Google updates its algorithms on a daily basis, but most of these updates are too small to mention. However, on the 25th of October last year, Google announced its biggest update of the past five years: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT. This algorithm is built to generate better results for the more complicated search queries. The algorithm can interpret a word better and consider the full context of a search query by looking at the words that come before and after it, which is particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries. It allows Google to show searchers better results when it comes to complex search queries.
How does BERT work?
The new algorithm uses an AI language model that understands search queries better than the previous models do. BERT is a so-called natural language processing (NLP) algorithm. It took Google years to develop this algorithm in such a way that it can understand natural language. BERT can grasp the meaning of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it. This allows Google to understand search queries better than before when every word in a search query was interpreted separately.
Take, for example, the question “Does a Dutch traveler to the USA need a visa?” The word “to” and its relationship to the other words in the search query are particularly important to understand the meaning of the query. It’s about a Dutch citizen traveling to the United States, and not the other way around. Previously, Google’s algorithms didn’t understand the importance of this connection, and search results on American citizens traveling to the Netherlands would be presented. The BERT algorithm now understands that the word “to” is very important in this sentence. Thus, much more relevant search results for this search query are shown.
What does BERT mean for your SEO?
If you’re an online marketer with a focus on SEO, you know by now that search engine optimization is a continuous process that never really ends. There are new updates you have to take into account, and you have to publish new content regularly to keep up your ranking in the search results. BERT is one of those updates that can have a major effect on your ranking. It will give websites with good and natural content a higher ranking compared to those with automated and copied content. This added value to your website will therefore become even more important than it has been in recent years.
When it comes to SEO, the following things are important to pay extra attention to when it comes to the BERT update:
- Clear structures. For the BERT update, it seems to be even more important that your website has a clear structure. This is because the new algorithm allows Google to look at the context of a search query and therefore also at the context of your content. If the structure of your website is clear, it will be easier for Google to determine what your website is about and in what context your content can be indexed.
- Unique content and answers to questions. You probably know this one by now, but the content on your website needs to be unique. And you need to keep posting high-quality, unique content regularly. If possible, this content should answer the questions your target audience have. This is not only important for the BERT update but also because voice search is becoming increasingly popular.
- Fast-loading webpages. Users and Google both don’t like it much when they have to wait a while for your website to load. With the BERT update, Google dislikes this even more. To have the BERT update function at its full potential, the speed of your website becomes increasingly important.
- Internal links. For the BERT update, it’s important that the internal links on your website are clear and relevant. This allows Google to link the right pages to each other and determine if your website answers the question the searcher has.
How Textmetrics can help you improve your SEO for the BERT update
The technique behind BERT is special because it uses AI models that understand the relationship of the words in a search query. In ten percent of all search queries, the BERT update will already lead to better search results, and this number is bound to improve in the coming months and years.
At Textmetrics, we use AI to enable you to create specific and unique target group content. Our tools are based on scientifically proven algorithms and help you monitor the quality of your content. They also help you create valuable and unique SEO content—precisely the type of high-quality content you need to write for the BERT update to work in your favor.
The beginning of the year is a moment to look back on the year that has passed, but it’s maybe even more so a great time to look ahead at where we’re going. At Textmetrics, we believe that looking ahead makes more sense. What’s done is done, right? So, let’s look ahead at the brand-new decade that’s upon us. Where are we going and what marketing trends can we expect for 2020?
Trend 1: It’s all about customer experience
Customer experience (CX) has been a buzzword for quite some time now. That won’t be any different next year. In fact, the focus on customer experience might even increase. This is mainly due to the growth of online content, which has given customers more power. They are no longer waiting for you to tell them why they should buy your product or use your service. They do their own research and find what they want online. They base their decision to choose your company over another on their own experience.
But what exactly makes a great customer experience? Some key factors are:
- Convenience: think of a website that is easy to navigate, has easy payment options and a great mobile experience.
- A friendly, fast and knowledgable service: especially in today’s day and age, customers don’t want to wait too long to have their questions answered.
- Personalization: customers want to feel like you understand what they need and want you to address them personally.
Trend 2: Personalisation
We’ve already mentioned this trend, albeit in a slightly different context, but 2020 will be the year of personalized marketing. Generic ads are losing their effectiveness as potential customers don’t feel a real connection to them and tend to tune them out. So much for traditional marketing! Personalized ads, however, are becoming increasingly appealing.
