Imagine every time you look up something in Google. You -as a person- have a distinct way of writing, of how you make questions. And these questions have a precise intent.
You don’t look for something cheap or a bargain the same way you look for a luxury piece and vice versa.
So the way we type in those words in the search bar say a lot about ourselves.
Search engines are an amazing thing and they use this as a criteria to crawl pages and read information to serve you the best possible content for what you’re looking for.
This won’t be an in-depth guide on how to do search analysis but here are a few crucial concepts to understand how it works:
If you type in: “Best Ski Jackets” Your intent is -most likely- that you’re looking for a quality ski jacket, regardless of the price. It also tells us that you’re still in the shopping phase and haven’t committed to any specific brand or model.
With Google's latest algorithm, BERT, (we will touch base on that later) search intent became the number one priority for the AI behind the search engine.
Content is now to be served in a more human way, according to Google and that means content needs to be structured that way.
At the moment of writing this piece, Google was affecting 10% of all searches with BERT.
But Let’s say you type: “Best Ski Jacket Under 100 euro”, then we know that you have a price limit and that narrows down the search.
Without entering into technicalities, search analysis will ultimately determine the way you produce content and the way you understand your audience.
Since we [at Blacksquid] can determine the volume of traffic that combinations of keywords are able to produce, we can also let you know what topics will attract more qualified leads to your site.
A paramount aspect to consider is that by focusing on the search intent we can focus on the users that are more relevant to your business
"But We Already Create Very Cool Content".
And we believe you! But content that is SEO friendly is more than just cool.
Many companies focus on developing “me-centric” content and they go about telling just how cool the brand is and not really producing any value to their audience.
While brand awareness and culture spreading is great and -of course- it should be done, it doesn’t take a huge effort to turn that piece of content into something that is more SEO friendly.
If you know what keywords to use and the structure in which you should be writing that content, then you can twitch the language to work to your favor making your content more discoverable.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a blog post written around the ski jacket, telling the adventures of some of your ambassadors, with great photography and a good writing style.
Your ambassador would call it something like this: “My craziest season opening in the Alps”
And while this can serve some audiences that look something related to the Alps or to the keyword “season”, it is very unlikely that the search engine will serve this content to someone looking for the jacket.
Instead, if we call it: “Best ski season openings: What to wear and where to go in the Alps”
We would be able to target an audience that is looking for information related to high-end events in the alps and display our jacket in the section that recommends what to wear.
While both articles can contain good material and can be well presented (this also contributes positively), the first title is me-centric and we have to remember that people mostly go online to find information that solves a problem.
When you look at both, how do you see yourself writing on the search bar, 1 or 2?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to aiming the content at different targets but the content should start as a combination of what the brand has to offer and the will to add value to their audience.
How Can You Implement A Rich Search Analysis Strategy?
A study performed by Backlinko on over 1 million Blogs showed that -not only- is your search analysis important but also the amount of words per piece of content and the frequency in which you publish content also matters.
The study shows that content with less than 1000 words is considered by Google as "thin" content and tends to be outranked by content with a bigger word count.
Not only that, it also shows that brands that posted 16+ times a month were getting up to 3.5x more qualified links than those who posted 3 to 4 times a month.
It is critical to understand that there are many factors involved into ranking for a specific term, topic or keyword but it is proven that a powerful search strategy (including variations of the targeted keywords) is pivotal to get organic traffic.
Let's Look Shortly Into A Technical Aspect. The BERT Algorithm.
As mentioned at the beginning, recently, Google introduced a big algorithm change called BERT. The biggest in the last 5 years to be precise (and this is huge).
Although they introduce hundreds of small changes throughout the year, BERT is a major haul of their former algorithm.
So what exactly is BERT doing? is helping Google understand natural language.
Before, the robots at Google would match exact and broad terms to find the best content to serve users but BERT is changing all of that.
The algorithm is focused on the nuances of how human language is written and measuring even the sentiment of the content provided by scanning the kind of words used within its context and not on a word-to-word basis.
This makes keyword intent extremely powerful and therefore search analysis as well.
This whole new approach is based on trained models, structured on huge data-sets that respond to something Google calls NPL (natural language processing) which is linked to the fact that people use more details (long tail keywords) and a lot more spoken commands (when you ask your phone something) to describe their needs when performing a query.
This is what Google said:
“These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results.
Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.”
Without having to go too deep in this article about how the complete thing works (that’s our job) you understand now why putting focus on analyzing search, keywords and their intent is so critical to developing content that rank higher on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
Doing proper Search Analysis is to find the way your customers talk and engage with them in a manner they find comfortable and natural.
On one hand, the engines will deem your pages more relevant but that’s also because your potential customers will do the same.
Is Doing Search Analysis
Everything I need?
Definitely not, but it’s a great start. Making data-driven decisions will -almost always- lead to a better performance on your Ads, your content and the goal of understanding your customer perfectly so you can connect.
And while there are so many other aspects that influence your digital performance. If you're interested in reading a bit more about it, here's a link to an article containing the 200 factors that play a role in your positioning.
What really matter is that you know that:
1.- Search Analysis is a heavy one.
2.- It's a build-up. It doesn't happen over night.
Every positive step taken towards the main goal of attracting good, qualified traffic is worth taking.