying to get there oftentimes. And it will vary depending on keywords. Oftentimes you can still get higher clicks by having that position than maybe the number one organic spot.

 

[00:37:28.540] – Tyson Stockton

The other piece that I think is oftentimes overlooked is you have to look at the URL keyword portfolio as a whole and one keyword is not necessarily going to drive the entire performance of that URL.

 

[00:37:43.480] – Tyson Stockton

And when we’re looking at the feature snippets, we’re looking at one keyword. So if my website is getting picked up for the feature simply in one keyword, I probably have a relatively strong new URL and I’m going to actually anticipate that actually my overall rankings on that portfolio of keywords is probably going to be a little bit stronger.

 

[00:38:04.180] – Tyson Stockton

So I wouldn’t be as worried about that one keyword, but more on like the overall performance of the world.

 

[00:38:11.830] – Tyson Stockton

And then again, just personally speaking, I probably would still take the the featured snippet because I think a lot of times you can get a pretty good click through rate from the link there, even if it means that your standard organic listing is not present.

 

[00:38:29.340] – Phillip Thune

Got one thing going back to your presentation, I thought it was really interesting where you could look at a category and show how often video shows up in search results or images of those kind of things.

 

[00:38:41.820] – Phillip Thune

And you compared the color versus other things, so. Going into the video that is there, are you guys able to sort of tell why a video is ranking? Is there any correlation between kind of number of views? You know, if there’s one video that’s got a million views and another video that has a thousand views, is Google going to use that in terms of how do they decide which video should a video go in the search results and in which video should go in there?

 

[00:39:13.570] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah, and to be honest, I haven’t done as much in the video optimization kind of place. So it’s more of a strategy of like, hey, and I’ve had conversations with, you know, e-commerce clients where they typically would have like a one size fits all to category pages or product pages.

 

[00:39:32.200]

And so how I’ve used this in the past has been more and influencing the type of content and so content, you know, you can come in a bunch of different mediums, whether it’s traditional written copy, whether it’s variations of written copy, video images, et cetera.

 

[00:39:49.960] – Tyson Stockton

And so I think for me, how I like to use it is more of like, hey, within this category videos a stronger like presence. So therefore, let’s integrate that into the copying the content on the page and then others. Hey, video is not really showing up much.

 

[00:40:10.180] – Tyson Stockton

It’s a very quick transactional term. People aren’t spending as much time on those pages. Let’s shift the focus more into Mejia’s bulleted list. Maybe it’s image optimization, et cetera. So I’d say from my perspective, it’s it’s more into the types and how you’re kind of optimizing the page.

 

[00:40:33.130] – Tyson Stockton

The less experience, more on the like, actual optimization of the video aside in relation to rankings. That’s interesting. Yeah, no, I think we’ve. Right, a lot of times, as SEOs were trying to figure out the you know, that there’s some secret or something, but often it’s just looking at what are the people who rank well doing right. So I don’t know if the keyword is boomerang. And you find that everybody on the first page of Google somewhere in their content has the word Australia.

 

[00:41:03.070] – Phillip Thune

Well, you probably want to put the word Australia in there because Google is somehow kind of mapping those, too. So you’re saying if if you’re seeing that video is what videos are getting in there and that’s what rings well for that keyword, that category, then that’s again going back to the table stakes. That’s kind of what you need to do if you’re going to have a shot.

 

[00:41:21.610] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah. And I would I would also advocate on this to it should be something not like a look at it once and forget it and move on, because as we know, Google continuously evolving how and what they’re showing. And that’s going to change as time goes on.

 

[00:41:40.960] – Tyson Stockton

And so I think that’s something that I would highly recommend people coming back to and revisiting over and over and over and viewing it as like a continuous process versus a one time until that category is done.

 

[00:41:52.420] – Tyson Stockton

I can move on and I don’t have to look back at it until next year when it peaks again.

 

[00:41:58.440] – Cody Christensen

I got one more question kind of around keyword to research and where you’re seeing the trends and stuff like that year over year, I guess in a general to try to make it as general as possible. But if you could give our viewers kind of one insight or one tip in regards to keyword research and like what data to use, obviously there’s so many tools out there.

