New and informative online content is ranked highly by search engines. It is also a good way to market your products and services to site visitors. The next generation of natural language processors (NLPs) is ensuring that well-written and useful blogs are finding their rightful place at the top of the search results.
A blog is an essential part of your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. According to Yoast, blogging is “the best thing you can do for SEO”, as well as being a great marketing tool.
Search engines like Google favour websites that feature regular blogs, as they see them as active and in touch. As a result, they promote them higher up the search engine results page (SERP). Better ranking means greater visibility and more visitors.
Keywords and key phrases
Blogging also allows you to get found for more keywords on the internet. Of course you want to be found for the key phrases that are core to your business, but blogging about topics that sit around your main area of focus widen the net and bring more visitors who would not have found you otherwise.
Blogging is a marketing tool
A variety of informative, useful blogs on your website will also help to keep new visitors looking around. If they enjoy your content, they will start to build a relationship with your brand that could lead to trust and a sale. They may be tempted to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media, too.
Tell customers why they need your services
Your blogs demonstrate your expertise; they are living examples of your knowledge about your products and services. They should show your understanding of the end user and how they will benefit from using your offering. Don’t simply say what you do and how it works, but start with why it will help them. Once they understand why they should have it, they will be more interested in the details of how it works and what it is made from.
Think about the search intent
Your blogs should also be tailored to the reasons why your prospective customers search the internet. You need to understand their ‘search intent’. Search intent can be broken down into four main areas. Are they looking for information, a specific website, to buy a particular product, or are they researching different products before they make a purchase later?
If someone is looking to buy something straight away, it is best that their search takes them straight to your shop. However if they want more information about a product first, it may be better to take them to an informative article about the benefits of the product to the user. Through careful use of keywords and key phrases in a blog post or website page, you can make sure they arrive at the most relevant place on your website for them at that moment. If they find what they want, they are more likely to have a good experience and return to you in the future.
Most internet searches are for information in the first place, so make sure you have lots of informative blogs ready for these searchers.
How Google BERT has changed search
Your blog needs to be well structured and easy to read – both for humans and machines! In 2019 Google introduced BERT (which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, which you probably didn’t need to know).
What you may like to know about Google BERT is that it is a natural language processing (NLP) framework. What you definitely need to know is that it is designed to help search engines understand the nuances and context of the words used in searches to provide more accurate and useful results.
Natural language is best for SEO
This means that blogs and articles written in natural language will now trump the older style articles that were written purely to suit less sophisticated SEO algorithms and not human readers. Thankfully this should mean fewer articles feature awkward repeats of key words and unnatural language that is not useful to readers.
So by all means use words that relate to your core topic, but use them as part of a well-constructed and well-written blog. If your content is genuinely useful and informative, it stands a greater chance of scoring well. So let the next generation of NLPs do the work of raising you up the SERP