How to Build Your Brand into a Knowledge Centre

How to Build Your Brand into a Knowledge Centre

Retaining relevancy and remaining useful are two key requirements for brands to achieve when operating in a disruptive digital landscape where there is a need to earn the attention of existing customers and prospects.

For brands to  provide a product or service that’s truly unique and remarkable, the answer to this question is a lot closer to home. Turn your brand into a Knowledge Centre

Searchmetrics, a technology provider for enterprise SEO and content marketing analysis, have released their 2015 ranking factors, highlighting the key considerations to impact a brands search and content marketing strategies. Click here for your copy

This post will highlight some of the key findings from the report that brands can use to help steer their own digital strategy.

So what is a knowledge centre?

It’s about your whole organisation buying into this philosophy, focusing on turning the brand into a “go-to destination for information, content and advice built as an oasis of trusted, authoritative content that existing customers and prospects would be delighted by”

We have seen a steady growth in brands embracing this vision, none more so than National Geographic and its innovative use of Instagram – working and collaborating with its followers, journalists and photographers to promote great content and using their global platform to its full potential as a trusted and authoritative destination.

Searchmetrics Report 2015

Here are some of the key findings of the 2015 Searchmetrics report and what brands should consider to help support implementing a vision of becoming a Digital Knowledge Centre.

The key themes from the 2015 Searchmetrics report in supporting your digital brand are around content, engagement and mobile fast becoming the go-to channel. I have focused on some of the key elements and what this means for brands to take insights and apply these recommendations for your brand from the Searchmetrics report:

1) Existence of Description and Header (H1) tag

The report found that meta descriptions were found in all of the URLs analysed. This helps optimize the search engine results page and provides clear signposting on the content of the page to help drive click through. There has been an increase in pages including an H1 tag compared to the previous year.

What this means for Brands

Audit your pages to ensure you have populated meta descriptions for every page of your site and that it’s tailored to the content of the page with a call to action. Find which of your pages include/do not include header tags and descriptions and look to optimise these on page sections related to the content of the page.

 

2) Keyword in Domain

There has been a decline in the number of websites achieving top 30 rankings with the keyword within their domain name, only 6% of exact match keyword domain are within the top 30 rankings, down 3% from 2014.

What this means for Brands

Brands should not be concerned in having to bid for exact match domains should they want to achieve high rankings for a specific search term or phrase. Rather, they should look to focus on building out their content opportunities within the sector they operate and measure how their brand name becomes associated with such content groups.

Suggested metrics to measure and monitor this performance is the Moz Site Explorer in assessing your domain authority as well as completing more extensive keyword research to accelerate content areas for your audience

 

3) Search volume of domain name 

There has been a rapid growth in the search volume attributed to searching for domain names, thus the “stronger” the domain name, the more recognized they are to rank of the first page of Google.

What this means for brands

The majority of the URLs that were analysed within this report are part of successful domains that are generating large volumes of organic search through multiple landing pages.

Building your domain authority around you brand should be central to help deliver more search results for non-brand searches and be associated to the brand. Brands should consider building out their content marketing efforts to drive content hubs and drive optimization for these content areas through search

 

 4) Ratio of homepages

There has been a downward trend in homepages ranking in the 1st position than in 2014. All top 30  results decreased in this regard, the top position decreased the least. Conversely, there has been a rapid growth in landing and internal pages gaining better search ranking visibility.

What this means for Brands

With the recent focus by brands to invest in content marketing and the strategy to develop content hubs and evergreen content to service search demand, this is paying dividends for brands to identify themselves as knowledge centres in maximising and serving best user experience to direct users to the these most relevant content pages

 

5) Number of images 

There has been an increase in images found within the landing pages analysed which rank in the top 30 search results

What this means for Brands

Provides an opportunity to utilise your library of images within your organization to make use across your site and help to add value and points of difference to your page content. Analyse the content you have already created and look to create galleries of images if it’s relevant to the content

 

6) Video Integration 

There has been a decrease in the number of websites ranking with integrated videos on the page of their site compared to the previous year. However 8 out of 10 videos in the top US search engine ranking positions are from YouTube

What this means for brands

YouTube continues to be the channel of choice for your video strategy and is an opportunity for brands to re-purpose their content for video to help drive time on site and reduce bounce rate.

It’s also a good tactic to consider in driving engagement for your brand through social sharing. Ensure you understand your metrics as to the channels used of choice and then understand how video could be consumed by the more popular channels e.g. mobile v Desktop – helps to increase time on site

 

7) Click through rate (CTR)

CTR provides a  measurement on what % of users click on a certain result in each position in the SERPS. CTR averages for the top rankings within the findings emphasise the point that the higher the search result, the more they are clicked on.

What this means for brands

Focus on providing the best user experience for all your landing pages to maximize the opportunity to enhance your CTR. According to Searchmetrics “landing pages with good SERP snippets that have an above average CTR can expect higher rankings”.

 

8) Facebook/Twitter Total 

The number of likes and shares increased across the pages analysed within the search results positions. Webpages at position 1 have twice as many Facebook signals than pages ranking second. For twitter, the number of tweets and retweets on websites that rank in the top 30 showed a high, slightly decreasing correlation compared to last year.

What this means for brands

Ensure you are integrating your social media strategy and share buttons across desktop and mobile web to drive user engagement of content as well as channels to help amplify your content to social channels. This also provides an opportunity to associate your content with new audiences engaging with your content through social

 

9) Mobile

The percentage of mobile traffic continues to increase. Google were recently quoted as saying that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. Due to this, Google launched a mobile update earlier in 2015 assigning the “mobile friendly” tag to sites that had optimized their experience for mobile

What this means for brands

Start to measuring how effective you are engaging and driving reach through your mobile channel and audit gaps and opportunities in how to engage with your audience or how this channel delivers what objectives to your digital strategy.

Focusing on your analytics to provide you with some quantitative insights into how users interact with your brand via mobile. I wrote a blog post on creating a mobile strategy here with some ideas on insights that you can be collecting.

 

Conclusion

There are three key requirements brands should be considering to help underpin a Knowledge centre vision, and these are intrinsic in incorporating within the digital marketing mix, these are:

  • Authority – Is your search strategy delivering your brands voice of authority? Are you informing and delighting your audience by telling a great brand narrative through the content you’re delivering and that is found through search?
  • OVP – Do you have an online value proposition at the heart of your digital strategy? Take the time to analyse your competitors as well as benchmark your search proposition against other brands operating in different sectors to understand how they have differentiated themselves from their competitors
  • Are you building a narrative – Fine tune your digital narrative that can be communicated through your online content. Engage in conversations through social media channels with your audience and reach out and build direct relationships with your customers and audience giving your brand a personality and a human element to your proposition and online reputation.

 

Brands should consider auditing opportunities through keyword research and engaging with their audience as well as auditing opportunities within their organisations to identify content hubs

Although social signals are not impacting search rankings, they are providing a channel to help drive social sharing of content by users.

Brands should consider monitoring social engagement of the content that is being created to understand better what social channels as well as the “type of content” resonate better with their audiences so to help fine tune where budgets need to be invested.

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