Have you always heard about BERT, but never knew exactly what was meant by it? Well, it’s the most important algorithm update Google has made in the past five years. So, let’s get you up to date as well.

In this article you will learn:

What is BERT?

The Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is the all-in-one combo that solves majority of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. It was developed by Google and is being leveraged to better understand user search queries, which should mean more relevant results. 

For example:

The word “to” can have different meanings, which is easier for humans to understand but harder for search engines to interpret the meaning. Now with BERT, the search engines can distinguish between them. Let’s take the example that Google has provided: “2019 brazil traveller to usa need a visa”. 

Image source: Google

Before, algorithms would result about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. Now with BERT, it understands between such nuances and facilitates more relevant results. Google is looking at the searcher's intend and getting a better understanding of what that is. 

BERT arrived in Google’s search system the week of October 21, 2019 for English-language queries. Over time, Google will expand the algorithm to all languages.

Why is everyone talking about BERT?

It’s unique because it is the first deeply bidirectional, unsupervised language representation, and is pre-trained using only a plain text corpus. It is open-sourced, allowing anyone to use the software for any purpose. Therefore, anyone with machine learning knowledge can easily build an NLP model without the need for sourcing massive datasets for training the model. This saves a lot of time, energy, knowledge, and resources. 

It is estimated that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Thus, this progression is logical as Google needed a way to better understand more conversational search queries. 

How BERT works

Let’s begin by defining what natural learning processing (NLP) is. NLP aims to enable computers to understand the way humans communicate. It relates because BERT is an advancement in NLP through bidirectional training. It’s bidirectional because BERT can understand both previous and next context. BERT is the first to successfully pre-train bidirectional in a deep neural network.

BERT allows the language model to understand the entire word context based on the set of words in a sentence. Before, it would just learn the context based on the immediate word before or after it.

Why should I care about BERT?

BERT will enhance your search on Google! Google has stated that it will impact one in ten searches, as it will work in more complex queries. Most importantly, BERT is aimed at content overall.

We’re changing slowly from conducting “keyword analysis” to “search analysis” as Google is becoming smarter and distinguishing the context of a search. If you create content that is geared toward a specific idea or topic you can rank, it doesn’t matter what keywords people type in. As long as the intent of their search will lead them to your content. 

Check out this video to learn more about why you should care!

Can I optimize my content for BERT?

This is a frequently asked question since BERT came out just a few months ago. Honestly, you can’t optimize for BERT, but you can optimize your website’s content for visitors.  

There a couple of things that you can be aware of that helps BERT make sense of your content, such as:

Danny Sullivan, an employee at Google, focuses on educating the public about search and is very active on his Twitter account. 

Google insiders, like Sullivan, often provide the same piece of advice to write high quality content garnered at their users. Now with the BERT update, this advice should be taken more seriously as Google is taking steps to better understand humans. 

Interested in other ways to optimize your content for search engines? Check out my article, “SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners”.

What should I take out of this article?

  1. BERT helps Google to better understand human language
  2. BERT looks at contextual nuance
  3. You can’t optimize for BERT, however you can focus on writing content for users

Thanks for reading! Tweet us if you have further questions about BERT. Interested in checking out my other articles? Click here

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be confusing at the beginning, but don’t worry we are here to guide you through it! We see a lot of content out there with common SEO mistakes that can be avoided. 

Before we begin, do you know what SEO is? Read our blog, SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners to warm up and get a clear understanding of the basics.

1 Wrong keywords

Using the wrong keyword is one of the most common mistakes made in SEO. You can’t neglect the preferences of search engines and users. The way to reach your audience is by understanding and using the words that they use to refer to your products and services. 

There is such a thing as using the incorrect keyword. 

You’ll want to choose one that has relevance to your subject and will help your SEO. Conduct keyword analysis first to find out if it will have good results and will reach your potential customers. It should come across naturally in the URL, the title of the page, and your content. If there aren’t any relevant purpose to the content or the website, then you know it’s the wrong one.  

