Entities, Schemas, AMP, FAQs, and Voice Search
Milestone helps companies organize and amplify their digital information to reach the right audiences. They do this with the Milestone Presence Platform, an advanced martech SaaS platform that allows companies to optimize and monitor their site, user experience, and results. The Milestone Presence Platform is powered by artificial intelligence as it uses machine learning to recommend structured data types and properties based on the content and context of each customer.
Entity-Based SEO Is the Dominant Trend in Organic Marketing
What’s an entity? It’s a person, place, or thing given meaning and context by facts. The dominant trend in organic digital media is entity-based SEO driven by Google and the release of the key algorithm updates BERT and RankBrain, which improve Google’s ability to understand the intent of any query and match content to it from its knowledgebase. Milestone understands that digital journeys are complex and dynamic as consumers use multiple elements of owned and paid content to find, evaluate, and select a company to do business with. The base of owned content is a company’s website but also includes local, mobile versions, apps, social home pages for Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, Quora, Reddit, Slideshare, and review sites, like G2 Crowd and Trust Radius. These all become additional home pages for each business. Google crawls the whole internet to understand and catalog all of this content as entities or facts in its knowledgebase and uses a measure of authority and popularity to decide which content best meets a query’s needs, device, and context. Getting entity-based SEO right matters for businesses because Google is involved in 72%+ of digital customer journeys, according to Pardot. So, Google is the point of entry or reentry of the majority of visitors. Google is the home page of all your home pages, and you want to saturate the SERPs with your content.
Schemas Are the Vocabulary of Entities
Structured data and error-free advanced schemas help brands saturate the search results pages to control the message and influence the customer journey Entities can be defined by adding structured data to the markup code of the page to help Google or any search crawler better understand the meaning and context of the content on the site. This structured data is defined in schema from a multi-company project hosted at schema.org. The Milestone Presence Platform and Schema Manager product enable customers to wrap content in schema and increase exposure and consumption and exposure on the Google search engine results pages or SERPs. The schema code can add 500 to 1000 lines of code to each page, and without a tool to build and monitor the schema, errors can occur. Even small errors will usually wipe out the gains of using the schema. Milestone’s system has perfected deploying and maintaining error-free advanced schemas for more than 10,000 sites, making it the most successful schema provider in the world. Milestone Research has found sites that use schemas saw a 31% traffic lift and 121% better non-brand traffic share of organic traffic than sites that do not use schemas.
All Searches Are Questions, All Search Results Are Answers
Brands need to be in the right place with the right answer to best maintain influence and control of the customer journey. FAQs fit well with entity-based SEO as they help to define answer-entities for query-entities. Milestone Research found that FAQs have the highest aggregate CTR of any SERP type at 87% vs. a text-only SERP CTR of 41%. As content it both answers questions and engages traffic. That is why the Milestone Presence Platform features FAQ Manager. This product allows customers to aggregate the relevant questions, answer and store them in one place, and distribute those questions to the places where customers are looking for answers: search engines, local listings, customer sites, and voice assistants. The Milestone FAQ Manager also lets you convert questions and answers into “skills” and “answers” on voice platforms.
Speed, Experience, Core Vitals, and AMP
Speed and core vitals should be a top focus for brands heading into 2021. Responsiveness drives customer experience, and Google has formalized this idea in the search results by rewarding sites where pages load fast and are stable in a new metric called Core Vitals. Google has said it will be a major ranking factor in 2021.
One recipe for improved Core Vitals is AMP. While many in the industry have incorrectly cooled on using AMP, Milestone Research studied AMP and sees it correlates to both increased page load speed of 1.7 seconds and 70% better content stability. That makes it a
very useful path to higher Core Vital scores, yet AMP is being used by fewer than 5% of sites across industries. Sites that use AMP have higher organic visibility, traffic, lower bounce rates, and more pageviews per visit for visitors that arrive on AMP pages. Milestone Research found that search traffic on pages that used AMP increased 23% and revenue
In addition to AMP, Milestone researched how to increase speed and improve content stability by an average of 50% using 9 separate techniques and is rolling out its Core Vitals solution to the market in Q4 2020.
Contact Milestone to learn more at [email protected] or 408-200-2211