I wanna get on the good foot; Monday’s daily brief
Plus, how to plan content that actually ranks and Google Podcasts’ new requirements.
Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, let’s start the week off on the right foot.
The morning often sets the tone for the entire day, and your Monday can really frame your whole week. To that end, the team here at Third Door Media wanted to share some tips on how we start our days to give us the best shot at success; we’ve got some diverse approaches so there should be something here for every kind of professional:
- “Don’t dive right into work. Have coffee with friends and set the tone for the week with intention.” – Carolyn Lyden, director of search content
- “It starts Sunday with a review and recap where I re-read pretty much all my notes from various key meetings and start to create my weekly master plan. That plan is a single sheet of paper. After I get it all down, I move to my calendar and start to block out times for each key item or follow up. My mantra is simple: if it isn’t on my calendar, it’s not likely to happen.” – Marc Sirkin, EVP of product and technology
- “I get my coffee, then I read my email newsletters — NYT and industry newsletters — If I am super organized that day, I write down up to six things (but no more) I want to focus on that day so I don’t let my inbox rule my time.” – Kathy Bushman, director of events content
- “Morning meditation — I like the Insights Timer app. There are so many apps out there now that make it really easy to get started. Meditation is not hard. In fact, it’s really about taking a small break from effort altogether. I find it can be really centering to start the day by clearing your mind and just existing in the present moment, even if it’s just for five minutes.” – Henry Powderly, VP of content
- “I check email, go through feeds before I am fully even up. I don’t have breakfast, I don’t read the paper. I just dive into catching up from what I missed from the previous night. Need any more quotes?” – Barry Schwartz, SEO news editing machine
And me, well, I start every day with a leisurely stroll with my dogs and my partner. I brew my coffee in advance so that I can take it with me, and I just try to focus on listening to the neighborhood, to my partner and to my dogs. I try to find some grounding there and carry that with me into the work that lies ahead.
How to plan SEO content that actually ranks
In her hit session at SMX Create, Hubspot’s Head of English SEO, Aja Frost went over her proven framework for planning SEO content. Content has been king for a while now, but just because you wrote something doesn’t mean it’ll drive qualified traffic to your site.
The key is to have a blueprint before you get started. Here are three steps to planning content that actually shows up in search results:
- Identify measurable metrics for your content goals. You won’t know what’s performed well (and what needs more work) unless you set a rubric for success. Aja’s formula for determining traffic goals is demand goals ÷ historical (expected) conversion rates = traffic goals.
- Perform your keyword research based on personas. “When I talk to advanced SEOs, this is often a step they skip,” said Frost. But she implores SEOs of all skill levels not to forego this phase. “The more deeply you understand your personas and the more detailed your insights, the more comprehensive and accurate your list of seed keywords will be.”
- Build a content calendar. You can also group keywords by theme (as opposed to persona) and sum up how much search volume you’re targeting for each theme.
90% of content on the web gets no traffic from Google, according to 2020 data from Tim Soulo of Ahrefs. The key to effective content that actually drives traffic and conversions is planning.
There are new requirements to appear in Google Podcasts recommendations
Beginning on September 21, Google will enforce new requirements for podcasts to show in recommendations on the Google Podcasts platform. The requirements are as follows:
- A valid, crawlable image: This image must be accessible to Google (not blocked to Google’s crawler or require a login).
- A show description: Include a user-friendly show description that accurately describes the show.
- A valid owner email address: This email address is used to verify show ownership. You must have access to email sent to this address.
- A link to a homepage for the show: Linking your podcast to a homepage will help the discovery and presentation of your podcast on Google surfaces.
- The podcast author’s name: A name to show in Google Podcasts as the author of the podcast. This does not need to be the same as the owner.
Podcasts that do not provide the required information can still appear in Google and Google Podcasts search results and users can still subscribe to them, they just won’t be eligible to be featured as a recommendation. Google Podcast recommendations provide greater visibility and can help podcasts attract more listeners, so ensure that you’re following the new requirements so that your podcasts are eligible for these free, highly visible placements.
On the hunt for something new in 2021? Here are the latest career opportunities in search
Senior SEO Analyst @ Uproer (Minneapolis, MN)
- Salary: $50k-60k/yr + commission
- Develop strategies and tactical roadmaps that prioritize SEO opportunities given each client’s unique situation
- Educate clients in areas where they can positively impact organic search performance or take certain responsibilities in-house
Writer/Editor @ DELVE (Boulder, CO, remote)
- Salary: $75k-85k/yr
- Conduct expert interviews and review technical materials to inform writing narratives
- Work directly with internal teams on all assets related to content creation
SEM Manager @ Bodhi (Fairfield, IA, remote)
- Salary: $50k- $85k/yr
- Manage a team of 2-3 responsible for the planning, budgeting, strategic development, and implementation of search marketing campaigns for all clients
- Lead the development and ongoing management of our search marketing team by sharing knowledge, coordinating training, and refining skill sets
Growth Marketing Manager @ Credly (USA, remote)
- Salary: $90k- $100k/yr
- Develop and implement targeted, multi-touch, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns that consistently achieve sales and pipeline goals.
- Collaborate across sales and marketing as well as with integration and reseller partners to identify target accounts and define target personas.
Start your week off with a good, hearty chuckle
#SEOchat, but promoted like an SEO article. That Mordy Oberstein is a clever one. This week’s #SEOchat will revolve around content measurement and it’ll be hosted by Azeem Digital; join in the discussion on Thursday at 1pm ET.
WHAT HAT BACKLINKS. I simply couldn’t get over this graphic from an SEO services listing on Fiverr. I’m not linking the actual listing because I don’t recommend it.
“Do you guys have an incognito mode?” I bet marketers would totally find a way to use this garbage data.
Is it ethical for companies to cut pay for remote employees that move to cheaper areas?
Facebook, Twitter and Google are among the companies that now have policies to reduce pay for remote employees that move to less expensive areas, and a lot of the decisions made by these companies are echoed throughout the industry. While location often dictates pay expectations for workers that commute to expensive metropolitan areas, is the same work somehow less valuable if you’ve left one of those metros?
“Screenshots of Google’s internal salary calculator seen by Reuters show that an employee living in Stamford, Connecticut – an hour from New York City by train – would be paid 15% less if she worked from home, while a colleague from the same office living in New York City would see no cut from working from home,” Danielle Kaye wrote for Reuters. “Screenshots showed 5% and 10% differences in the Seattle, Boston and San Francisco areas.”
There are glaring fallacies at play here, and not just with regard to remote workers in major cities getting to keep their full pay if they opt to WFH. Interviews with Google employees suggested pay cuts of up to 25% for employees moving from San Francisco to the nearly-as-expensive Lake Tahoe area, according to Kaye.
“What’s clear is that Google doesn’t have to do this,” Jake Rosenfeld, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, who researches pay determination, said. “Google has paid these workers at 100% of their prior wage, by definition. So it’s not like they can’t afford to pay their workers who choose to work remotely the same that they are used to receiving.”
It’s one thing to adjust pay for new employees, but it’s simply a bad look to cut the pay of employees that helped your organization weather the pandemic thus far. Smaller companies, like Zillow and Reddit, have adopted location-agnostic pay models, citing hiring, retention and diversity advantages. I’ve largely discussed this topic through the lens of workers and employers, but there are so many levels to consider: the geographical distribution of wealth, the impact on metropolitan areas, the effect on housing prices and to some extent, the political map as well.