July 1

The Weekly Briefing: Changing the Way We View Search Results

SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend discussed a notable change in the way people are viewing search results…
For a long time now, the F-shaped pattern has been understood as the way most web surfers view search engine results. They scan the page horizontally twice, then look down vertically – a find that was first documented through an eye-tracking study from Jakob Nielsen back in 2006. Over the last 10 years, however, it appears that trend has shifted…drastically. According to a recent eye-tracking study from ConversionXL, the average web surfer now simply looks at the first couple results. All the while, other results receive much less attention. The answer for why SERP viewing habits have evolved is likely a direct result of Google’s tweaking of the search engine results format. Today, Google is more likely to display more content at the top of SERPs, including imagery and rich snippets. Meanwhile, ConversionXL’s study affirmed that Google’s shifting of AdWords ads from the right side of SERPs to the top (above organic results) is paying off. AdWords ads in SERPs were largely ignored in their old right hand spot. However, they receive much more attention from the viewers’ eyes now – at least until the viewer realizes that they’re advertisements.

SEO Copywriter Hannah Scherrer discussed long tail keywords…
SEO go-to resource Moz recently released a very instructive guide for going after long tail keywords (Diving for Pearls: A Guide to Long Tail Keywords – Next Level). In it, MOZ’s Jo Cameron explores the different levels of achieving ranking success for these more complex terms (aka phrases like, “best bars for bachelorette parties in Minneapolis”). To figure out the keywords worth targeting, Cameron suggests using a combination of the following: Using your knowledge in the industry, using Google search suggest, examining social media, and more. Overall, she concludes that long tail phrases are more often than not, easier to rank for; not only that, they’re also a stronger indicator of the searcher’s intent.

Account Manager Chip Fox explored one of the most important questions in SEO…
According to an article from DealerOn’s Greg Gifford appearing on Search Engine Land, there’s one question businesses that want to rank better in local search results need to answer: “Why do you DESERVE to be number one?” In other words, what makes your business – and your site, by extension – so great? As SEOs, we can all attest that you can have the greatest products and services – but if your website falls flat, you don’t necessarily belong among the top ranking search engine results. The obvious step to getting there is to have unique content that makes your site reflect the awesomeness of whatever you’re offering.

Gifford suggests that agencies ask the question directly to their clients. Most say, “…Because we’re the best!” – but Gifford says take it a step further if you want a better answer: encourage clients to move beyond the fluffy, generic answers. If you’re able to get more details (in other words, you’re able to hear the actual proof that’s in the pudding), it gets that much easier. Ranking better becomes easier; creating content becomes easier, and you’re much more likely to get quality backlinks, and asking the client this key question shows that you’re serious about helping them perform better in SERPs.