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Inbound Marketing Blog

Everything Required for SEO You Learned in 5th Grade English - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, the understanding and reasoning behind unique context and intent was discussed. Through some feedback, it became apparent that the most intriguing parts of the article happened closer to the end where I started to hint at the applied use of this theory. I thought there would no better way to help others than to show an example of this taking place. So for this part of the series, we will breakdown Google's site structure for its own product – the Nexus.


The Walkthrough Using The Context + Intent Theory

Instead of jumping right into the actual implementation, it is a good exercise to brainstorm and then validate ourselves later. To start, we pick the item that we're going to market. It just so happens that I have been looking at tablets, so we will pick a tablet to market. Now we would have to develop the list of intenton-based words which fit the item, the audience, and the steps in the buying funnel. Just a few words that show intent come quickly to mind are:

  • learn
  • research
  • compare
  • buy
  • purchase

There are many versions of the buying funnel, but most digital marketers will start with a streamlined 3 stage funnel. Those 3 stages upon which we will initially focus are awareness, consideration, and purchase. These will also be the stages which we will see in our breakdown example of the tablet.

Pairing our "intent" words with the item, and aligning that with the buying funnel, will provide us with three amazing things for our site. The first one is the individual pages which are needed to satisfy the unique pairs. The second one is the context and actions upon which each of those pages will be focused. The last thing it provides for us is the linking structure of the pages. What I start to develop is a page-to-intent grouping like the table below:

Buying Funnel Step Context + Intent Pair Site Page
Awareness tablet + learn Learn About [this] Tablet
Consideration tablet + research
tablet + compare
Research & Compare [this] Tablet vs Others
Purchase tablet + buy
tablet + purchase
Buy [this] Tablet

If we did not have an example to jump right into, we would validate our context groups with search volume analysis and then start to develop the content around these pages. While doing that, we be making sure our context and intent for each page stays focused so that we don't have multiple pages serving the same context+intent pair at the same funnel position.

Example Product Breakdown and Litmus Test

The Awareness Funnel Stage

According to our brainstorming, the first tablet page we arrive at would be the learn [this] tablet page. It should be focused at the top of the funnel, building awareness for the tablet.

So how do you think we did? To me it would appear that we are not that far off. First we notice that there are actually two tablets. So part of the awareness step is to let us know, and select, what specific tablet we want to pick for our next step. In the image above, we accented the key words. Notice how many times we see tablet(s) and the brand name. Next notice how the copy focuses on the actions bring, put, and give. Combining those words, Google is "bringing to" and "putting in front of" us, their tablets. Why would they do this? Obviously so we buy them. The final thing we see is the intent used in the call to action buttons. Google is using ‘explore’ to point us to the next funnel stage which is where the visitor would probably learn more details about the tablet version selected.

The Consideration Funnel Stage

While we follow the “explore” button, remember that our prediction for this page is that it is focused on researching and comparing tablets.

Similar to the explore page, we have a consistent intent and almost the same count of occurrences for the item and brand! Analyzing the content, we see they are giving us details about the item and also the price. Do you remember seeing a price on the first page? No, and that is not because they forgot it. The purpose of this page, and stage of the funnel, is to give us all the details which will influence our consideration for purchasing this item. If we could actually fit the entire page in our screenshot above, we would also see five sections that each describe the tablet in more detail. This detailed information is exactly what the visitor would need during the research step to help with further consideration of purchase.

So you may be wondering about the comparison intent we thought about. Interestingly, I actually feel they are doing that, but by relying on what they deem as common tablet-shopper knowledge. We all typically know what an iPad costs, and we also know that it has an amazing Retina Display (we know this because Apple’s model is to have one price, and due to it’s brand recognition, it hits every media outlet on the planet when they introduce a new product). On Google’s Nexus page we see a lot of mentions of it’s cost in relation to Apple's product. We also see that it has a super HD display, which has a higher resolution than an iPad. Once again we see the buttons’ intent is the buy intent, which will take us to the final funnel stage.

The Purchase Funnel Stage

Finally we step through to the buy stage to find ourselves in the Google Play Store, which is allowing us to "add to cart." Interestingly, this step is on a different site, The Google Play Store, and also repeats some of the consideration stage’s content. It is only repeating a brief part of that content, however, and also includes buttons back to the consideration page. I have to imagine we see the repetitive consideration content because The Play Store has its own buying funnel and filtering steps

Final Thoughts

Some final things which are worth noting is how true and consistent Google is sticking to the principles of single page intent. One of the big reasons that I predict this to be the future of SEO is because it is less confusing for the robots and, more importantly, offers a better experience for visitors. To further explain that, when we are on the awareness stage, there is no reference to the consideration or purchase stages. Conversely, when we are on the consideration stage, there is no reference to the awareness stage. The forward linking of the pages follows the buying funnel. This linking of the pages creates the page's hierarchical position in the sitemap. In our example page set, Google also mimics the page hierarchy in the url structure; thus giving the current page’s context more definition by combining the parent pages context.

It would seem that our breakdown for a product’s pages from the “king of search” is staying true to the context + intent theory being a winning SEO approach. We hope this helps you in your online marketing efforts and gives you a shoulder to lean on if you have further needs.

A huge thanks to my fellow Mindscape colleagues for the continual steps we take everyday to set the curve, push the envelope, and produce results which validate the creation of great articles like these.

Topics: Marketing, Odds and Ends, Strategy

MINDSCAPE

Written by MINDSCAPE

We work with companies and organizations who want to get the most out of their digital marketing: more leads, more sales, more profit. Our success is measured by the hundreds of millions of dollars we help our clients generate each year.

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