Luckily, you have the tools required to create personalized ads for your potential customers. New technologies, such as AI, the increasing amount of data you can collect, and insights from social media all give you the opportunity to take a very personal approach when it comes to advertising and attracting new customers.
Trend 3: AI-based automation
We briefly mentioned AI above when it comes to personalized ads. Big data supported by AI and predictive analytics helps companies learn more about their audience and customers. And the more you know about your audience, the more personalized your ads can be. But there is even more that AI can help marketers with. It is one of the major technologies behind voice search and smart assistants. And those chatbots you see more and more of on websites? They are also made possible by AI.
To come back to the importance of a great customer experience, chatbots are one of the many innovative solutions that can help improve your company’s customer experience. To sum it up: AI technology and automation take over some of the workload from marketers, so they have more time to focus on the marketing strategy and creating a great customer experience. Over the last few years, an increasing number of businesses have adopted AI-powered technology and automation to assist in their marketing efforts. For 2020, this number will probably increase. Businesses use AI for voice search, smart assistants and chatbots. We will see the latter on more and more websites. All in all, AI is a great tool to help to assist marketers, so they have more time to focus on the marketing strategy, and it also helps enhance the overall marketing efforts of your company.
Trend 4: Voice search
As we said above, voice search is one of the many tools powered by AI. Currently, around 20% of online searches are driven by voice. The expectation is that this will rise to about 50% in the next year. That’s a huge increase, and even if this figure isn’t entirely reached in 2020, voice search is still something you have to take into account when creating content.
Potential customers who use voice search to find products or services online use different keywords. Instead of typing one or a few words into a search engine, they use longer, more conversational queries. Using these search phrases as long-tail keywords in your content can help you pop up in the search engines. And if your content answers these questions, you could even end up as a featured snippet or in position zero on Google.
Trend 5: Content marketing
Content is king, right? That’s what we have been hearing for years now, and that doesn’t change in 2020. Only by sharing high-quality content can you show customers your expertise. For your marketing efforts, it’s still very important to been seen as an authority. High-quality content also helps you pop up on the first page of search engines.
Of course, SEO is still an important factor here, but search engines increasingly value the quality of your content. Search engines want to offer their customers high-quality results, so keep producing that high-quality content and let the search engines and potential customers know that you’re the one they need to turn to.
Could you use some help with implementing and optimizing your marketing efforts in 2020? Textmetrics is here to help! Our tools help you monitor the quality of your content, help you create valuable SEO content, and make sure that your content is fully targeted at the right audience.
A brand identity is how a company presents itself to the world. It refers to all the elements that a company might use to convey the essence of the business to customers, including their messaging, logo, website, landing pages, signage, and product packaging, as well as the colours, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them. But brand identity is more than just the design; it’s who you are as a company. So, it also includes the company’s culture, values and internal and external communication. How do you successfully implement your brand identity? We’ll take you through five essential steps to help you out.
Step 1. Identify who you are as a company
Before you can establish a brand identity for the public, you need to know exactly who you are as a company. What does your identity look like right now? Perhaps you already have a consistent brand experience through your website and product packaging. Perhaps you need to invest some more time in establishing your brand identity. Examine your business plans, mission statement, strategic plan and other brand documents to answer questions like:
- Why do we as a company exist?
- What defines who we are?
- How are we different from other companies?
- What do our existing customers and employees think of us?
- What impression comes across in our current company materials?
The answers to these questions can help you identify who you are as a company.
Step 2. Analyze your competitors’ brand positions
In order to attract new customers and have them choose your brand over the competition, your brand identity needs to stand out. That’s why you need to do some research to find out who your competitors are and see what you can learn from their brand identities. What are the successful companies doing? And the less successful ones?
Obviously, you should not copy the brand strategy of your competitors, but it is good to know where they stand. What do you like about their identity and what don’t you like? Analyzing your competitors may also help you find your niche. What types of customers are choosing your company over the competition? You can use this information to develop a story around your identity and create a unique selling proposition (USP).
Step 3. Define your companies USP
We have already briefly mentioned USPs. Your USP is what makes your company unique and what makes it stand apart from the competition. What do you have to offer that your competitors don’t? This is your unique selling proposition (USP). And this is what your brand identity should express. To help you determine your USP, you can ask yourself questions like:
- What motivates us as a company and what motivates our customers?