 

[00:42:25.530] – Cody Christensen

So our free summer aid, can help you find relative keywords. But from being in the industry and from working as search metrics and having access to all this data, I guess what is what tip from you or from you when it comes to just getting started with keyword research and using that to make your marketing decisions?

 

[00:42:45.750] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah, I think a couple of recommendations here is oftentimes with a lot of the tools you’ll have access to a lot of the attributes that I see.

 

[00:42:56.400] – Tyson Stockton

Too often people just focus on the average monthly search demand. And so I think, one, making sure you’re gathering in all the attributes from the beginning because then you can dissect and kind of know pivot accordingly.

 

[00:43:11.310] – Tyson Stockton

And so it’s like I’d say step one, when you are at the first step, gather as many attributes on the keyword level as you can because you then can always aggregate those up and have summaries on your category levels. The other piece that I would say and a little bit in that same line of thought is to be drilling into actually the monthly amount. And then if you can, the historical I think and that’s like one of my areas that I really like looking at is the historical because to me it frames up the context of the category, or if you’re looking at just one point, you lose that.

 

[00:43:50.790] – Tyson Stockton

And so I would say if you can always get your monthly and then that way you can put that into quarterly representations, you can leave it as a monthly calendar, you have the flexibility to pivot in those different directions.

 

[00:44:04.950] – Tyson Stockton

And then I’d say the final aspect to on looking at it is also, you know, going and getting to the larger volume, you know, and don’t consider one keyword being representative of an entire category.

 

[00:44:20.130] – Tyson Stockton

And it’s the same notion or thought process. And like the feature snippet question, that’s one keyword on maybe the hundreds on that URL.

 

[00:44:30.060] – Tyson Stockton

So you want to kind of also take a broad, a broad stroke in the beginning to have that kind of full perspective of the category.

 

[00:44:38.190] – Tyson Stockton

And it’s always easier to, you know, hide or remove or pull out certain things.

 

[00:44:45.000] – Tyson Stockton

But if when you’re gathering, if you only gather that demand, well, then that’s the only possibility you have for it. So I think that’s just the fundamental piece is when you are going through the process, grab as much as you can from the beginning.

 

[00:44:58.860] – Tyson Stockton

And then even if maybe some pieces you don’t use, at least you have them versus getting through the process and then going backwards is way more work. And you’re going to have to basically redo the same steps and process just to expand on what you’re offering.

 

[00:45:14.800] – Cody Christensen

Awesome. Yeah, I think that’s great information and this is perhaps a discussion for another day, but I would love to see the data that Textbroker has right from all the different content links and the content topics and the trends and see how long it takes when we see something trending or a Textbroker how long it takes you to see it in the search results. Right. I think that would be something really interesting to dive into. Yeah.

 

[00:45:41.770] – Tyson Stockton

We should pair up on a study there. It does.

 

[00:45:47.170] – Phillip Thune

And we’re getting close on time here. You had mentioned at the end of your presentation that you’re going to be talking about kind of Q3 trends. And in the next week, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask if you could give us any kind of hints or any anything you’re seeing now in terms of search trends. I don’t I don’t want to steal your thunder from next week. But what should our audience be thinking about? Anything that’s kind of the latest and greatest that you’re seeing?

 

[00:46:13.480] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah, I think, you know, Q3 broad obviously is 2020.

 

[00:46:19.210] – Tyson Stockton

So it wouldn’t be a normal quarter in 2020 without, you know, hiccups and stuff. So, you know, we do touch on some of the pieces around some of the indexing bugs that Google ran into. You know, one, I think their communication around it has been a lot better. So that’s been appreciated.

 

[00:46:36.610] – Tyson Stockton

But it also a little bit of a reminder, too, of things like how caffeine impacts and like the indexation process, other kind of minor.

 

[00:46:48.100] – Tyson Stockton

And I guess you could, depending on who you’re talking to, minor. But some advancements in different types of structured data, how Google’s really doubling down on e-commerce.

 

[00:47:00.100] – Tyson Stockton

And I think we’ve seen that throughout this pandemic where they announced the free Google listings, which started in the US. Now it’s been rolled out globally.

 

[00:47:10.100] – Tyson Stockton

To me, this is an area that they recognize that the competition between Amazon and Google has been heating up. And, you know, I think if you talk to a lot of people, Amazon has a leg up in a lot of regards.

