When content marketing went digital, it started out as being optimised solely for search engines. And while this worked for a while, times have changed, and content now needs to please both robots and humans. But, it can be difficult to know whether or not your content ticks all the boxes for humans and machines alike. 

When you are working on a content marketing strategy keeping up with trends is vital. One of these trends is Natural Language Processing (NLP). Recently, Google released its update known as BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) which is an algorithm which helps Google to understand natural language better in conversational search. 

Now, after all this jargon, you are most likely wondering what NLP means for your business. Simply put, it can be used effectively for a content marketing strategy to improve your content ranking and visibility. Below we delve a little deeper into how you can use NLP for better content. 


Hold Up, What Is Natural Language Processing?


If NLP is a little too technical for you, you can break it down into simpler terms. Each time someone types something into Google, they are asking a question and it is in Google’s best interest to deliver relevant and valuable content to the user. In comes NLP to help the search engine (and content marketing agencies) provide this content to consumers. 

Natural Language Processing is the process of parsing or examining text in order to find relationships between words, expression, as well as the meaning of words in order to gain an understanding of what is being asked or said. Search engines today can learn what you search for and even provide autofill answers before you complete the sentence – all thanks to NLP. 

By tapping into NLP, your content will be more relevant to users, which means that search engines are more likely to show your content in searches. 


How Can I Use It For Content Marketing?


Keep It Simple


When someone is searching for content online, they are usually looking for succinct and simple answers. This means that you will need to keep your content short, simple, and to the point. Using over-complicated language will not only deter your readers but will also make it harder for search engines to display your content in its search results. 

Try to keep your content to one idea per sentence, as this will make it easier for the content to be shown in Google’s Featured Snippets. Snippets are short descriptions or excerpts from websites that are shown to users in search results. Simple, short, and relevant content is shown here and it can help to improve your search engine rankings significantly. 


Connect Questions And Answers


Optimising your content for NLP should begin with simple sentence structure. It should focus on connecting questions and answers that make sense and that do not take a while to reach. For example, you cannot ask the question, “What compost should you use for roses?” and answer with, “Well, let me tell you about my childhood garden,” only telling readers the answer 500 words later. 

Connecting questions and answers can also help your SEO (search engine optimisation) and organic traffic because these combinations are more likely to be searched for and shown in search results. You should use questions that are asked regularly on Google, which can be found using the “People Also Ask” feature or by performing keyword research to find these long-tail keywords. 


Don’t Justify Jargon


One of the most important ways fo optimising your content marketing strategy for NLP is to avoid using jargon or language that is too technical. Keeping your content easy to understand for both humans and machines will ensure that it ranks higher and that consumers are encouraged to choose your content over others. 

Simplifying your content will also help to improve your chances of being chosen for Voice Search and Featured Snippets. You should use jargon only when absolutely necessary, such as in How To articles for technical topics. If you are writing about equipment, using technical terminology might be unavoidable but keeping it to a minimum is best. Content marketing strategies should always take jargon into account. 


Final Thoughts


Natural Language Processing is an important algorithm and update to keep an eye on, especially if you would like to build a successful content marketing strategy. Keeping your content simple and free of jargon is the ideal start to optimising your content for NLP. 

You should also focus on connecting questions and answers so that your content remains relevant and valuable. If you would like to improve your content marketing but are not sure where to start, contact NetMechanic today to find out how we can help you.