There’s always a lot of talk about the best way to improve search ranking on sites like Google and Bing. After all, more consumers use these search engines to find products and services now than they ever have before.
But how do you get to a place where your website ranks higher than your competitors when the rules and algorithms are constantly changing? Here are a few things to know about Google’s BERT update and how you can tap into it to improve your search engine rank position.
What is BERT?
First, it is important to understand what this term means. BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. While that sounds all techy and not at all something a website owner should be concerned about, there’s more to the process.
Essentially, this new update from Google works to understand human language through artificial intelligence to make searching on the web easier for most people. While some search terms are popular and pretty standard, there are some instances where adding extra words or long-tail phrases can create a situation where search engines can’t provide the right search results. BERT essentially breaks down language to help ensure the right connotation or meaning behind the search is considered.
For example, you can search a phrase such as “the lady in Titanic,” and Google will return with images of actress Kate Winslet. Or if you type in “dog in the Hyundai commercial,” and it pulls up not only a video of the ad but also information about the dog breed. These examples are the type of intuitive result that the BERT update is aiming to improve.
Is It Possible to Optimize Content for BERT?
According to industry experts, it isn’t currently possible to specifically optimize your website for BERT. However, there’s a caveat to this. If you’re consistently posting informative and engaging content to your website, there’s a good chance you’re already optimizing for the new update.
Google has stated for years that this type of copy—text that helps give people the answers they are looking for and improves the overall process of finding information—is what they want to appear at the top of search results. BERT only takes this a step further by making the connection between what a person types into the search box and what they mean stronger. In essence, this means a greater ability to rank for most websites with consistent content and a wide site footprint in terms of content.
The Truth About Optimized Search
Just about everyone in the search engine optimization sphere has heard that the key to cracking the rankings is to write good content. The truth about optimized search is that it goes a bit further.
You can’t just write a bunch of gibberish on a page and expect your rankings to rise. Instead, there has to be a systematic approach to how you place those words on a page. This means utilizing various alternate formatting elements, such as:
- Bulleted lists
- Subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Tables and charts
- Properly optimized photos
- Other elements that break up overly large chunks of text
Additionally, using keywords sporadically is important. Simply, if you want to rank for a particular search term, like organic SEO, it is important to include it a couple of times on the page. While it might sound like a no-brainer, so many sites forget to add various forms or derivations of keywords within page text, and that ultimately hurts their search ranking.
And how does BERT fit into all of this? It just emphasizes that the content and context behind what you are posting is more important than ever.
Search Ranking All Comes Down to Lots of Good Content
Improving a website’s search ranking in a post-BERT era really just comes down to consistently writing and posting lots and lots of good content. This means articles, blog posts, and frequently asked question pages that your target audience genuinely wants to read.
How is this done? Think about how they might frame a question and write out a paragraph or two of the answers. Create a blog post series about the most common problems your target audience faces. Give them an interesting behind-the-scenes look at your business, complete with a series of photos. The possibilities for this type of high-ranking content are nearly endless.
Simply put, the heart of improving your search ranking—for BERT or otherwise—comes with creating copy that real people actually want to read. If you stick to keeping this as your focus, you’ll have no problem seeing those search engine results rise through the rank.
At Zero Gravity Marketing, we work hard to help our clients succeed through a multitude of digital marketing efforts—including search engine optimization, content planning, and copywriting. Please contact our team today to learn more about what we can do for you.