Woman using laptop to review search quality ratings

Search engines like Google have a tough job of trying to deliver the most useful and relevant results from all over the internet to its users. A huge part of how they establish a hierarchy for delivering those results is search quality ratings. These ratings are extremely important to the SEO and discoverability of a business’s website. We’ll discuss what search quality ratings are, why they’re important, and the metrics behind these important numbers.

What Are Search Quality Ratings

Google works with over 16,000 external search quality raters to determine the search quality of a page or website. These raters examine the quality of results for internet searches to determine if the results are relevant and/or useful for users. These quality ratings are important for Google and other search engines because they ensure they function optimally. If search engines failed to provide relevant and useful results, people would stop using them.

Why a High Page Quality Matters

On the simple side, providing a high-quality web page means you are providing users with a quality experience on your website. However, that search quality is also an important metric for how Google generates search results. Pages with high quality will be given priority in search results, while those with low or failing quality will be delisted from searches entirely. Considering that Google still provides over 83% of all internet searches, it’s a serious concern if your pages aren’t being listed. Ensuring you meet Google’s quality expectations means that your website is optimized for search engines and is discoverable.

How Google Defines Search Quality

Since it works with so many quality raters, Google provides a thorough, 176-page document explaining how search should function and what kind of results should be returned for an acceptable quality. There are certain major criteria that search quality raters consider when determining the quality of a page: purpose, content, and its EEAT.

A Page’s Purpose

First, raters consider why the page was created and what is its main job is. They want to determine whether it does this job in a way that is beneficial for those accessing the page. Some of the main beneficial functions are sharing information or content, expressing an expert perspective, providing a place for others to share points of view, selling products or services, and entertainment.

A Page’s Content

When considering search quality, Google divides a web page’s content into three groups: main content, supplementary content, and ad content. 

  • Main Content is any of the content that is central to the page accomplishing its purpose. That will be the articles or the entire article itself on a blog page. On a business page, that main content could be services with descriptions or products with images and prices. This main content is a huge component of the quality rating. 
  • Supplementary content is anything that improves or aids the user’s experience. These can include navigation aids, links to articles or other pages, or even comment or review sections. If designed well, they add to a page’s overall rating; if designed poorly, they will reduce it. 
  • Ad content is any kind of content that is sponsored. These are less typical on business and nonprofit sites, but they are still a key part of the quality rating. Even if you did not make the advertisements, their quality will affect your page’s rating if the raters find them excessive, obtrusive, deceptive, or distracting.

The EEAT Rating

Google has search quality raters who consider a page’s experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trust (EEAT) for its content and purpose. The major search engine puts special emphasis on that last one: trust. To determine the EEAT of a web page, raters need to consider the knowledge of the content’s creator(s) and the reputation of the website’s owner(s). This metric is especially important for pages that Google defines as “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. These are web pages whose purpose or content can impact a person’s or society’s health, financial stability, or safety and well-being. Google considers these pages important and has search quality raters subject them to high scrutiny. Their EEAT rating needs to be thoroughly validated to obtain a high-quality ranking.

The Research for Quality Starts with Your Website

Search quality raters can conduct some thorough research to verify a page’s EEAT. To determine your website’s reputation and expertise, raters will search through the website for pertinent information. This will include information about your business, its owners, and staff, and look for any contact information to further verify the page’s credibility. As a result, these are all important things to include on your website in an “About” and “Contact Us” page.

Quality raters will similarly research any named creators of the content. That includes reading reviews about the website or business. The rater will also research whether the business or website is recommended by experts, mentioned in news articles, or has received any awards. Again, including or linking that information on your website will help make the rating process easier and increase your business’ trustworthiness for both quality raters and prospective customers/clients.

Designing for Quality

Search quality ratings are vital to your website’s SEO, which is why you want to design a website with high-quality pages. Without suitable page purposes, quality content, and a good EEAT rating, pages can remain undiscoverable. A poor-quality rating will severely reduce a business’ discoverability since many pages on a website are designed for SEO to increase discoverability. This is especially why blogs on websites need to be well-written and accurate. Their content needs to meet quality standards, or it will begin to negatively impact the reputation and trustworthiness of a website and overall decrease its quality rating. If you’re interested in improving the quality of your web pages or designing an entirely new quality websitecontact us at Rosewood Marketing.

