With so many updates being announced on a regular basis from Google, it can be hard to keep up with each one. However, their most recent update, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is one that all content marketing agencies should pay attention to. Now, this might sound like quite a mouthful (and very tech-heavy) but it can be understood better when put into simple terms. 

BERT is a recent algorithm update that allows Google to better understand natural language processing, or NLP. In layman’s terms, it allows Google to understand conversational searches better – think along the lines of, “OK Google”. 

When you are creating a content marketing strategy using natural language is important to both your search results and the experience of your consumers. It helps consumers to find the most specific and important information available to them about the topic they are searching for. 

What does this mean for content marketing and copywriting? We dive a little deeper below. 


Changes To SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)


Whenever Google releases an update or an algorithm change, the very first aspect that content marketing agencies look for is how it will influence SEO. When people search the internet, there are usually three different types of searches, namely Transactional, Navigational, And Informational. 

An informational search can be something along the lines of, “what is a healthy diet”. Once a consumer has found the answer they need, they will usually move on to a transactional search, such as, “healthy food cookbook”. BERT will have more influence over the informational searches, meaning that content marketing agencies will need to create specific, relevant content if they wish to improve their rankings with this update. And this latest update does not focus on content length but content quality


Keep Context In Mind


If there was one word to summarise what the BERT update really means for both content marketers and searchers alike, this word would be context. NLP focuses on the context of a search more than the actual words used in the search query. Before BERT arrived on the scene, search engines were looking ar words individually rather than at the whole, and often missed the context of the question. 

The search results that Google shows to users now are more accurate, because context is taken into account. Content marketers will need to keep this in mind when writing blogs, article,s and even website copy, as Google will show the most relevant results first in the context of the query. Keeping your writing short, succinct, and contextualised will help it to rank better and appear in searches. 


Love Those Long-Tail Keywords


One of the most important aspects of BERT for any digital or content marketing strategy is that you should move your focus from short keywords to long-tail keywords. Why? Because long-tail keywords are more conversational and natural, which is the language that BERT will be focusing on. 

Long-tail keywords might sound difficult to work with but they can easily b worked into your content marketing strategy if used intelligently. For example, you could title your next blog post, “How To Choose The Right Compost,” making use of a long-tail keyword and a popular search term at the same time. If you are battling to find these long-tail keywords, you can use free tools such as Answer The Public to find the most-asked questions about a specific keyword. 


Write For Humans


When you are working with a content marketing agency, you will have heard that longer content is better content. And while this may be true, it is also important that any articles or blogs that you create and share are written for humans first, and search engine robots second. With the release of BERT, this has become more important than before. 

Instead of writing in “keyword-ese”, where you try to force a keyword into a sentence, you should write naturally and insert keywords naturally, so that BERT can easily find, index, and show your content to those searching for these keywords. Your content should focus on answering questions rather than simply trying to sell products or services. Do not disregard shorter keywords, but rather focus on creating valuable and natural content. 


Befriend BERT


Many people become nervous and unsure of their current content plans when Google releases a new update, but when it comes to BERT, the best plan of action is to embrace it and moderate your existing content marketing strategy to meet the requirements of the update. You will not need to change much, simply alter your writing style to be more natural. 

If you would like to create a content plan that focuses on answering questions and resonating with your audience, speak to the NetMechanic team today to find out how we can help you.