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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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”.
There is a lot of competition out there; 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content. The question is: how can you organically grow blog traffic and stand out from the rest? It’s not as hard as it sounds, but it will require your commitment.
Let’s begin with, what is organic traffic?
Organic traffic is when you naturally obtain the attention from your audience. Put time and care into creating your blogs and execution, and you’ll see a difference.
Follow our four steps and you’ll be on your way.
You’ll want your readers to want to click on your blog by using catchy headlines. Intrigue them to find out more before they’ve gotten an understanding of what your blog is about.
Use the following to write a memorable title:
Once they have clicked the blog, they still might not read it through thoroughly. 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts due to their short attention spans. Therefore, keep your blog between 700-1000 words. Now that they are reading, you want to keep their attention! Create quality content to organically obtain traffic to your blog. Check out our blog How Quality Content Can Help You Lead the Battle to get some tips.
Tip: Another way to keep readers engaged and interested, is to use statistics and lists. Studies show that blog posts with statistics improves consumer trust, and lists are the best format for reading engagement.
The only reason why you should be posting blogs is to inform your readers on what they are interested in. To empathize with your audience, you’ll want to understand their needs and what problems they encounter. From this you can create good content that your readers are wanting. Find the problems that they got, so that you can provide them with a solution.
Ways to empathize with your audience:
You’ve probably heard this a million of times, keywords are vital for search-engine-optimization. But, don’t just use the most popular keywords, use the ones that are specific to your product or service that have a low search volume.
Why should you care about long-tail keywords?
By using them search engines will be able to identify your blog as a destination for your subject. Focus on your niche topic to stand out from the others while simultaneously targeting your users and increasing organic traffic. Once you have chosen a keyword, you want to add it to post title, subheading, and in the blog itself.
Make use of your social media platforms and promote your content. Post about your new blog on your own socials, but the best way to advertise is to have influencers share it on their pages. When other people recommend your blog, it’s more likely for people to engage as they trust the content. Make sure your content is shareable by adding share buttons to your site. Check out our blog, 5 Simple Content Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs, to learn how to make a great content plan for your blogging.
Social media shouldn’t just be used to share your content, it is an opportunity to connect and engage with your audience. Once you begin engaging with your readers, you’ll foster a stronger community around your blog. This will make them come back for more of your content as they will have a memorable experience. It might be time consuming, but it will be worth it to grow your blog organically.
There are plenty of other ways to increase your reachability, but we chose our top four tips that you can easily integrate!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are surrounded by content noise when we scroll through our social media feeds. Every business, every entrepreneur, every influencer is publishing content and trying to be heard. It’s a fight that can’t be won by everyone. But, there are ways to stand out from the rest and be in the lead of the battle.
Quality content is the type of content that achieves its marketing goal. Such goals could be:
By identifying your goals, you are one step closer to generating quality content. But the question still remains; how can you create quality content?
Follow these tactics and you are well on your way.
Be sure to pick up on social cues and trends by constantly checking your social media streams. Take note of what your followers are posting about. Follow people in your industry such as customers, competitors, partners, etc. Get inspired by the content you see and see what gets the most reactions. Notice which posts have more engagement and why that could be.
Make the customer feel like they are the only one and focus on their needs. Take each relationship as unique and treat it that way. To achieve that, you need to understand their behaviours and develop effective personas. Conduct research to know who they are and what will gain their interest. By illustrating your core customers, you can create quality content that they are interested in. This strikes a chord with your audiences and maximizes engagement. Customer knowledge is powerful and gives you the ability to catch their attention by knowing what they like, who they are, what their typical behaviour is, etc.
Check out what type of content is most likely to be shared by your competitors. Identify influential bloggers and social media influencers that they are collaborating with. Don’t copy what they are doing. You want to make sure that you aren’t missing anything and can use it as a guide, but you want to stay unique. You want your audience to choose to click on your content, not your competitors. What makes yours different than theirs and what type of content would your users find more valuable.
