At the mention of the terms artificial intelligence and machine learning, many search marketers are tempted to believe this is something from the future. What many people do not seem to realize is that search engines have used this technology for a decent period until now. However, these terms only hit the public domain when Google did its RankBrain algorithm update. Ever since, this update has turned out to be one of the most influential factors in Google ranking. In fact, a Google representative recently hinted that it might as well be the third highest ranking factor.
One fact search marketers cannot run away from is that Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising search engine optimisation. What this means for search marketers is that they have to come up with better ways of enhancing various websites in order to stay relevant in the SEO competition. Before thinking of how best to restructure your SEO strategies in line with Artificial Intelligence, you need to understand this latest update on search engine optimisation.
Impact of AI on SEO
AI gives various search engines such as Google the opportunity to learn more about search queries, besides the simple aspect of keywords. Through this technology, Google will be able to predict additional search queries after the initial search. By facilitating quicker data analysis, search engines will also be able to provide better results for users. Any search marketer who is able to understand how the effects trickle down to individual searches will have an easier time optimizing his site to conform to the necessary changes.
How can search marketers reap from this?
The news of Google using artificial intelligence should bring great excitement to every search marketer and SEO expert alike. It presents search marketers with better opportunities of improving user experience without necessarily relying on traditional techniques like optimising metadata. While such aspects will still have an effect on websites’ search engine ranking, it is time to concentrate on something more.
Focus on user engagements
RankBrain update implies that Google will take greater consideration of engagement metrics within a page. Such aspects might include conversation rates, bounce rates and the number of pages accessed for every visit. Which paths does the user take when navigating through your site? You should be able to identify and optimise such paths.
Consider Click through Rates
Over the years, there have been debates on the issue of CTRs on SERPs affecting the ranking of various sites. Whether or not this is a ranking factor, it is prudent for search marketers to create captivating Meta descriptions ad Meta tags for every page. You will increase click through rates, and this has a direct impact on the flow of traffic to the site.
Keyword optimisation still counts
Keywords still count as far as SEO is concerned. The only thing that has changed over time is the optimization technique. It is fair to observe that trends for some keywords keep on fluctuating. It is time to stop think about individual keywords and start focusing on what the user is really looking for. Today, search marketers should focus on long-tail keywords as opposed to single keywords.
By further understanding what the next search is likely to be, you will have a better idea when optimising your keywords. Through artificial intelligence, search engines will have a better understanding of the possible searches that will follow the first query. Search marketers can capitalise on this to optimise additional keywords targeting multiple points in the user’s search journey.
Concentrate on structured Markup
Another way in which search marketers can optimize sites for artificial intelligence is through the addition of schema markup to the site. What this really does is to direct search engines on what particular contents are really about. This helps Google to understand better the contents within your site together with machine learning algorithms.
Take advantage of social shares
Currently, one can capitalise on social shares in order to achieve better viewership. The more people view your contents, the more data is sent to search engines for analysis. Those who are able to use social media platforms effectively will have all the reasons to smile. In future, search marketers should concentrate their efforts in using amplification tactics such as paid social promotions and influencer marketing to promote contents.
In future, SEO will be more about user engagement as opposed to general optimisation tactics. AI comes with immense benefits for firms like “Sherman Square Marketing” relying on SEO as their chief marketing strategy. The least search marketers can do is to take advantage of it by enhancing user experience within individual sites. This should be carried out alongside traditional search engine optimisation tactics. It is all about making the websites serve the purpose of users.
Michael Hurry is a Chicago-based SEO expert. He has written several posts on digital marketing including paid advertisements. Feel free to check out his blog for more information.