The inner workings of Google’s search engine ranking algorithms are kept so deliberately secret that it often feels like even Larry and Sergey are kept in the dark. But what everybody in the SEO world can agree on, is that a steadily updated stream of relevant content works wonders for organic rankings compared to the somewhat static content experiences most enterprise organisations end up delivering.
Providing that steady supply of content and technical updates however, can prove costly both in time and money as content has to be written and edited, webpages deployed and website caches cleared. All tasks that often get de-prioritised on a wider marketing to-do list.
Content and SEO automation
A question we’ve asked ourselves over the years and one we regularly revisit, is what if adding relevant, indexable content was quicker and easier, almost automated?
Our StoryBoards have always allowed this quick updating and addition of content through sourcing and publishing workflows, but we’ve been building in the background in preparation for changes elsewhere that would make this idea of easy optimisation more achievable.That starts with continued testing from our side.
These developments mean we’re now able to optimise our content displays to an even greater extent with faster feedback mechanisms.
How Google sees StoryStream content
As we use our own technology on our website, it gives us a readily available example for illustration.
When we put StoryStream.ai through the Search Console tools, and request scrapes after publishing new content items, we can see that Google happily reports back to us that it has read and understood the newly added content.
More importantly, we can now see this in effect on Google itself. The screenshot below shows our case studies landing page, where all case studies are added via a StoryStream Storyboard. You can see I’ve underlined ‘Porsche’ and ‘Formula E’ on the first case study:
The second screen shot below shows Google’s results:
You can see in the top position that Google has indexed the text from our Storyboard, capturing a range of key topics that are present on the page within the meta description by default.
While this is a simple example, it gives some insight into the iteration methods we use to constantly optimise content displays for our customers so that the most important and relevant keywords within their content can be easily picked up by Google.
Optimising for the challenges of modern content marketing
However, this doesn’t take into account users on slow mobile networks and older handsets and given that 98% of China’s web browsing is done on mobile handsets it’s more important than ever for SEO performance to make sure content loads quickly and correctly.
Our StoryBoards were built with mobile in mind from the beginning and increasingly so in today’s mobile first economy. Using something called CSS media queries, we can always make sure the layout of our content is setup to be responsive across all device types exactly in line with how the rest of the website adapts to different screens.
Not only does this help the user interact more with the page, which is a critical Google metric itself, but it benefits SEO rankings to an additional extent as there’s no need for a separate mobile version of StoryStream content. That lightweight approach is something that’s very important to us.
Images usually make up most of a webpage’s weight and they are something we have concentrated a lot on to ensure we serve the user the most appropriately sized images for the screen size they are viewing our StoryBoard on.
If a user is looking at a StoryBoard on mobile then we don’t want to be serving them desktop size images as this will slow the page down unnecessarily and use up their data (if they weren’t on WiFi). We are also exploring the addition of WebP image format support which is a new image format created by Google that reduces image size (without any loss of quality) by around 25%.
If you’d like to hear more about how StoryStream can support organic presence for your content, get in touch with our team today.