Thumbnail: Jason Barnard: Content Deliverability as a Game-changer in SEO

With featured snippets, videos, images, local results, and all the other rich elements, deliverability becomes more complex and more important. In this video, Jason Barnard talks about deliverability as something beyond blue links. He also shares ways you can make your content more deliverable.

What Is Deliverability and Why Is It Important for Google?

[00:00:00] Slobodan Manic: The final and third need Google has is deliverability that you have defined. So in this context, what’s deliverability? 

[00:00:12] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, deliverability, the first thing people say to me, oh, that’s just sonic speed and core web vitals and mobile friendliness. And you go, well, that’s part of it. That’s the geek tech in you that’s getting a bit obsessed about this stuff. Not you personally. Excuse me. I do apologise. That was terribly rude.

[00:00:26] Slobodan Manic: I’ll take that. That’s fine.

[00:00:29] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But deliverability is also the kind of content you’re creating. If your users, your audience, sorry, I better not make that mistake again. If your audience are looking for video, you need to produce video. If they’re looking for text, you need to produce text and audio as well. If your audience hangs out on YouTube, you want to be putting that video on YouTube and then repurposing it on your site. There’s no point in putting it on any site, if your audience are hanging beyond that site, if they’re already on YouTube. So that idea of deliverability is incredibly important for Google.

Looking at SERP Features Which Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Calls as Rich Elements

[00:00:59] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now I tend to look at Brand SERPs a lot. And look at what Rich Elements, I call them Rich Elements, as opposed to SERPs features, because it allows me more breath to call something a Rich Element. For me, anything like Rich Sitelinks under the homepage, Rich Element, because it’s richer.

[00:01:16] Slobodan Manic: That’s anything that’s not a blue link, right? 

[00:01:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly.

[00:01:20] Slobodan Manic: Okay.

[00:01:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So it gives me more freedom to be artistic about this and poetic about it, which Google doesn’t understand because it’s a machine, as I said earlier on. Twitter boxes. If you’re investing in Twitter, if you are tweeting all the time but you haven’t got Twitter boxes, you’re investing badly. If you haven’t got video boxes but you’re investing in video, you’re investing badly or you’re not getting engagement. But what Google is looking for is that area of deliverability, which is to say my user is looking for a video. If that brand is understood and it’s credible but has not got the video, they will not get the spot.

[00:01:55] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So, you then enter the horrible world, and we won’t talk about it here, but on SERP SEO and the fact that Google is delivering more solutions on the SERP. I would suggest that Google is simply doing what we all do, which is try to satisfy its users as efficiently and effectively as possible. So, obviously, it’s not good for us. But if Google didn’t do that, they wouldn’t be fulfilling their purpose as a company.

[00:02:18] Slobodan Manic: Right.

[00:02:19] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): To serve their users as best as possible. So, what we are doing is also the same thing and we would be shocked if we weren’t. So, we shouldn’t really be shocked that Google is doing the same thing.

Deliverability Is a Big Chunk of Branding Opportunity That Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Realised Years Ago

[00:02:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Now, what you’ve got to do is say, what can I leverage from that? I can create the contents that is considered by Google to be deliverable in that context. And I can brand it and I can use it as a branding opportunity, rather than complaining about the fact that I’m losing the traffic. Obviously, it doesn’t apply to everything. Obviously that’s a vast statement. And it’s saying, I don’t know where we’re at and I don’t know where we’re going with on SERP SEO, but we definitely need to accept that it’s happening and figure out a way to make the most of it.

[00:02:57] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that kind of branding opportunity, deliverability is a big chunk of this theory that I only realised a couple of years ago. I was actually sitting on a plane trying to figure out what the third pillar of my strategy would be, because I had understanding, deliverability, and I couldn’t figure it out. And it’s something I thought. It has to be deliverability. And that was literally the day before Gary Illyes explained to me how ranking works.

[00:03:21] Slobodan Manic: Right.

[00:03:22] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And basically he confirmed that this idea of Rich Elements and getting those Rich Elements and naming those Rich Elements is the future of SEO.

Adding Elements to Your SERP Other Than Blue Links That Are Going to Be Helpful and Relevant

[00:03:29] Slobodan Manic: No. This is interesting and I’m guilty of that as well. When you think deliverability and being able to deliver the content to Google, you think page speed and mobile friendliness, because that’s what we have now with the update that’s about to roll out. And a few years ago, we had the big mobile update so we know that is what Google wants. What most people don’t think about is the structure of your content, like you said, and the format, which might be even more important, the format of your content.

[00:03:55] Slobodan Manic: So, let’s say I’m looking for how to wash my car. I want to learn that. That might be best delivered with images. And then if I don’t have images of how to wash my car, how to apply wax, all that stuff, or a video, I don’t know what the best format is. So if the other websites have it and I don’t and people are expecting to see images and video, I have no chance of ranking for that search phrase. It’s as simple as that or ranking well. 

[00:04:27] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. And you need to consider that the SERP obviously contains the blue links. Frederic Dubut from Bing said they’re not going away anytime soon because it’s the foundation of the entire results page. So, what they’re doing is adding the elements that they think are going to be relevant and helpful, be it video, be it images, be it a Google My Business, or a Knowledge Panel for that matter.

[00:04:46] Slobodan Manic: Right.

Tracking Rich Elements Like Video Boxes Are Phenomenally Important to Please Your Audience Who Are a Subset of Google’s Users

[00:04:46] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if that place exists, you need to be sure that you’re on it. And if it doesn’t exist, ask yourself, does it not exist because it’s not going to be helpful to Google’s user or does it not exist because Google simply hasn’t found a good example that it can use? In which case, it’s a great opportunity. If you think there’s an obvious need for video here and there isn’t a video, make the video because the place is begging to be filled. You’ve got to use a little bit of human intelligence and imagination to do that.

