Content Marketing Gets Massive Vote Of Google Confidence
by Sean Hargrave , Staff Writer, November 21, 2017
Direct traffic rules. I guess we all kind of already knew this, didn’t we? But it’s interesting to see it properly quantified in SEMrush figures discussed in Campaign today. In a list of 17 attributes a site needs to score highly in, the top four all relate to direct traffic.
The point, of course, is that this raises the stakes in brands developing a relationship with consumers that solicits direct visits. You must be memorable enough and mean enough to someone that they don’t go Googling around for inspiration, but rather come straight to you. Ironically, the best way to be good in SEO terms is to not rely on people coming to you through those SEO efforts. Or, at least, maybe coming to you previously through those efforts but then going direct for future visits.
Those top four attributes are direct traffic, time onsite, pages per visit and bounce rate. In other words, getting them in is one thing, but getting them to stay and have a look around then becomes the priority. Leagues position five to eight, inclusive, then move us to to links through third-party sites, underscoring that the big four — the top priorities for Google — are all about direct traffic.
The interesting part here is the prominence that is being given to compelling content. In fact, the research from SEMrush suggests that the sites that do best in SEO have 45% more content than those that feature a set of search results lower down. Furthermore, the top-performing brands in SEO achieve an average of three pages being consumed per visit.
While this kind of tells us what most marketing folk probably already know, the interesting part for me is the prominence and the quantifiable difference that decent content makes to a user’s experience, and consequently, how it is viewed by Google.
It reminds me a little of the “secrets” of meditation being that the world — what we’ve been looking for, the key to happiness and enlightenment — isn’t “out there” but rather within us all. Brands have the secret to further SEO success right under their nose, and developing content that keeps people on a site for longer, opening more pages is the key.
As for getting people on to the site in the first place, obviously SEO plays a role — but ultimately brand marketers have to consider attributing more credit to channels that don’t rely on direct clicks but might help a person remember a brand name’s web address in the future. Television and radio could well play a greater role than previously thought — and something like a newsletter might not get a direct click on the day it is sent out, but could do a lot to help a customer keep a brand fresh in their mind for a direct visit.
Brand awareness and brand favourability may sound like old terms, and only quantifiable through research studies and actually talking to people, rather than relying on web surveys. However, they just got a massive shot in the arm here, as has content marketing.