In this series, we talk with SEO decision-makers about industry trends, lesser-known opportunities, and emerging technologies that you should have on your radar.
We recently heard from the CEO of the Enterprise Crawler about the greatest analytics challenges facing SEO professionals today.
The CMO at the Conversational Intelligence space gave us a sneak peek at how AI is changing the game in call tracking and what this might mean for marketing strategies this year.
And the owner of this local SEO agency shared some excellent tips for building careers in SEO, as well as local trends we need to keep an eye on going into 2022.
In this Q&A, Gandhi shares tips and advice for SEO decision-makers on the least-used SERP features you can target, how to break free from “content clutter,” incorporate content dining concepts, and what he learned in building your SEO tool’s brand. (SEO).
[Related:] Build your content program for consistency →
3 Top SERP Features for Increased Visibility
Miranda Miller: “Talk to us about SERP features. What are some of the lesser-used opportunities that you think businesses should take advantage of/improve better?”
Mitul Gandhi: “Most of us think of SERP features as the dozens of features we encounter day in and day out — news, photos, local listings, and so on.
In fact, when we look across our dataset of more than 330 million keywords globally, our team has identified more than 1,200 Different SERP Features and Styles!
There’s a reason why Google is so aggressively pursuing a richer SERP – what end users want and respond to based on their search intent.
In our data, we have identified the following as the top three SERP features and non-pending opportunities:
- Focus on winning the answer box (featured snippet) for brand terms.
- Ensure that Google Business Profiles is optimized for local listings.
- Review images to ensure they are indexable in Google Image Search.
Typically, being included in the first three listings containing any of the above SERP features can lead to inclusion in the SERP feature included in Google results, providing up to 20x more impressions.
There is an overwhelming amount of insight present in the three above features alone to make them worthwhile focusing on.”
Freedom from “content clutter”
Miranda Miller: “I’ve seen seoClarity talk about ‘content clutter’ in the past. What does that look like and how can marketing organizations break free from it?”
Mitul Gandhi: “There is a lot written and talked about when it comes to content marketing. Everyone talks about creating ‘quality’ content but no one really defines what it is.
This has led to something we call “content clutter”.
It’s a situation where companies jump in to do content marketing but equals that simply to write lots and lots of content, and see what sticks.
What’s wrong with this approach, you ask?
It is simply an incredible waste of valuable time, talent, and money to produce content that no one wants to read.
On a large scale, anything may seem to be highly successful, but it is rarely sustainable.
We see intelligent content marketing based on a deeper understanding of the searcher’s intent and focused on solving a core need.
This takes time, research and a deep understanding of the markets – areas in which most companies struggle to invest.
Advancements in artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) have allowed us to help peel back the layers of what “quality” content means and guide writers to write their best by distillation everything known on a topic and highlight key facts, entities, and points of reference.
[Learn More:] Deepen your knowledge of your target SaaS audience →
Can brands imitate eating qualities in content?
Miranda Miller: “What tips do you have for marketing and SEO leaders looking to incorporate EAT principles into content creation at scale?”
Mitul Gandhi: “We need to be mindful of what EAT really is.
Google spokespeople have been quite clear that it is not a ranking factor.
Sometimes they were quite specific, saying, for example, that simply adding an expert copywriter to your content wouldn’t affect your ranking.
EAT (Experience, Authority, Trustworthiness) are actually concepts taught to Google’s Search Quality Evaluators who evaluate a sample of search results to assess how well Google’s algorithms are achieving Google’s goals for its users.
So, the reality is that while Google doesn’t (and probably can’t) rank pages on how much they eat, pages that represent those ideals are what they hope the actual factors in their algorithms will end up ranking for.
How do we apply that?
We built our platform around the three core areas that we know an act Impact on SEO performance: usability, relevance, and authority.
You might say that URA is what we eat. The difference is that we can define aspects of the URA in ways that are actually useful and actionable for SEO.
Here’s what we offer on our platform and teach our clients to prioritize:
- Ease of use: Provide the best possible user experience for both humans and search engines by implementing best practices for on-page technical SEO health.
- Authority: Attract links from sources that Google and users trust and build relevant internal links within your site.
Our years of experience and testing with thousands of corporate sites has shown that focusing on those areas produces the kinds of sites Google looks for in an EAT assessment.”
[Recommended Read:] Craft relevant content for program brand users→
Chart your course in SEO leadership
Miranda Miller: “If you could go back in time and share two to three pieces of advice to help an early-career Mitul avoid pitfalls and pave the way to leadership in SEO, what would they be?”
Mitul Gandhi: “My company’s success has been driven by our obsessive focus on helping customers solve challenges and investing in the best technology and customer success team to help them do just that.
Our journey as a corporate platform has not been without its ups and downs. There were times when we questioned whether our methodical, focused approach was the right one.
And at times, we were jealous of competitors spending millions on great sales and marketing teams while we focused on the next improvement in our offering.
My advice to myself early in my career is to simply stay the course and believe in an obsessive focus on clients and their challenges.
Over 90% of our new customers each year find us rather than trying to sell them – a testament to this approach.”
- What is a SERP: A visual guide to Google search results and features
- Amazing facts about EAT & SEO
- Enterprise SEO Guide: Strategies, Tools, and More
Featured image: Courtesy of Mitul Gandhi/seoClarity