Summary: Optimizing, Messaging & Measuring in a “no query” world on #SEOchat

Moderator: @bloomreachinc

Now that the dust has settled, has your perception of the impact of “not provided” changed in the last 2 weeks?

@Scripti_Ashley   I’m still just as okay with it as I was initially. It is kind of a pain, yes, but we got this!

@scripti_meg   No. It’s frustrating, I think Google is still in the wrong, but we’ve always relied on more than just keyword data.

@ConcerningChris   No. It’s been freeing to focus on content performance and not keywords.

@davidmalmborg   (not provided) has skewed data for me for more than a year now, so no real change now. Just confirmed it’s gone.

@shuey03   It sucks, but there’s no point in wasting time complaining about it. We just need to get back to work 🙂

@parallelpath   Perception remains the same, we’ve been not provided increase for roughly two years now.

@BruceClayInc   The key performance indicators of number of visitors, conversions, etc. are still the most imp. factors.

@RHoberg   No, I think most SEOs saw this coming. At @parallelpath we’ve been shifting our focus away from keywords for quite some time.

@MattNeSmith   Nope! We’ve been using other metrics for some time so moving away from KW data was not difficult.

Given “not provided” and hummingbird, how has your approach to content changed?

@shuey03   I don’t know that it has changed very much for our clients. we work extremely hard to understand target audience.
@VirginiaNussey   I agree, the first and most important step is knowing your audience.

@ConcerningChris   Shifted away from targeting specific keywords to keyword “topics”. Use Adwords to find/test high performing topics.
@bloomreachinc   Sounds like a good approach. What type of sites do you work with?
@ConcerningChris   Several in hosting/IT (B2B), ecommerce, franchise (B2B), and a few local.
@shuey03   We interview our clients current customers to really get a feel of who they are, what their needs are and how they use the internet to research solutions to their needs.
@ConcerningChris   Love that approach. Pushes your client to explain what need their product/solution solves.

@Scripti_Ashley   We developed our creative content first, and applied the SEO second. We stay in tune with audience socially, as well as watch industry trends. By keeping an ear to the ground, we can hear what people are looking for and the questions they are asking.

@BruceClayInc   Content should focus on usefulness and value to your target audience based on data available to you.

@bloomreachinc   We emphasize page level analytics of the content quality, volume and cohesion.

@lyena   Non-provided challenge is to change customer focus from keywords to landing pages. We focus more on usability.

@parallelpath   Focus on understanding what your consumers want, optimize to answer these questions instead of just individual keywords.

Will less query level data shift your (or your client’s) focus to paid, social, or other acquisition channels?

@BruceClayInc   KW data is available in GWT & AdWords, but draw up your specific personas w/ consumer research & demographic data.

@ConcerningChris   No because they understand how much of their media mix still comes from organic.
@BruceClayInc   Agreed. Turning data to wisdom is the tricky part, as Bruce might say. Proof is in the pudding, not the visibility into one piece of the puzzle.

@lyena   I do not see a big switch to paid or social. GWT still has enough data to follow and use trends.

@Scripti_Ashley   I’m going to have to go no on this one as well. There is still value in the data that we can obtain.

@RHoberg   No, analytics keyword data is not the end all, be all. There are many more tools that can be used to glean search trends.

@davidmalmborg   I think it’s easier to track ROI from those methods now. But with the traffic that organic drives, you can’t give up on it.

@OldhamJared   KW were only part of the equation. Results are what matter. Keep focus on traffic #s and conversions.

@BruceClayInc   We manage the holistic marketing presence of many of our clients, each important but amplified when combined

@MattNeSmith   It means we just have to focus on more channels rather than shifting focus completely. Organic site growth + social, paid, etc.

@parallelpath   No, organic still plays a huge role in our clients online efforts. We can leverage other tools and channels for data.

@bloomreachinc   Organic will continue to be a major source of traffic. We continue to leverage data from paid, social, others to receive indications of type of queries ppl using to get to content.

@lyena   It is not one channel closing the deal anymore. Multiple channels, multiple devices – need to incorporate all.
@parallelpath   Exactly, and cross channel communication will be key

What have you heard (or better yet, learned) from customers as you’ve discussed “not provided” in the last 2 weeks?

@OldhamJared   Great chance to force clients who are focused on KW into a better mindset without being the bad guy. Also a great time to re-explain the benefits of our holistic mk approach and implement tactics they were opposed to before. Add Yelp to the local list and then see some very angry clients.

@ConcerningChris   Nothing! Since Not Provided originally came about, keyword data has been discounted by our partners. So it hasn’t been worth it or relevant for us to report on it.
@scripti_meg   Had a few clients express their great displeasure with Google, actually. Learned there’s a growing Google grumble out there.

@BruceClayInc   Customers are interested in learning more abt what type of metrics we will track 2 gauge success of campaigns going forward.

What’s changed in your metrics or reporting? And perhaps more importantly, your recommendations?

@lyena   No more revenue or traffic per keyword reports. More conversion funnel, landing pages, user flow discussions.

@ConcerningChris   Our reporting focuses on explaining the why from the data. Then identifying opportunities for growth. For example, we’ll look for underperforming pages with search market trends on the rise that align with partner product focus.

@BruceClayInc   Focus on increasing traffic. Catalog the keyword data in GWT (download it). Monitor landing page traffic.

@OldhamJared   I love showing the outcomes of well placed high quality content. Traffic, referral visits, social shares etc

@bloomreachinc   Are your metrics or recommendations focused on the quality of content itself?
@ConcerningChris   More of a focus on relevance. Proper market. Growing market. Identified pain point.
@BruceClayInc   Watching landing page traffic related to ranking fluctuations shows what content is quality and working.

If the operative word for SEO in the past was “queries”, what is it going forward?

@ConcerningChris   Query will still exist because its how people search. But we’ll focus on markets. Markets are the universe of queries for a given topic.
@bloomreachinc   “markets”. We like that. They’re relevant to what the customer wants and organized in the way they think.

@OldhamJared   “Traffic” holistic marketing increases targeted traffic, which leads to growth and conversions.

@BruceClayInc   “Compelling.” At #SMX Advanced, @MattCutts instructed users, above all else, make something COMPELLING. http://bit.ly/1gtJUH7
@bloomreachinc   “Compelling” is a strong choice. It counts on intent matching content.
@BruceClayInc   Exactly @bloomreachinc. Tailor your content to benefit the user and you will match searcher intent.

@MattNeSmith   Customer. Rather than worry about KWs, figure out what the customer wants and cater to them, not search volume.

@lyena   Query is changing meaning. It is keywords typed in desktop browser, words spoken to Siri, Google Now – bc you might need it.

@RHoberg   I still think it all boils down to “queries.” As marketers we need to understand how users are searching for our products.

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