We've only covered a tiny section on how to choose the correct keyword. Check out MOZ's blog post on Keyword Research to get a detailed description on where to begin.

2 Failing to include relevant internal and external links

To get the most of SEO, you’ll want to include a mixture of internal and external links on your page. Don’t fill your page with random links but use well-ranking websites with reputations to improve your content quality. Internal linking will bring people to relevant content on your website and will encourage them to stay longer on your website. 

Tip: Avoid using “click here” as an anchor text strengthen it by using words that will teach the reader how it will be beneficial to them. This also improves SEO as search bots will know what the link is about.

3 Not taking advantage of Google SEO reviews

Did you know that your Google business reviews have a huge influence on your business’ local SEO? By simply increasing the number of Google reviews with your specified keywords, you can see an increase in visibility of your website. You will want to take advantage of this and encourage your clients to leave Google reviews! Read our blog post on How Google Reviews Help SEO to get a better understanding and tips on how to optimize your SEO. 

4 Low quality content

We are surrounded by content noise when we scroll through our social media feeds, and by publishing non-original content you will just be part of that noise. Publish interesting and valuable content that will set you apart from others. The goal is to provide real value content to your visitors. Your focus should be addressing their needs by crafting relevant content, and SEO should take care of itself. 

Remember that you are creating content for people, not for robots. You want to make your content easy to read and follow:

Eager to know more tips on how to create quality content? Read our blog How Quality Content Can Help You Lead the Battle.

5 Avoiding tittle tags & meta description

Once you’ve chosen a target keyword in your articles, you’re not done with optimizing your content. Fixing your page titles and adding meta descriptions are important for search engines when they are crawling your website. If these optimizing factors are properly done, they can improve the performance of your content. 

6 Poor social media presence

Once your content is published, you’ll also want to optimize it on social media to get the attention of users, specifically of those that have a significant online presence. Create relationships with the appropriate influencers to get noticed by your target audience and by search engines. Use their credibility to promote your content. 

7 Forgetting about analytics

Forgetting to track progress is one of the most common mistakes! You can’t improve your SEO if you disregard the numbers. Google Analytics is a useful tool to measure your analytics and to see how your optimization is working for the various content and strategies you are using. Get into the habit of regularly checking your analytics and tweaking your strategy if nothing converts.

It doesn’t matter how many SEO blogs you read, you’ll make a mistake now and then. We hope that you can learn from these common mistakes’ others have made and avoid them in your own efforts. 

Thanks for reading! Tweet us if you’ve caught yourself in one of these common SEO mistakes, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our other articles on SEO, WordPress, marketing, social media, and more! 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a staple for WordPress blogs. Did you know that there are over 4.4 million blogs posted a day?

Your blog will be hidden amongst the other blogs in no time! SEO can improve your blogs visibility, but it requires your time to understand SEO and to put it into practice. Don’t worry, we’ll give you important SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blogs!

WordPress provides a user-friendly platform for bloggers to use. It is the industry leader; 34.6% of websites are made using WordPress and has a content management system market share of 61.4%. All the basics of SEO are covered within WordPress and it lets users to easily navigate.

Before we begin, take a look at our SEO 101: A Guide for Beginners blog as it will provide you with a general understanding of SEO.

1. Create Keywords

Keywords are what gets your blog at the top of the list in a Google search. For each article create a keyword strategy and enforce it to maximize the SEO for blogs. There are many platforms out there that provide you with predictive metrics and identify high-impact suggestions. We suggest MozTextmetricsAhrefsKwfinder, and Google Keyword Planner as tools to find the best keywords.

Use the keywords in titles and header tags to boost your SEO value and engage readers in your content. Header tags, such as H2 and H3, instantly make it more readable and serve as visual cues. Many readers skim blogs and focus more on the portion that is captured by the heading that interests them. This doesn’t only count for readers, but as well as search engines. Google scans your blog for content relevant to the searched words and looks at the header tags to understand what the content is about.

