What I mean by natural content is text that sounds natural. If you are used to writing copy that finds every single way of using a keyword, it’s time to stop. Google’s BERT update, that appeared in 2019, demonstrated that artificial intelligence can do more than recognise keywords. Therefore, to consider conversational search as part of an SEO strategy is not a bad shout.
Context is 99% of meaning
It’s strange that a name or a word encountered in an unfamiliar context can sound like a foreign language. We look at the whole to understand a message. How we write actually tells people a lot about who we are, our background, priorities and so on. The English language is varied, complex and rich in vocabulary. There are endless possibilities, but in the main, grammar keeps us on the straight and narrow. We come to expect sentences to be formed in specific ways. This is very different from Latin, for example, that shifts the word order for emphasis, but verb and noun endings ensure you understand who is doing what to whom (and with what implement!) It’s usually ‘killing with swords’ if my Latin translation skills are anything to go by!
Boolean is dead long live BERT!
Yes, I know Boolean search belongs in the history books. But it demonstrates just how search has changed. Once upon a time to search or an article you would need to write: web+content+tips. It looks so stilted and mechanical now but back then I was excited when I used Alta Vista for the first time! Now BERT is a Natural Language Processing model or neural network process if you like. It’s been programmed to understand context. That means it can make relations between specific words and phrases. It no longer has to look at one word at a time like my Boolean search example. You can see why this is so much improved. In the past if I was writing about ‘web content’ I would be looking at 101 variants to get the right proportion of terms in an article so the Google bots could see that my article was about writing web content, web content writing, writing content for the web’ You get the gist!
Answer your audience’s queries and they will love you forever.
You know what it’s like when you find the answer to your question or concern almost instantly. Your mood is buoyant, and you feel quite benevolent to the site that provided your solution. It’s a positive. Google and other search engines want to prove how smart they are by offering up exactly what you asked for. This means search will now show up more meaningful results that fit more snugly. So, if you ask a question like: ‘How long is a title tag?’ A great response would be: ‘The first 50-60 characters are displayed in a title tag.’ If you can answer questions immediately and succinctly then Google will pick up your content. I mean, why wouldn’t they?
It’s time to write naturally
This means that optimising your content will be a slightly altered process. Think about how you speak, how you communicate. Don’t suddenly go into classroom mode just because you are writing for your website. Be human. That is what Google is trying to mimic with its artificial intelligences. In this way you can start to produce really high-quality writing that will automatically appear in search. What could be better? The thing to focus on now, is knowing your audience and writing for them. The next must have is a highly experienced content writer that can delight, inform, engage, educate and entertain. This way you have a shot at providing your potential customers with the information and solutions they need to improve their lives.
So, what does this mean for how you should optimize your content? Google is trying to understand language like we do. And with every update, they are getting closer to understanding language at a human level. They want to provide their users with high-quality search results that fit their goals. BERT can look at the words that come before and after a certain search term to see I the context actually fits. That means long tail search queries are gold dust! I always recommend an FAQs page to snaffle up all the long-term search traffic. For example: why is an experienced content writer better at creating natural content?
Simply put, this means you should write for your audience, and not for search engines. Research your audience, try to get to know them, and provide the information and solutions they are looking to find! We need to write natural and relevant content. Why? It’s because Google sees the future of search going down the conversational, search platform route – you know things like voice and assistant search. It’s a long way from Boolean search, for sure.
If you need a well-versed content writer to write content that appears in search we can help. Contact us for natural content writing right here