After being inconvenienced by a nor'easter early in the week, we held our Q1 HUG meetup for 2018 on March 15th. We had the pleasure of having Jeffrey Vocell, senior manager of product marketing at HubSpot, talk to us about how SEO has changed over the years and how to adapt your strategy for success.
Here are some highlights from his presentation:
Lots has changed since 2011, which can be considered "the golden age of content." Back then, there was less competition and you could rely heavily on on page SEO and link building to rank for keywords.
Google Hummingbird and Rankbrain have changed the way search results are served. Google now takes into account user intent when delivering search results.
To keep up with these changes, we need to think about SEO as topics rather than keywords. As our content grows around a topic, we can create a "sphere of influence" around that topic.
This can be done by creating pillar content and cluster content, and linking between them.
There are some great ways to go about this, including HubSpot's content strategy tool, which organizes your current topics for you. You can also use a spread sheet to figure out the best way to go.
You can audit your existing traffic using Google's Search Console to help you identify gaps and opportunities for potential search topics.
Jeffrey also went into how his team researched ways to capture the featured snippet on the search engine results page, and how to go about link building without relying on cold emails.