If your task is to generate amazing content for your target audience, that’s great. Yet, you shouldn’t forget about optimizing your content for Google so you can rank higher in the SERPs. It requires hard work and a lot of persistence.
Like many other businesses, you might rely on Google. Considering that Google’s always changing its algorithms to offer users more and more relevancy, you can never rest. You need to keep tweaking your strategies in order to find the gold mine. No matter how brilliant your content creation, distribution, and marketing efforts are, you still need to stay sharp and adapt to the most important updates.
Randy Nelson, a marketing specialist at an online writing service EduGeeksClub, suggests:
“If we were to try to understand Google’s algorithm, we couldn’t manage to do that in years. The search engine relies on 200 primary indicators and 10,000 secondary ones. The thing is that we can’t know which are more important than others, so we would be trapped in a negative cycle. Instead, focus on the RankBrain aspect of your SEO optimization and see how your efforts flourish in the long run.”
Google was kind enough to divulge the most important three ranking factors. It goes like this:
Some of you might not be familiar with the term, so let’s see what RankBrain means:
In simple words, RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system that is engineered to closely examine the search queries that have never been seen up until that moment.
Considering that new key phrases and keywords are very important in any niche and for any brand, RankBrain is naturally 1 out of the 3 factors, which if managed well, will improve your SEO content optimization big time.
How Does RankBrain Really Work?
What we know now is that Google automatically “calls” for RankBrain whenever new keywords and key phrases show up. Moreover, RankBrain comes into action also when the search queries are somehow more ambiguous.
Technically, the first thing that RankBrain does is to transform our language into different vectors whose purpose are to carefully analyze queries, find words and phrases, and sentences that have almost similar meanings compared to the queries which are inserted into the search query.
Some people just don’t know how to look for information online. Their queries are far from what they’d have to ask in order to find the relevant information. RankBrain kicks in and tried to understand the subtle signals that human beings send to Google.
How to Optimize Content for RankBrain
Gary Illyes is a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst. He insisted that RankBrain is supposed to relieve the life of a content marketer because all a marketer has to do is optimize their content to sound natural. That’s it. That means that the times where SEO writers write their content with a piece of paper in front of them which indicates how many keywords need to be inserted and in what order.
Well, I’ll hold you no more. Here are several efficient strategies that should help you create content which is optimized for RankBrain:
1. Develop Content that Solves Problems
Before RankBrain, you were supposed to write content that is qualitative, relevant, and useful which was meant to solve the reader’s problem and fulfill their needs. This stays the same. Nothing changed except one thing. In the past, in order for users to actually see your page in the first results, you had to optimize everything from On-Page SEO to Off-Page.
You would have to work a lot on building content on keywords, constructing big databases of keywords…all a big hustle. Now, RankBrain directly looks for the user’s natural intent and sends him to whichever website is the most relevant.
Here’s what to do: predict the user’s buying intent, brainstorm different keywords and key phrases he would use if he were to buy something and go into that direction.
2. Write Well-Researched Content
Your content needs to be very well-researched and written in-depth. Preferably, you should produce longer content. It has been proven that longer content ranks better. Yet, you shouldn’t focus only on length, but also on the value it provides.
To offer value, you need to know what you’re talking about and you need to bring statistics with you. Readers appreciate well-researched content because it allows them to pull back their “information filter” for a few minutes and relax. They are rested because they see the effort you’ve done to gather relevant data and not just opinions.
This will bring a lot of engagement and social media shares, and RankBrain definitely appreciates content that drives such kind of things.
3. Both Your Website and Content Should Be in The Same Niche (or Related)
If you’re in the “junior basketball” niche, write content that appeals to junior basketball players. RankBrain checks for new search queries queries for similar topics and searches for the actual meaning behind keywords.
That being said, if the content you distribute doesn’t align with your actual niche, your website won’t be perceived as a relevant source of information. Therefore, it’ll stay in its current position or even worse, lose its rankings.
4. Post Up-to-Date Content
Keep your content updated, always. If someone wishes to find the best movies in the last quarter of 2017 and your content features the best movies from the last quarter of 2016, you won’t be relevant to them. Unfortunately for you, RankBrain catches that, and it’ll penalize your website.
However, you shouldn’t go in the extreme. Don’t neglect the content that you’ve previously written and keep promoting it. Build a lot of backlinks. Yes…don’t forget about backlinks. Nevertheless, here’s a great strategy made by Brian Dean on relaunching content.
5. Focus on Writing Simply, Naturally, and on Point
Google cares a lot about the interaction between your users and your website. If the users find your content relevant, they’ll keep looking through and spend more time with you. This automatically signals Google that your site is truly relevant to its visitors.
How can you keep users on your content? It’s actually simpler than you have ever imagined. The key to great user retaining is writing on point content. Bring naturality and simplicity and you’ll have a winner!
If you haven’t yet started optimizing your content for RankBrain, now would be the time to do so. It is a real bonus in case your competition hasn’t already figured it out. Put some of our strategies in practice and see where it gets you. Google’s getting smarter and smarter and we need to keep up with the pace. Good luck.
Antonio is a marketing specialist and a blogger. He loves writing about SMM, marketing, education and productivity. He’s also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he’s on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.