UK consumers are currently “hungry” for information on Brexit, and brands and publishers can boost traffic and other metrics by using the right keywords to rank higher in Google, according to a new report released on Monday by analytics company Searchmetrics.
With the UK still set to leave the EU on 31st October pending developments in parliament this week, Searchmetrics looked at the types of queries and questions that the general populace are inputting into Google to keep up with breaking Brexit stories.
In a statement accompanying the release of the study, Searchmetrics’ senior content marketing manager Stephen Bench-Capon said that there is currently a “huge opportunity” for news websites to take advantage of the demand for a 24/7 cycle of content related to Brexit.
More specifically, people are looking for answers to questions about the differing stances on Brexit, most notably remain or leave, and what the deal and no-deal options actually involve.
Bench-Capon revealed that “expertise, authority and trust” are the primary signals for ranking on the first page of Google SERPs and that the BBC is considered the “number one” destination for relevant info pertaining to the UK’s upcoming exit from the continental bloc.
The BBC has a 30% share of all the content featured on the first page of search results when ‘Brexit’ is inputted, which puts it way ahead of other major publishers such as the Guardian (12%) and the Independent (9%); Wikipedia and the Telegraph both have a 4% share.
However, when looking only at broader Brexit-related keywords, the Guardian reigns supreme ahead of the Independent, the Express and the Telegraph.
While the Guardian is more focused on publishing content related to the remain side of the Brexit equation, the Sun website is the most cited hub for keywords related to ‘no deal Brexit’.
The Guardian also has the drop on other news sites for Google News boxes, which require more extensive optimisation – it appears in 20% of news boxes related to Brexit, putting it well ahead of the Independent and the BBC, which both have around a 9% share in this area.
Searchmetrics also found that major political parties are also using SEO to get their messages across to voters by winning ‘share of voice’ in search results.
Bench-Capon said: “A political party’s aims on Google are different from those of a news publisher. By appearing in the search results for certain keywords they can make it clear to voters that their party should be associated with this kind of policy. The Liberal Democrats ranking for ‘Stop Brexit campaign’ is a good example of this phenomenon.”
The study found that the conservatives.com website’s current top-ranking Brexit related words are ‘brexit policies’, ‘brexit 12 point plan’ and ‘reasons why brexit is good’.
Meanwhile, labour.org.uk leads with ‘why is the brexit deal no good’, ‘theresa may brexit deal’ and ‘negotiation brexit’.
Bench-Capon said that parties can perform better in Google by providing “high-quality Brexit-related content’ capable of informing and education readers and optimising content for SEO so that it ranks higher in SERPs.