 

[00:47:23.650] – Tyson Stockton

And so by the free listings, to me, that’s also a way of them building out their inventory more that then allows them to apply it. And then you layer in other pieces like structured data and shipping details that I would anticipate is going to show up in the service as well. So I think there’s several pieces that have kind of showed Google’s hand a little bit on how they’re going to be ratcheting up on the e-commerce focus. And then also we touch a little bit on kind of what’s coming up with Google.

 

[00:47:53.770] – Tyson Stockton

So we touch on some of the elements that were announced on Google’s on Search 2020.

 

[00:48:00.160] – Tyson Stockton

So we’ll get into the BERT topic, things like indexing passages, some topics within the top of funnel parent term and more of kind of some things that you can expect to see, I think going into 2021 and then one other minor piece, which may not get into as much detail during the webinar, but I think it ties into the, you know, commerce and things like that.

 

[00:48:29.650] – Tyson Stockton

One of the announcements, too, that they made is if you’re using Chrome or the Google app, you can click on any picture and then it will actually use Google Lens to then bring up all the different websites that may sell that product.

 

[00:48:42.720] – Tyson Stockton

And so I think that is something that I anticipate to see further and further expanded upon, they’ve launched Google Ends way back where you could take a picture of a product, maybe you’re shopping or a friend’s wearing something you like.

 

[00:48:55.860] – Tyson Stockton

Take a picture. It’ll show you retailers that sell it.

 

[00:48:58.500] – Tyson Stockton

Now, bringing that into the general browsing experience, I think will be an interesting kind of piece to throw into the whole competition between Google and Amazon going into the end of this year and beginning of next year.

 

[00:49:13.490] – Phillip Thune

You know, earlier today we were talking Barry Schwartz, and we spent a little bit of time of the passage indexing, and I know it hasn’t even rolled out yet. So there is no data that you can kind of look at to see what the impact is. But they’ve told us Google has told us that they think it will impact about seven percent of queries. Do you have any kind of initial thoughts on that? Anything that our audience should be thinking about or doing in advance of that?

 

[00:49:37.260] – Tyson Stockton

Yeah, I mean, I think Barry’s a great source for that. And I certainly went through all of his publications that he had out.

 

[00:49:45.630] – Tyson Stockton

So I don’t know if I would have too much of this time to probably add on top of what he’s already mentioned from it.

 

[00:49:53.640] – Tyson Stockton

For me personally, though, I think it’s really interesting how a lot of these pieces are in the same vein where, you know, it’s not technically related. But you have kind of the announcement of how BERT went from 10 percent when it initially launched now on virtually every single English query.

 

[00:50:13.230] – Tyson Stockton

Now you’re getting things like passages. You’re also getting to things like the subtopics within the topic.

 

[00:50:21.420] – Tyson Stockton

And I would expect to see a little more variation on those like head terms from it.

 

[00:50:27.930] – Tyson Stockton

But from my perspective, a lot of these awful in similar vein of Google’s understanding of Inten and certainly they’ve used for it. And I think those advances are allowing them to open up things like passage indexing. And I think in nature of it, because, you know, as they describe, is looking for the needle in the haystack of the specific term. And I think in the search on the example they said was something along the lines of how do I determine if my windows are UV glass?

 

[00:51:04.620] – Tyson Stockton

And well, the answer may not be an entire article, but it could be just a little snippet in a message board that’s well, hold a match up to it and you can see how it reflects.

 

[00:51:13.920] – Tyson Stockton

So I think that’s something that I wouldn’t necessarily expect to be like, great, next year.

 

[00:51:20.380] – Tyson Stockton

It’s going to be on 50 percent of queries like I think it will be more niche in nature based on like how it’s being used. But I do see it as something that’s really interesting because it shows a little bit the direction and how we can anticipate search evolving in the upcoming years.

 

[00:51:38.670] – Phillip Thune

Yeah, we typically see clients, they’ll order content and really try to have that content focused on one main keyword. And I, I guess we just wonder was passage indexing, are you better off now with a really long piece of content on a page knowing that you don’t need to necessarily have a totally separate page just focused on that keyword because Google’s getting better and better and you know, they’ll pick it up even if it’s kind of the 15th paragraph on a very long page.

