Once the algorithm for issuing search queries from Google was a real mystery. And only October 2015 revealed the secret of his work: the search engine uses the RankBrain artificial intelligence system, which works on the basis of machine learning algorithms. By the middle of 2016, Google began to apply this method of machine processing to each search query, while at the beginning of the launch of RankBrain only 15% of requests were processed.
The main quality criteria that are required by the search engine algorithm through RankBrain are: quality content and simple and clear language of communication with site visitors. These are not even such complex criteria, so you should not be afraid. Google’s engineers themselves say that optimizing a site for RankBrain is very simple: the main thing is to fill your site with good, useful content for users and get positive feedback.
But there are still moments that the SEO specialist needs to pay close attention to. This is necessary in order to get the maximum benefit from the RankBrain algorithm.
Unlike classic algorithms like Panda or Penguin, RankBrain changes focus and views on SEO strategies. It is impossible to optimize for it in the classical sense that we are used to mention. But the work on it is still produced and brings even very good results.
Immediately on the case
Discard the old strategy, which promoted the creation of many (or even hundreds) of pages that were individually optimized for search engine. These are long tail keywords, discard them. What does it mean? For example, you had a page with the keyword “medicine for treating a leg injury”, and the second had such a basic optimized query: “what actions to take in case of a leg injury”. The old algorithm allowed Google to rank each of these pages. But everything has changed.
RankBrain treats the first and second pages as the same information. Therefore, the search will give them side by side. From here we conclude: such keywords are already irrelevant.
Instead, you can use medium-sized key phrases (so-called medium tail keywords). They will give the best effect. Google RankBrain is a smart system that, through automatic calculations, connects your keyword phrase with suitable and relevant words. Thus, the phrase “remove edema” will automatically be combined with the phrase “effective means for removing edema.”
It is very important to understand the key properties of the system and to adapt to the algorithm of its work.
Title and Description: how to optimize for CTR
The main signal for RankBrain is just the CTR of the organic issue (this is a proportional ratio between the number of site hits and the number of clicks on it in the search results). The main question that worries us is how can it be increased?
Pay attention to the quality and catchy headlines. Without hesitation we assure that screaming headlines more strongly involve people to follow links, and therefore make more clicks. Professionals are aware of this and actively implement in their work, from which we also need to take an example from them.
We look at examples. Here is a good headline: “10 tips for labor efficiency: how to keep up more in the same period of time?” But, you see, it lacks a clue, a highlight. And if so? – “Learn to finish things on time: 15 practices and tips.” What article do you want to read most likely? Probably most will choose the second. It should be understood that bright headlines are not always appropriate, but they should always be used where they are clearly needed.
The end of the headers is completed with round or square brackets. Such a seemingly simple advice is very effective. HubSpot and Outbrain a couple of years ago posted a study that analyzed more than 3.3 million headers. The result of the analysis was the conclusion that the titles of articles containing brackets were 33% more effective than the names of texts without brackets.
“Top most effective tools of CEO (2018)”.
“Effective tools for CEOing (detailed application guide)”.
Check it for yourself and make sure this idea works great.
Numbers in the headlines. Many studies (including BuzzSumo) prove that the use of numbers in text titles helps to increase the CTR. Here are examples for comparison:
“Tips for improving SEO optimization” or “Ways to improve SEO optimization in 20 days: efficiency by 200%.” Probably the second headline is more attractive and compelling for readers.”Tips for improving SEO optimization” or “Ways to improve SEO optimization in 20 days: efficiency by 200%.” Probably the second headline is more attractive and compelling for readers.
Also, avoid dryness in headlines. Add specific words that increase the brightness, catchiness and effectiveness of headlines. In the English web, they are known as Power Words. These are words like productivity, efficiency, revolutionism, etc.
What about the Description? Although the Description tags do not have a particular effect on optimization, attention should be paid to them. Well-chosen tags will help at least partially increase the CTR. While writing descriptions it is important to take into account such moments:
- Add emotionality and brightness to the descriptions so that they arouse the interest of the reader. For example, “What are the reasons for the unsuccessful struggle with excess weight (and how to eliminate them).”
- Notify the reader in advance how your material may be useful to him. For example, “How to optimize a website: tips for increasing the number of clicks.”
- Pay attention to the words that are actively used in paid advertising. For example, AdWords.
- Do not forget about keywords. Google doesn’t disregard them and makes them bold, and this makes the search results of your site more effective.
Increase brand awareness
Screaming header, adding numbers or parentheses, using a quality descriptor will help you increase your CTR. But there is another important point that cannot be overlooked – this is brand awareness. Everything is very clear here: if a person has already heard about you or has familiarized with your brand, then he will click on your link more willingly. Having worked well on brand recognition, you can increase the CTR to as much as 324%!
Suppose you meet on the Internet in the results of search queries sites: Washington Post, SuperNews365.com and NYTimes. Which one will you choose first to read? Surely the one you have ever heard of. Do not forget the main thing: it is important to create a brand and increase the visibility of the site even before users start searching for information about you in Google.
Here are great methods to increase brand awareness:
- Use the mailing list. Only this should be letters with useful information, and not spam. Otherwise, get the opposite effect.
- Facebook ads. Do not be afraid if the ads do not respond so actively and follow the link. The main thing is that the name of your brand will be heard by users.
- Publish a lot of content at once in a short amount of time. This is the so-called Content Blitz strategy, which has emerged more efficient than the even distribution of the published material over a certain period of time.
Return efficiency to broken pages.
In English, it sounds like Turn zeroes to heroes. In Russian, the expression “from rags to riches” clearly reflects the meaning. This approach works great for better optimization. If your web service has abandoned and ineffective pages, you can easily optimize them and get the best results in the search results.
If it seems to you that you put efforts into your site, but it does not bring significant results, check your headlines. Maybe they are uninteresting, dim article titles. For example, instead of the name “List of services performed” write “Descriptions of services for any color and taste (more than 100 qualitative examples)”. Already it can significantly affect your site and give a better result than the constant addition of fresh material.
LSI keywords: fill in the blanks
What is LSI keywords? This abbreviation from English translates as hidden semantic indexing. As it are the phrases relating to the main topic of the article. What is their significance? LSI keywords help RankBrain find the main topic and context of materials.
This moment is very important for pages with highly specialized topics. LSI-keywords in this case should not be neglected. For English-language promotion, the Watson Natural Language Understanding Tool can serve as a tool for selecting LSI keywords.
Despite all our efforts, we cannot control the RankBrain algorithm, but it is completely enough to tune it. Our task is to optimize the resource for some signals so that it is more often ranked when inquiries are made in the PS. It is important to understand that search engine optimization cannot be done specifically under RankBrain. But by studying the algorithms of work we can adjust to it. And this will give us tremendous results. The main thing to try.