Your titles should contain your primary keyword, but at the same time entice people to click and read. It needs to stop people from scrolling through their feeds and follow your link to your quality content. Your titles need to be catchy and mysterious. Get creative and consider what would intrigue your clients to engage. Check out this article to learn how to make the best click bate worthy titles.
High quality content is only achieved if its engaging. Hook in the reader with your title and with your introduction. Your content should make them curious and intrigued to read until the end. Leave the reader with questions and give them the ability to leave comments and react to your content. Not only is engaging content helpful to achieve credibility for your brand, but it is better for search engines to notice your content. Another technique that helps clarify a point and catch your readers attention, is using anecdotes. People will be able to relate or have a better understanding of your content.
To build trust with your clients you need to provide them with the correct information. Don’t tell them anything that you can’t back up with proof. Referencing can only help and is worth to do. Consider who you are linking to and evaluate their credibility. Not only does it build trust, but it also improves search engines. Check out our blog SEO 101: A Guide for Beginnersto find out how and why you should be linking within and outside of your company.
At this point you should have created your content and are ready for the last step before you publish: optimizing it for search engines. This is better known as SEO and has more depth to it.
Easy tasks to optimize your content:
You might think that it is high quality content, but you will only know for sure once you analyze the numbers after its been published. Look at your marketing goals you established before and compare them with your ranking on google, customer engagement, retention, and conversions. Learn from your performance and improve for your next content creation! Need some more guidance on how to assess and adjust your marketing goals? Our blog 5 Simple Content Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs provides more information.
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.
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 Moz, Textmetrics, Ahrefs, Kwfinder, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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 .
If you’re new to SEO, you’re in the right place. There are many different layers of SEO, but I'll start with the basics. This SEO 101 guide is perfect for anybody who has no background in this whatsoever as it consists of jargon that is understandable.
What is SEO and is it worth it?
Can you do it yourself?
What things affect your ranking?
How and where to begin optimizing so that your website can rank well
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of enhancing a website’s visibility in search engines like Google, Bing, etc., – specifically in the organic (unpaid) area of search results. Search engines are looking for specific criteria and will put your site higher up only if you meet and exceed them. By focusing on optimizing a site, you can get a very positive response and get more free traffic. SEO has many aspects to it, from the content on your webpage to the way other sites link to you on the internet. The overall goal is to make your site better for people to use.
Check out this quick 3 minute video on “How Search Work” created by Google:
Web traffic is mostly directed by the dominant commercial search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Social media is a very prominent way to generate traffic to your website, and I will go further into that later, but search engines are the primary method of navigation for Internet users.
There are so many websites out there and to be seen by Internet users, you need to follow this SEO 101 guide and commit. SEO is the process of ensuring your site is structured in a way that search engines understand. This way your site is more likely to show up amongst top search engine results when someone searches for a keyword. It can take years for you to perfect your SEO and rank among the highest sites, but it is rewarding when you have finally reached your goal.
There’s no reason that you can’t do it yourself and succeed! If you are considering doing it all of your own SEO, two thumbs up for you! ??
But before you begin, answer these questions:
—Do you have the time?
—Do you know enough?
As an entrepreneur you probably already have a never ending list of tasks to be completed. Consider what your priorities are and figure out what works best for you. You may end up deciding that it is time efficient and worth financially to have an expert handle things for you.
There are two things that can impact your ranking:
On-site (things happening on your webpage)
Quality of content on your site
Word choice and keywords
How fast it loads
User experience and functionality
Use and number of links
Off-site (things away from your site)
They provide an indirect but measurable benefit to a site’s external popularity, which the engines can then interpret as a signal of higher quality.
Things occuring that impact your rank
Do others link to your site?
Business ranking, other than website
Easy to use, navigate, and understand
Provide direct, actionable information relevant to the question
Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers
Deliver high quality, legitimate, credible content
Search engines look at keywords, links, and site structure. It takes care and nurturing to craft a friendly user experience that establishes a good experience for your website visitors. The goal is to attract the guests to share your site, return, bookmark, and link from their social sharings to your site. Appealing, useful content is crucial to SEO. Search engines place web pages in their results in order to satisfy that intent in the best possible way.