[00:05:15] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And tracking those Rich Elements is phenomenally important. Everyone goes, oh, I’m ranking number two, number three. And I use SE Ranking a lot because I love the way they show these Rich Elements. You can see them really, really easily and report on them really easily. And the idea from my perspective is to stop saying to the boss or the client we’re ranking number four, because number four can be well under the fold.

[00:05:37] Slobodan Manic: That is true.

[00:05:39] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): We’ve got the video, and videos are loads more exciting than a blue link, especially if Google has got that video. It’s saying that its users are looking for video. Therefore, we’ve produced something that the user is looking for. Therefore, we’re pleasing our audience who happen to be a subset of Google’s users. And Google will then potentially recommend our videos as the best solution to its users when they ask that question. That was a good sentence.

Controlling What Google Shows About Your Brand to Your Audience

[00:06:01] Slobodan Manic: That was great. That’s going to be a great snippet for a clip from this episode as well. So, this becomes more about delivering those non blue links that you see in the page. And those are when you see it, when you think about a blue link, you want the people to click it, come to your website, complete a goal, convert, or whatever. Everything else is more brand building. It’s direct traffic. It’s organic traffic, not direct traffic, as well, but it’s more about brand building and using Google, let’s go back to business card, to build your brand. If you can control, you cannot control, but if you can affect the way Google is displaying your brand to users, you can control it, but you don’t have the final say.

[00:06:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No.

[00:06:45] Slobodan Manic: Can I say that? 

[00:06:47] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): In Kalicube Pro, it’s a tool I’ve built, and we actually have a measurement of control.

[00:06:52] Slobodan Manic: Right.

[00:06:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I can say, you’re right. You can’t control it.

[00:06:55] Slobodan Manic: You don’t have the final switch, let’s just go with it, but you can absolutely control and affect it. Yes, of course.

You don’t control it (Google) because you don’t get the last say, but you can influence it to an extent that I think most people would be very surprised about.

jason barnard (the brand serp guy)

[00:07:01] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. And the same with the Knowledge Panel, I think, we won’t talk about much that today. But the Knowledge Panel, people think, oh, just let Google get on with it. Google’s trying to understand it, fills it with what it wants. You can actually manage that to surprisingly a fine degree. And so, no, you don’t control it because you don’t get the last say, but you can influence it to an extent that I think most people would be very surprised about.

Jason Barnard on Doing Experiments and Convincing Google to Call Him The Brand SERP Guy

[00:07:24] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I do experiments all the time. If you search my name, it says The Brand SERP Guy. I think I found the word brand on my Brand SERP, my personal Brand SERP 27 times.

[00:07:34] Slobodan Manic: Wow.

[00:07:34] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Which is an astonishing number. It’s nuts. I actually get Google to repeat it to such an extent that it becomes so, so boring and repetitive. And from my point of view, to defend myself, I’m not trying to trick Google in anyway. I’m just seeing how far I can push it, what I can do, what I can’t do, and how it reacts.

[00:07:54] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And this example with that particular one is if I repeat myself absolutely everywhere with exactly the same text, does it simply repeat that text everywhere on the Brand SERP? And the answer is no. It digs down into the text and pulls it out. But that one term, The Brand SERP Guy, comes up so often that it thinks that must be incredibly important. And therefore, it represents that me as being The Brand SERP Guy, because basically I’ve convinced it that it’s so incredibly important.

[00:08:24] Slobodan Manic: You’ve done a great job at training the machine that you are The Brand SERP Guy. I’ll give you that.

[00:08:28] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Andrea Volpini from WordLift said, oh, yeah, Jason Barnard googles his CMS, which I really liked. He is obviously exaggerating and terribly charming. But when somebody says something like that, you have to go, ooh, like a school girl and blush a bit. Yeah.

[00:08:44] Slobodan Manic: Absolutely.

[00:08:44] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m blushing, literally. I’m blushing.

Explaining Google’s Logic and Recalling the Three Needs of Google: Understanding, Credibility, and Deliverability 

[00:08:47] Slobodan Manic: So, just to recap the three needs Google has, and I’ll just go through them again. It’s understanding, credibility, and deliverability. You need to provide all that to Google. I’ll just try to recap this section by saying the worst kind of SEO advice is build it and they will come. There’s nothing worse you can do for your website. If you just think about your brand, build what you want to build, say what you want to say, and don’t worry about Google’s users or your audience, because there’s a big distinction there.

[00:09:20] Slobodan Manic: So, what you need to do instead is you really need to satisfy a specific need that your potential audience has. And a subset of that audience just happens to be Google’s users. So think about the users first, eliminate the Google from the equation when you’re planning your strategy for Google. I cannot believe I said that again, but honestly, to me, that just makes sense. If you’re trying to answer to real people, Google will reward you for that. Not even reward you for that. Google will use you to reward its users. 

[00:09:52] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s a really nice way of saying it. Google’s basically making itself look good off our backs, in inverted commas, by simply recommending the best solution. And then we fulfill that. And Google looks good so people come back to Google. And if you remember, that’s Google’s logic. It’s saying, I need to send this person efficiently and effectively to the best solution. If you think about it, then that person will come back to me to search the next time. That’s Google’s logic.

[00:10:20] The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And a lot of us think, well, they’ve got this monopoly so they don’t really care. You couldn’t be more wrong. There’s no better way to lose a monopoly than to take where that principal goes. Look at your home.

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