 

[00:52:12.900] – Tyson Stockton

And I think that is a fair assumption. I think it’s also, in my perspective, pretty much in line with a lot of the things that we’ve seen Google evolving of.

 

[00:52:24.690]

So it’s like if you went, you know, and I know you’ve been in here long enough to see this.

 

[00:52:30.360] – Tyson Stockton

It’s like way back it was like one keyword, one landing page kind of type approach.

 

[00:52:34.500] – Tyson Stockton

And we’ve already shifted to this like, hey, you can have one page rank for hundreds or thousands of keywords already.

 

[00:52:41.130] – Tyson Stockton

And to your point, I think that this is something that would actually probably just increase that a little bit further with seven percent, OK, it’s not going to be like huge nine-day difference, but I think it’s just further evidence and further support of this more longer form holistic content, which, you know, we’ve seen over the years that Google has been rewarding.

 

[00:53:08.000] – Cody Christensen

Well, again, Tyson, we definitely appreciate you taking the time to chat with us, show us some of the data that you guys have at search metrics. Again, we hope to hear more from you. I’m excited for this Q3 webinar that you guys are putting out next week just from the teaser. It sounds like a lot of great info there. We are going to kind of hurry and go through the pulling process. We do have Jim Boykin coming up in just about three minutes.

 

[00:53:37.520] – Cody Christensen

So if you guys want to click on the take the poll now Link, we’ll take you to it so you can read Tyson as he is one of our competitors in the digital marketing league. So go ahead and take the pulse rate, how you thought his presentation was. We will leave that open for just a little while. So you guys have a chance to take that poll.

 

[00:54:01.770] – Cody Christensen

Looks like some people are still trickling in. Got to make sure it’s alive. Yep, there we go. So we will leave that open for probably just about 10 more seconds. And as a reminder, by participating in this poll, you are entering for a chance to win a hundred dollar voucher tax-preferred outcome that you can use for your upcoming content projects. And in the chat to Onasis, this is going to be hard. Everyone has brought their A-game.

 

[00:54:35.250] – Cody Christensen

I would agree. I have a lot to from first thing in the morning with Barry and then Luis, now Tyson. A lot of great information that not only the marketing team, but I think Phil can speak from an executive level. A lot of good information being brought, especially during the story for planning into Q1 of twenty-four point one. So we are happy you guys are getting information out of this. We will. Go ahead, Cassandra. Let’s move on to the next question, which is just what was your main takeaway from this presentation?

 

[00:55:09.810] – Cody Christensen

Reminder, it is an open ended poll so you can type in whatever you want. If you just want to be a sentence or two, that is great. If you just want it to be one word, which is data that is fine as well. I think that would fit. So we’ll leave that open for just a little while. We’ll see, it looks like we’re still getting some answers, so we’ll leave that open. Let’s leave that up for maybe about 10 more seconds, Cassandra, and then we’ll go over the last one, which again is if you’re in it for the raffle, is probably the most critical question because we need your email address so we can pick the winner so we can send you your voucher for a hundred dollars worth of content.

 

[00:56:05.380] – Cody Christensen

You can use it on Textbroker. And maybe if you want to use it towards a long-form piece of content with multiple different topics, that would be a good idea. So let’s go ahead and close. Go ahead and throw in a random kind of piece. Just anyone in e-commerce that’s on the webinar.

 

[00:56:27.050] – Tyson Stockton

The recommendation I would anticipate and say be prepared for potentially campaigns to roll out earlier this year without as much of an instore Black Friday in-person can anticipate, it’s going to be a little less pointed on individual dates. So my recommendation what I’ve heard from e-commerce companies is the anticipation is sales and things will probably release earlier.

 

[00:56:51.820] – Tyson Stockton

So I’d just say, like, you know, make sure that you guys are ready and you have all your collateral ready to potentially roll out earlier if it comes down from the powers that be.

 

[00:57:06.880] – Cody Christensen

That is great to know.

 

[00:57:08.820] – Cody Christensen

And I believe the poll the last question, I think is back up. So people didn’t get to enter their email address and there so go and do that now while it’s open and while you guys are doing that, just one more virtual round of applause for Tyson and the team that search metrics for providing us with that great information. And I think we definitely appreciate you having you on. We’ll let you go. Excellent.

 

[00:57:35.620] – Tyson Stockton

Well, thanks for having me, guys.

 


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