By now you should know who your target market is and what they are looking for. You want to choose a keyword that effectively reaches and keeps users.
— What are your target customers looking for?
— What keyword has low volume and very easy competition?
Once you know your goals, the next step is finding the perfect keyword. You want a good balance between "head" and "long-tail" keywords. Head keywords consist of one to three words, whereas long-tail can be conversational phrases. Head keywords are better for longterm and have higher traffic, but also higher competition. Long-tail keywords have a higher short term sucess rate and have lower traffic, but lower competition. It's good to have a variation of both to get the best result. Make sure to research which keywords and phrases are most popular for your industry before continuing on.
When it comes to content strategy and optimization, this means having content that is highly geared towards what your audience searches for most often, and then ensuring that that content is technically well-optimized.
At least two or three times, including variations, in the body copy on the page
At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page. This not only helps with web search, but also image search
Once in the URL
At least once in the meta description tag. The meta description becomes the text used by search engines and therefore helps attract clicks by searchers reading the results page
Social channels are strong and effective tools to use to promote your business. Content sharing through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc) allow you to reach potential customers through different avenues. Search engines treat socially shared links differently than other types of links - but they still notice them. Social sharing is There is no denying the rising importance of social channels.
As I said at the beginning, SEO has multiple layers and is constantly evolving. I hope this SEO 101 guide is a good starter point and helped you learn and understand the basics. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the information you have probably read on the internet. A successful SEO is attainable but it is a long-term strategy and can take months before you start seeing results. One step at a time!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know how you liked this SEO 101 guide below in the comments.
Interested in checking out my other articles? Click here
Google Plus was initially viewed as something of a failure by the social networking community. So far, it hasn’t proven to be the Facebook killer that everyone hoped it would be. Its user-base is nowhere near as expansive as Zuckerberg’s behemoth. But Google Plus has one major advantage: it’s made by the people behind the most popular search engine on the web.
So before you groan over being advised to use yet another social network, think about the significance of a social network designed by Google. Google’s products have traditionally had many layers of interaction, and Google Plus is no different. Several aspects of Google Plus makes it an idea social network for those who would like to increase their SEO footprint.
Social Media Has an Increasing Impact on SEO
Social media in general is rapidly becoming a bastion for future SEO development. This year, Searchmetrics published a report claiming that seven of the top eight factors that correlate with a high search engine rank are social network-related – what are called “social signals.”
On that list were Tweets, Facebook likes, Facebook shares and Pinterest pins. And topping out the list was Google +1s, beating out “Number of Backlinks.” That’s mighty impressive, and though we have to remember that these are correlations, not causations, it’s clear that Google Plus is something to look out for in the SEO space.
And most industry analysts believe that social signals will only become more important as the SEO industry evolves.
Google Plus is Google Search Friendly
There has been some speculation that Google favors Google Plus pages over others. Though it’s hard to substantiate this, it is clear that Google wants Google Plus to be a factor in searches.
If you’ve begun to see author’s pictures showing up next to articles in Google’s search engine, you’ve already experienced the benefits of Google Plus. Google is calling this “Google Plus authorship.” It’s a way to group all the content written by one person into a single Google Plus account. It’s pretty easy to set up and it allows users to find other content you’ve written quickly, a major plus for you. If you’d like to set one up, check out our quick tutorial(LINK TO HOW TO HERE).
But more important is that picture of your face beside the content you’ve written. So much of SEO is presenting content in ways that encourage clickthroughs, and this certainly meets that requirement. In fact, some estimates claim that simply having a Google Plus picture increases clicks by as much as 150%.
The Joys of Personalized Search
Google Plus is part of Google’s unified user platform, which means that what people like on Google Plus influences their searches. If someone likes your page on Google Plus, it’s theoretically more likely that your website will show up in their search results more often. Just like any social network, Google Plus allows people to like, follow, and add you to their circles. All of these things are likely to affect users’ search results down the line.