I was talking to a freelance writer the other day…
She was debating a freelance opportunity where she’d have a stable amount of ongoing work.
But, she’d need to research topic ideas, conduct the keyphrase research, and create at least two well-researched 2,500-word guides—every week. Plus, ideally, one or two shorter blog posts.
That’s a lot of content for one person to create. Every. Single. Week.
Her client-to-be tempted her by sharing how she’d “own” the process and could create what would drive the most Google traffic.
He was all about the Google traffic. In the prospect’s mind, more content (especially long-form content) published more often was the key to traffic-driving success.
Although he’s not correct, I understand why he’d feel that way.
On the surface, it makes sense that scads of content would always gain increased Google traffic.
But, there’s something the prospect didn’t factor into his foolproof “more content is automatically better” equation.
And that’s it’s not MORE content that drives traffic. It’s an increase in QUALITY content that could drive more traffic.
And that one word makes a big difference.
Let’s face it, how possible is it to crank out two pillar pages plus assorted blog posts every single week?
The first couple weeks, you’d probably do okay — you’d be running on adrenaline and the novelty of it all.
But then, think about your writing quality after the novelty and adrenaline wore off. You’d constantly be researching, writing, revising, and on an endless content creation hamster wheel.
You’d be tired. And you know what happens when you get tired.
Yup. The content quality suffers. You may still be cranking out 5,000 words a week. But you’re probably not using the best words.
And that’s a problem.
(Which is what I told the writer. You could do it. But do you want to, especially considering the long-term ramifications? She decided to turn it down. I don’t blame her.)
Content doesn’t automatically make a site better unless it’s good content that drives targeted traffic.
Plus, good content may not drive scads of traffic. Some content is so niche — especially B2B content — that it may only attract a couple of hundred targeted visitors a year. That’s okay. Those readers are highly targeted.
Is content frequency a ranking factor?
Nope. There’s no percentage in publishing every day “for Google.” Google’s John Mueller reinforced that content frequency has nothing to do with traffic. It’s not a ranking factor.
Here’s the Search Engine Roundtable write-up if you want to learn more.
Plus, I talked about this a few years ago.
So, if you’ve stressed about needing a specific content frequency “for Google,” you can relax.
It’s better to focus on creating a sustainable content creation plan than cranking out a bunch of content “for Google.”
What do you think?
Have you learned that more content is better for Google? Would you take on a job where you had to research and write that much content every week? Head over to the SEO Writing Tips group and let me know!
B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements
Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.
The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:
After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.
The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).
The Struggle With Images
Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.
Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.
Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:
- How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?
Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.
More Uses Cases, Please
Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.
The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.
Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.
Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.
The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.
- 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
- Focus less on verticals
- Provide more use cases
Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.
Google Product Managers Weigh In
The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:
- It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?
Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:
- Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
- For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page
However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.
Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.
Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?
The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.
Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.
Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.
Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.
Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.
The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.
Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.
However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.
Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.
A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.
Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M
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