Here are the key takeaways from HubSpot’s webinar “The New Age of SEO”.
Jeffrey Vocell, Principal Product Marketing Manager, and Matt Barby, Director of Acquisition Marketing, both at HubSpot, recently hosted a webinar dubbed “The New Age of SEO“.
In this webinar, they discussed how SEO has changed over the past few years and how you should adapt your SEO strategy to these changes.
We’ve summarized for you the key takeaways from this webinar. If you want to watch the full webinar, the video is at the bottom of this blog post.
Here’s What We Learned from “The New Age of SEO” Webinar
1. People are Changing the way They Search
People aren’t making queries the same way they did a few years ago. At first, people would input very specific keywords into Google when searching for information but now they search in a more conversational way.
Example, if someone wanted a bar to go to on a Friday evening, they would have searched with something like “Bar + Location” in the past.
Now they’ll search in a way that resembles how they would ask a person like “what’s the best bar around me?”
Google knows this and has invested a lot in natural language processing and artificial intelligence so it’s able to understand the implied meaning even without prominent keywords in search queries.
Also, Google has access to a ton of information about you like your location, device, browsing history which it factors into your search results.
The effect of this on content marketing is that now it’s different to rank for keywords by strictly focusing on optimizing for those keywords.
This is not to say optimizing for keywords is no longer important. It still is.
However, your focus should rather be on intent. Your content or website should be optimized for a certain intent rather than just keywords. This will help you avoid losing out on several ranking opportunities.
2. Shift From Keyword-based to Topic-based SEO Model
According to Barby, HubSpot’s laser focus when it comes to SEO has always been on the “core topics to create content around”.
What HubSpot does is tries to figure out all the problems audience personas may have and the ways to solve them. This gives birth to a broad range of high-level topics.
The plan is to dominate each entire topic as much as possible.
This, they achieve by creating cornerstone content which is more like a central hub or “Pillar Page“–as HubSpot calls it–for every broad topic they want to cover. On this page, you’ll find every question possible about this topic.
These questions then become subtopics of the main topic. The answers to these are then created in separate posts and which are linked to the pillar page.
Another great thing about the answer-form content HubSpot creates with this strategy is the ability to optimize them for Featured Snippets, a Google feature that allows content to be displayed directly in search results.
“Featured snippets are almost becoming an extension of content now” – Matt Barby
In the end, what HubSpot achieves with this strategy is a top-down as well as bottom-up approach in ranking on search engines.
They are able to rank for both a broad topic and its subtopics in a way that complements each other.
Below is the full webinar.