A man and a woman setting up various equipment for live streaming in real time

Today, live video streaming has well established itself as a dominant force in online content. As a powerful tool for engaging an audience, its popularity has led to every major social media platform providing the ability to view and produce live video content. Live streaming is an especially powerful tool for brands and businesses. It allows them to engage their audience in real time. We’ll explain some of the basics of live streaming and how your brand can use it to directly engage with its audience.

The Benefits of Live Streaming

One simple benefit of live streaming is that it’s extremely popular. it’s one of the most popular kinds of video content online with 23.7% of time spent on social media platforms dedicated to watching live streams. The other benefit is that live streaming is the best content for directly engaging with your audience. In all live streams, users can chat and react to the content in real time. In turn, the streamers can immediately respond and engage with their active viewers. This makes live streaming extremely personable compared to other kinds of content, and is why it’s also a popular choice for influencers. The result? Live streaming is one of the best ways for your brand to foster personal connections and communicate directly with its followers.

Streaming Platforms

With streaming’s immense popularity, there are many platforms to choose from. However, like any services, there are some clear leaders. 

Social Media Live Streaming 

Considering how fast they deliver and spread content, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the major social media platforms have their own live streaming services. Facebook LiveInstagram Live, and TikTok Live are all great and popular options for your brand’s live streaming. These allow you to stream directly to the audience you’ve already developed on any of those platforms. Plus, it’s easy to start right away. Streams on these platforms usually have simple production values, with streams coming directly from a mobile device.

Twitch and YouTube Live

The two other dominant streaming platforms are Twitch and YouTube Live. They are by far the most popular. Twitch users watched over 210 million hours in just the third quarter of 2022. It originally was designed for streaming video games, which is still the primary content on the platform. However, over the past years, Twitch and its streamers have diversified to now include more broad cooking and “Just Chatting” categories, the latter being by far the most popular. As a true testament to the variety, the BC Marine Mammal Rescue streamed the Vancouver Aquarium’s otter habitat for multiple years there. YouTube Live streaming is newer but has always been as diverse as YouTube’s on-demand content.

A difference for these platforms compared to social media streaming is production value. Twitch and YouTube streams tend to have more complex video and audio setups. Streams are meant to be horizontal video and rarely, if ever, come from mobile devices. Similarly, some brands and companies even just stream out pre-recorded videos or presentations. On the other hand, that complexity also means these platforms come with various tools like creating clips or countless plugins that social media lacks. Overall, these platforms are better suited for brands planning to make streaming a regular part of their content delivery strategy. 

Tips for Live Streaming

The ability to communicate and engage directly with your audience makes live streaming incredibly exciting for brands, but it can also be a little daunting. Here are some of our tips if you’re looking to start:

  • Engage your audience – The strength of streaming is the live component that allows for engagement, so be engaging. Address feedback, answer questions, laugh at jokes, etc. If people see you are engaging back, they will be more motivated to keep engaging with your brand.
  • Choose who and what to engage with – You can’t and shouldn’t engage with everything. If a stream has a large audience there will be a flood of chat messages, and you will have to be selective where you spend your time. Your audience will understand. Unfortunately, some material might be inflammatory or insulting. Ignore it and remove it. Acknowledging it could only fan the flames.
  • Announce and schedule streams – While many do regularly spend time on social media, many won’t be aware of your streams unless they stumble upon them. Announce planned live streams on your social channels so that followers are aware of when it’s going to happen. You can also provide some hints of the stream’s content, such as QA, announcements, a contest, or a giveaway. On dedicated streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, it’s more typical to have a set schedule and announce streams on other social channels.
  • Spice things up with spontaneity – Spontaneous and sudden streams can also have a charm of their own. If they attract enough audience, they keep your following regularly attentive, checking your other content to see if a live stream is happening.
  • Remember you’re live – Live streams have no edits or cuts. Be attentive to what you’re saying and how. Mistakes are fine and part of the charm but keep them innocuous.
  • Choose the right platform – It’s best to stream where you have the biggest following, especially in the case of social media. However, as already mentioned, if you’re looking to make live streams a prominent part of your brand’s content, look towards Twitch or YouTube.
  • Consider streaming on multiple platforms – You may have a substantial audience on more than one platform. Consider streaming on multiple platforms at once. Various other tools and services help with this, such as OBS. Just remember that when you are streaming on multiple platforms, you need to be attentive to engaging that audience in multiple spaces.

