In 2014, MoZ published the results of their CTR studies and identified that on average, 71.33% of searches resulted in a page one organic click. Page two and three only received 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first five results accounted for 67.60% of all the clicks and the rest of the results accounted for only 3.73%.
In May 2018, Advanced Web Ranking organic CTR research revealed that the first Google position took 30% of CTR for non-branded keyword intent, with the second position at 15% and the third at 10%. Fast-forward to June 2019, Jumpshot found that 50.33% of searches on google resulted in zero clicks to other content.
Over a seven-year span, that's a drastic change to the digital landscape. Let’s turn the clocks back by another decade. Much of what was part of SEO strategy back then is penalized by Google today. The Google ecosystem is in a state of constant evolution and the competition is only getting tougher. The reality today is that marketers need to be able to do more with a lot less. This poses a rather critical question, “Am I ranking for the right set of keywords? What does my ROI from SEO look like?”.
Identifying the right keyword strategy to achieve the ideal positioning on the Google scale
There are a host of factors that one needs to consider while formulating an effective SEO strategy. Four of the most influential being page authority, content quality, domain authority and brand signals. Let’s look at these areas a little more closely.
Fact. Google doesn’t rank a page solely based on domain authority; page authority takes a much higher priority.
Page authority, the score developed by MoZ that predicts how well a page will rank on SERP, is key to picking the right balance of keywords. If all your keyword choices have current rankings with high page authority, it will take longer for you to make your way up to the first page.
Fact. Google periodically updates its algorithms to ensure that the search results they deliver create value for the searcher.
You can’t approach SEO as you did back in 2007. Stuffing your articles with the right keywords will not result in success; odds are that you will be penalized instead. What you need is quality content that is relevant to the keywords that you are focusing on. This combination is the sweet spot you want to hit.
Google doesn’t rank a page based on domain authority. But the higher a domain’s authority, the higher their credibility.
Domain authority is the score MoZ created to predict how high a website could rank on SERP. Combine that with the other factors and you have tough competition. It is equally essential to take into account the domain authority of the results that are already ranking for a search term before you decide on adding it to your set of finals.
Here is where all the work that an organization puts into building a brand pays off. If your keyword has a bunch of results from highly respected or well-known brands like YouTube, Deloitte, Accenture and such, the longer it will take for your content to be listed on page one. Google also takes into account what is called brand signals and it’s a factor that has great significance.
Apart from all these critical elements of building your SEO optimization strategy, here is another question you can never ask yourself enough.
What is the intent behind the search?
What makes an individual pick up their phone or any other electronic device and search? That’s the big question. Your audience can be anywhere in their journey and it’s important to consider various stages of their decision-making process to consider the following questions:
Are they ...
… specifically, looking for a brand they know and trust?
… searching and gathering information?
… making comparisons to arrive at a decision?
… ready to complete a transaction?
Looking at these various opportunities you have at acquisition, does your keyword list cover the entire gamut? Can you break your list down into navigational, informational, investigational and transactional keywords?
If you were to take another look at your strategy right now, how many of these boxes do you think you’ll be able to tick? Before we go, if you have been considering organizing a new approach, here is an action plan your SEO and content marketing team can try.
- Take all the non-branded keywords you have and break them down into smaller lists of informational, investigational and transactional keywords. Make sure you have a minimum of 30 keywords in every category.
- For each keyword, assess the first page results. List out all the links with their page authority, domain authority, content quality and highlight any brands that show up.
- To start with, select 10 low competition keywords from each category and build a content strategy around it.
- Work your way through this list while simultaneously working on expanding your list regularly.
But don’t stop there. Dig into any data you can obtain from your tech stack and managed services portfolio for customer behaviour and product/service usage data. One thing that we, at Appnovation Managed Services, do is to analyze our client accounts regularly to identify any patterns that we can see in customer behaviour that can help them achieve their goals.