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This blog is the first in our search intent spot check series. Over the next three weeks, we'll highlight opportunities for brands to engage a wider audience by creating content to meet their audience's search intentions.
In this post, I’ll be rating the content on three popular brands' websites to see how attractive it is to users and to search engines.
Using Fresh Egg’s search intent spot check process, I’ll be highlighting opportunities for the brands to better meet the needs of their audience. This is the first step in attracting, engaging and converting visitors and increasing revenue for these brands.
If you want to attract visitors to your site, one of the most important moments for your content is when it is seen in search results. It’s not always the top result that users click on – so wherever you are in the list, how do you ensure your brand is the one that stands out?
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. As a user, with little to go on other than a URL, page title and meta-description you have to make a snap decision about which site in the results is going to meet your needs.
So, what helps you make that decision and click through?
A deciding factor is seeing page titles, URLs and meta descriptions that fit with your intentions. Results that use words that are semantically similar to those you used to search. Ones which – at a glance - capture what you’re looking for.
Matching content to intentions is not just important for that moment of truth in search results, it is also crucial to earn a place in the search results in the first place.
Google’s algorithms work to make content that closely and holistically match a user’s search intentions appear more prominently in search results for searches that relate to those intentions.
As a brand, by creating content that meets your audience’s search intentions you can gain traction in search results and become more visible to your audience.
So, having content that matches search intentions is the key to attracting and engaging an audience. But how do we assess if a brand is doing this well?
At Fresh Egg we have a designed a simple search intent spot check that helps us judge how well a brand is meeting specific search intentions of their audience.
This helps us judge if the content is capable of convincing the user – and Google – that it is not only worthy of a place in search results but a click-through and a read too.
So, using Fresh Egg’s search intent method – how do three popular brands perform?
First up, I took a look at self-professed friendly neighbourhood video platform, Wistia to see how they would fare in our test.
To get started, I got thinking about triggers relevant to the Wistia audience and an obvious one was planning to make a video.
When you’re planning to make a video as a business, one of the first questions to answer is how long it should be.
To capture the intent around video length, I came up with the example query “best video length” and entered this into searchintent.co.uk. This graph shows the related searches that I found:
I used a site search command in Google to search the Wistia site for content that sufficiently matched the search intention behind each of the related searches from the graph.
So, how well did Wistia content match search intentions?
Wistia has done well in creating lots of super useful blog content around video length that matches the intention to understand what they best length for a video would be.
For example, they have a blog that has lots of detail and some nice graphs that answer the intent visually, using Wistia’s own data.
Wistia also make use of videos about video length (see what they’ve done there – so inception) to match search intentions around this.
However, when it came down to some of the more specific related search intent, Wistia’s content didn’t do quite so well.
For example, whilst there was content about video and social media, there wasn’t anything returned that closely matched my intention when I search for “video length limit YouTube”. The blog lacks platform specific content about video length.
So, whilst Wistia has gone some way to matching content to search intentions there is still some room for improvement.
Fresh Egg’s content rating:
I’m not head-over-heels but I’m open to a second date.
Next up, we looked at wearable tech and navigation product company, Garmin to see how well their content met user’s search intentions onsite.
I chose to focus on intentions around their wearable technology products, as it’s an area of innovation that has received a great deal of press in recent years – as has health and fitness. With these two trends in mind, the trigger event I chose to investigate was training for a marathon.
I entered the search “training for a marathon” into searchintent.co.uk to see what the related terms were and get a sense of the search intent around this topic. This graphs shows the related searches that were returned.
When I searched the Garmin site for the related searches my analysis had uncovered, such as “training for a marathon from scratch” and “training for marathon diet” I was sadly not met with any relevant content.
The results that were returned were product pages with product copy that mentioned marathon training, but didn’t actually meet my intent.
Garmin have done a good job of optimising their product copy for search and their product focused tutorial videos look interesting.
However, my intentions as a user when I searched “training for a marathon from scratch” were to get tips and advice, as opposed to product information. A marathon training guide, a blog with top tips or a video on how to get started with marathon training would be much more relevant.
Fresh Egg’s content rating:
Garmin’s content is in need of a make-over to keep my (and their audience’s) attention.
Next up, I took a look at Airbnb to see how their content stood up to our search intent test.
I took the event trigger of planning a trip to Berlin (equally could have been any other destination, but I visited the effortlessly cool home of techno earlier this year and stayed in an Airbnb, so it was top of mind).
Using the planning of (another) visit to Berlin as trigger, I entered “things to do in Berlin” to search intent. The graph below shows the related searches this uncovered.
Next I took the related searches that our analysis had uncovered and checked out whether there was content onsite to match them. My site searches uncovered that Airbnb has some strong content to attract people looking for things to do in Berlin, in the form of an accessible guide.
I was pleased to see that there was lots of juicy content in the guide that met my search intentions and inspired me to keep reading.
The fact that the content itself is authored by the hosts is particularly strong, as it helps to increase social trust in the content and make it more engaging.
A map showing the location of the attractions featured accompanies the guide – which really matches the intention of someone planning a trip well.
The guide is divided into sections on the food scene, drinks and nightlife, sightseeing, parks and nature, arts and culture, shopping, essentials and entertainments and activities. This helps to cater to a range of specific search intents of the audience.
So, when I searched the site for “Berlin nightlife” the specific section of the guide relevant to this came up – perfectly matching my intentions.
This guide concept is similar to the Discover Cornwall content hub that our team created for Sykes Cottages, which you can read about here. The hub offered users the chance to find out everything they wanted to know about Cornwall with videos, rich image and written guides to food and drink, attractions and other activities. The topics for the content were chosen based on the search intentions of people planning a trip to Cornwall. As such, it was successful in driving traffic and increasing organic visibility, delivering 23,000 visits in just over 12 months and an additional 63,000 organic impressions per month.
Airbnb are doing a sterling job of meeting search intentions for planning a trip with their guide content (which is available for a range of European cities and other destinations). However, my analysis did uncover some small gaps in the content onsite.
When I did a site search for “romantic things to do in Berlin” the things to do in Berlin guide content came up, but nothing super specific to activities for couples.
As a user, I’d probably still click through on the general guide and expect to find some suggestions for things to do as a couple, as it is sufficiently relevant to what I’m looking for. However, there is room for Airbnb to create further content laser-targeted to this specific intention.
Fresh Egg content rating:
It must be love. I’ll send you an invite to the wedding.
When creating content to draw in visitors and keep their attention, it is important to focus on substantive content that solves problems, rather than just mentioning keywords that are relevant.
If your site has content relating to all the major trigger events and intentions relevant to your audience, then you have the best chance of being visible for the right searches. This means you’re able to attract and engaging the widest possible audience.
There is still an important place for product copy (at the consideration stage of the buying cycle) but it should be linked through to from “attractive” content, as opposed to being the first thing users are confronted with in response to top-of-the-funnel searches.
Ultimately, by attracting and engaging the widest possible, relevant audience you are able to drive more conversions on your site and increase the revenue of your business.
This post is the first in a weekly series of search intent spot checks, so check back next week to see how our second round of brands measure up.
If you'd like us to conduct a free search intent spot check on your site or guide your content strategy to bring you better results - get in touch today.