That is why it is crucial to make it easier for Google to find the words. The header tags don’t necessarily improve your SEO ranking but provide SEO value. The header tags are an important part of your SEO as they help Google find the keywords. This method of optimization should be always be done!

2. Quality Content

After conducting target audience research, you will be able to garner content that targets them. Don’t underestimate the quality of content as it can improve your ranking on Google search. Pay attention to grammar, structure, and error-free writing.

Have troubles with creating quality content? There are tools to help you. Besides providing keyword input, Textmetrics can help you with quality content. The platform contains a set of algorithms that are able to interpret wording and suggest changes while writing a text.

3. Alter default Permalink structure

The default structure for permalink (URL) is not SEO-friendly as it does not contain any keywords. It is very easy to change your default setting.

How to change your default permalink:

Make sure that you use a URL that includes keywords from your article to optimize your blogs. It should look something like this: https://example.com/your-post-titel.

4. Add Meta tags

Meta descriptions show up under your site name on search engines. These sentences are one to three sentences long and hook in the reader. Simply put, meta descriptions should tell your audience why they should click on your blog and read it. Adding meta tags will enhance your SEO and visibility and will encourage readers to visit your blog.

5. Build Links

Add links to your blog to enhance the likelihood of your post being at the top of search engines. Research has proven that the more links, external and internal, influences your SEO. External links to other sites is very important, but also internal links will improve the visibility of your other blogs. Don’t forget to include your social accounts on your blog and encourage readers to interact with your social media accounts and on your blog.

6. Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a map of your website that allows users and search engine crawlers to understand the structure of your website and easily navigate. It’s a list of URLs that you want to have public to help search engines index your site. WordPress dives into the topic and explains how to create a responsive sitemap in a matter of seconds.

By implementing our top 6 SEO strategies into your blog is vital to see a difference. Its importance is only growing more as more and more blogs come out every day. Don’t let your blog get mixed with the other ones, let it shine and be seen by readers. It’s a necessity that all bloggers need to follow in 2019.

Got questions about our SEO strategies to apply to your WordPress blog? Contact us.  

Did you know that your Google business reviews have a huge influence on your business' local SEO? As entrepreneurs, we know how important it is to have a good reputation.

Let's take a look at an example. After inserting a quick Google search for “Ottawa Coffee”, I found the business that ranked the best coffee due to the number of reviews and keywords used.

You can see that the highlighted words showcase the relevant keywords that apply to my search of "Ottawa Coffee". Do you know how many reviews people read before making up their mind on a business? According to a survey by Bright Local, consumers will read ten reviews before they can trust a business. In my example, you can see that the top three coffee places in Ottawa have hundreds of reviews. Reviews are incredibly valuable, 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

By simply increasing the number of Google reviews with your specified keywords, you can see an increase in visibility of your website. Encourage your clients to leave Google reviews and it reflects your credibility in the online world. This cheap (no cost!!) approach can quickly bring your ranking up since Google uses keywords in reviews to rank the businesses in order.

Wondering HOW you can increase your Google reviews?

Ask your clients and customers for their feedback and attach a link to your Google reviews page. Don’t be scared to approach them: Podium’s study shows that 77% are likely to leave a review if they are asked. In addition, you can post on your social media accounts to ask for Google reviews. Be respectful when you are asking for reviews and don't make it obligatory as people don't want to be pressured into doing a favour. Make sure to train your staff and explain how to strategically ask customers to leave reviews.

Good news! Google recently made this process of getting a link to your Google review page much easier. Now from your Google My Business dashboard, you can enable a custom short name URL for your business reviews. This makes it really easy to share this URL with clients. You can include this link on multiple platforms like email signatures, social media, and your website.

You can also send personalized messages to your partners, clients, friends, etc. to ask for google reviews. Ask them to include the keywords specific to your business. For example, for WP Expert it would be “Wordpress Help Ottawa” and "Wordpress Support Ottawa".

The more Google reviews, the better local SEO!

By increasing your amount of Google reviews it can help your local SEO.