Let the Live Streams Flow

Now that you understand some of the benefits, and fundamentals, and have some extra tips in your toolbox, your brand is ready to go live. If you’re looking for more specific advice, need help with live streaming, or are considering making it part of your brand strategy, contact our marketing team at Rosewood Marketing. Their expertise will help you get those streams flowing.

A person holding a smart phone receiving SMS marketing

Alongside social media and email, SMS is one of the best marketing tools businesses should be using today. While SMS lacks the visuals of other marketing techniques, it leverages a powerful and wide-reaching network for immediate communication with your customers and audience. That means SMS is one of the most powerful tools for growing your business’ reach and retention. We’ll explain in more detail why your business should be sending your customers texts.

SMS is a Powerful Marketing Channel

SMS or texting is simply one of the best ways to communicate with your customers and clients. Over 5 billion people in the world have mobile phones and another billion at least have access to one. In Canada, over 88% of the population has their own smartphone and over 45% check their phone at least every half-hour. Plus, unlike apps or other communication methods, phone users rarely silent or mute their text notifications. This combination means SMS offers a reliable marketing and communication channel with an incomparable reach.

Customers Like SMS

A powerful communication method means little if people don’t like using it. Thankfully, that’s not the case for SMS. Instead, customers prefer SMS communication to other methods, particularly phone calls. That’s not just for friends and family either. Over 93% of customers want businesses to communicate to them through SMS texts. That preference and the direct contact to users’ phones has incredible results, with SMS messages averaging at staggering 98% open and 45% response rates. This makes it both an extremely efficient and cost-effective marketing channel.

The Convenience of Automatic Updates 

There are numerous platforms for SMS messaging like Klaviyo that include automations. These can be used to update customers about their packages, orders, or appointments. Automatic cart reminders or new product/service announcements through SMS are also perfect for helping to drive sales and foster retention. The immediacy of these updates is convenient for customers and their automation requires little-to-no input from your business to send. SMS updates can be tied directly into your ecommerce platform just like emails. This will easily allow you to send updates on either or even both powerful marketing channels.

Customer Service

Over the past decade of long holds and confusing phone menus, people have developed a distaste for customer service call centers. As a result, chat and text forms of customer service have become their preference. These don’t require customers waiting on hold and can be done at the same time as work or another task. As a result, SMS offers customers more flexibility and they feel their personal schedule is respected. SMS customer service is also beneficial for businesses who can automate simple requests or questions. This allows staff to address more complicated issues more quickly. This is especially useful in SMS, because people and your business can communicate with each other without relying on cellular data.

Getting Feedback

Texting is convenient, which is why we all tend to communicate with our friends and family through SMS. That’s the same reason why SMS is great for businesses to collect feedback from their customers. Simple messages that ask customers to rank a previous product or to answer a poll require only a numerical response, which customers can send in a second. In turn, your business collects valuable customer feedback. The same convenience is also great for getting customer confirmations or any other quick responses.

Perfect for Simple and Direct Communication

SMS is not as versatile as some other marketing channels. It can’t include high resolution images, easy to click buttons, or lengthy text. While that can be a limitation of SMS generally, it’s also a key factor for its marketing success. Its simplicity and concision make it perfect for quick and direct communication that can still impact its audience. Not every message you send customers or audience needs to be lengthy to generate buzz and sales. Ads are also sometimes only a sentence or two, and yet can still generate impressive returnsfor your business.

The Power of SMS is Right at Your Fingertips

You should now have a good sense of why SMS is a powerful marketing tool for any business. It leverages the power of a wide communication network that can be found at nearly everyone’s fingertips. Using SMS will help your business grow its reach while providing customers with convenience. If you’re ready to start incorporating SMS into your digital marketing strategy, looking to optimize your messaging, or want to learn more, be sure to contact our marketing team at Rosewood.