It affects your reputation because reviews add value to your product/service to customers who are searching something to fulfill their needs successfully. In a study done by Podium, it showed that 93% of consumers say that reviews have a high impact on their consumer engagement with B2B and B2C businesses.

Make sure your Google alerts are on and you will receive a notification when you get a review. Begin your response with the reviewers name, and don't wait too long to reply. Be proactive and manage your business mentions to maintain your reputation.

Don’t leave the bad reviews alone! 

Remember to respond to your reviews: negative or positive. Leaving a review alone doesn’t help your business reputation. If it is a bad review, take time to breath so you don’t let your emotions effect your response. Try to look at them as an opportunity to learn. Thank the respondent for putting in time to review your business and offer them to contact you privately so you can discuss how to improve their experience with your business. Keep it short and simple in your professional response. Once you have been in contact with them and have made the customer happy, kindly ask them to edit their review. Your responses to the reviews are important as it encourages more people to leave a review as they know their review is important and they are valuable to the business.

Lost and need guidance? Google has a help page and can provide you with suggestions on how to improve your local ranking! Check the article out "Improve your local ranking on Google".

As you can see Google loves to read your reviews and will use them as a ranking factor. It’s a worthwhile task to try to get reviews to improve your local SEO. Thanks for reading our article! We hope you were able to learn how Google reviews carry a lot of weight when it comes to SEO. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to .

On the WP dashboard you will find the following box:

Click on the “Authorize Plugin” button. The next page will appear:

Follow the instructions on the screen. If you don’t have an analytics account then you need to create one first. We advise watching the video.

After you setup your analytics account you can click the “Authorize Plugin” button. The next page will appear:

Click on the “Get Access Code” link to receive your access code.

We’ve all been there. It’s late; you’re tired, but you’re dying to know who played the supporting role in the film you’ve just watched. His name escapes you, but you’re pretty sure he was also in the most recent episode of Dr Who.

The curiosity is killing you, so you turn to the only possible source for the answer. That’s right – your favourite internet search engine. Enthusiasm takes hold of you. Your fingers mash the keys, chaotically crafting the following sentence: “who was the guy who was in The Lone Ranger and also in Dr Who?”

But search engines aren’t genies. And though sometimes it seems as though they understand perfect English, they don’t. They speak the language of keywords!

That search you typed in probably won’t get you your answer, but don’t suffer in vain! Here’s a few tips to make sure that your next search gets you what you want fast.

Keep it Simple

Because search engines function by comparing the words you give them to websites, it’s often better to give the search engine a more specific query. Break your search down to its simplest elements.

For example, the lengthy search phrase above could become “supporting actor The Lone Ranger and Dr Who.” This helps to eliminate results from unrelated web pages. When searching, less is more!

Vary Your Terms

If your first search doesn’t get you what you’d wanted, there’s no need to panic. One quick technique to better your search is to swap in new words.

Instead of hamburger, try burger. Instead of mechanic, try technician. Swapping words like this is likely to get you wildly different results, increasing your chance of finding what you need.

Search for Exact Phrases

By using the quotation marks (or inverted commas for our British readers), you can tell a search engine to only return results that have the exact words you’ve input in that exact order. This is a great trick for finding song lyrics. If you want to know the name of a song, but can only remember a few lines, put them between quotes:

“total eclipse of the heart”

And if you don’t remember the whole phrase, you can always use the asterisk (*) to allow for wildcard words. For example, “total eclipse of the *” returns lyrics for the Bonnie Tyler song as well as a video featuring a total eclipse of the sun. Cool!

Use OR and NOT to Fine Tune

The operator OR tells a search engine to look for one word or another, but not both. This is a great way to vary your search terms without having to enter multiple searchers. For example, try searching for “bedroom OR room for rent” next time you’re looking for a place to live.

The NOT operator helps to exclude websites from the search that contain certain words. For example, if you search for “dog breeder NOT Labrador,” you won’t find any Labrador breeders in the search.

Note that both the OR and NOT operators need to be typed in all caps.

That’s all the tips we have for you today, but if you’re looking for more, Google has a webpage full of them.

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