- What frustrates our customers? And how do we take those frustrations away?
- Why do customers choose our products or services instead of our competitors’?
Step 4. Create a vision for the future
It takes time to build your brand identity. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to develop a strategy that only reflects what you’re doing today. It’s best to create a brand strategy that incorporates your goals for the next five to ten years, but without forgetting about the present completely! To help you create a vision for the future, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you want to be with your company in five years from now?
- What will the internal structure of your company and team look like at that point?
- What new products and services will you be launching?
Creating a vision for the future helps you ensure that the identity you’re developing is not only relevant in the years to come but will even help you get there.
Step 5. Implement your brand identity
Now that you know where you came from, where you are today, what your competitors are up to, what your USP is, and where you want to go in the coming years, you are ready to put your company identity into practice. This includes both the design aspects, like your company logo, website, landing pages, signage, and product packaging, as well as the colours, fonts, shapes, and language that appear on them.
How Textmetrics can help you implement your brand identity
The words, language, and messages you use all need to reflect your brand identity just as much as the design aspects do. Once you have defined your brand identity, you need to apply your new way of communicating across every medium you plan to use in your marketing strategy. Consistency is crucial here. If the way you communicate on your website and social media do not match, you could confuse your customers, and they might even think that you’re not who you say you are. A brand book can help you formalize what is and isn’t considered on-brand for your company.
At Textmetrics, we know that these brand books usually aren’t enough to guarantee the level of consistency you need. That’s why we have developed a number of tools that can help you ensure that all communication is applied consistently and in accordance with your company’s brand identity.
Brand consistency is the practice of always delivering messages that are in line with the identity and values of your brand. Consistency here means that your target audience is being exposed to the same core messages repeatedly. Because the more consistent your messaging, the more consistent your branding. Textmetrics can help you improve your brand consistency. But before we tell you a bit more about that, let’s see why brand consistency is so important.
Brand consistency = brand recognition
The most obvious reason why brand consistency is so important is that it leads to brand recognition. As a company, this is what you should always strive for, to be immediately recognizable by your target audience. You could say brand consistency is marketing at a higher level. By being consistent in your messaging you can set your brand apart from your competitors, which is especially valuable in a highly competitive and saturated market.
It helps build trust and loyalty
Trust is an important factor when it comes to selling your product or service. Brand recognition is about more than getting your name out there, it’s about helping customers get to know your brand on a personal level. Trust works so well because purchasing is more an emotional decision than a practical one. You can trigger the right emotions by making your customers feel like they know your brand. Once you have built the necessary trust, it’s easier to persuade customers to make a purchase. Brand consistency helps to build trust and loyalty since consumers will know what to expect when they buy your product or use your service.
It evokes positive emotions about your brand
Consistently communicating positive messages can also help evoke positive emotions from your target audience. And the best thing is that your audience will, over time, begin to associate these positive emotions with your brand. It takes some time and persistence, but when it’s done right, even the slightest hint of your brand will affect those same positive emotions in your audience. Just imagine the impact on your business when exposure to your brand always makes people feel happy. It’s no secret that happy people are more likely to make a purchase.
It helps you beat your competition
When your company does business in a highly competitive, saturated market, brand consistency can play a very important role. Being consistent in your messaging can really set your brand apart from your competitors. When customers have to choose between a number of near-identical offers, brand consistency often means the difference between earning a customer’s business or losing them to the competition. It’s important to remember that improving brand consistency will lead to more brand recognition, consumer trust, and positive reception by potential customers. And these are all important factors that determine whether a customer chooses your brand over your competition. Brand consistency sets your company apart from the rest, time and time again.
Let Textmetrics help you be consistent in your messaging
In the digital age, it’s pretty easy to create blog posts, eBooks, and other online content. Chances are that you publish articles online daily and distribute eBooks on a regular basis. The employees who write this content likely have some sort of style guide available to make sure that everything they write is in line with your brand identity.
At Textmetrics, we know that these style guides usually aren’t enough to guarantee the level of consistency you want and need for your brand. That’s why we developed a number of tools that can help you make sure that all employees communicate according to branding standards. The algorithms we developed, will assess in real time what people are writing and our augmented assistant will help them whenever they deviate too far from your brand identity. This allows you to ensure that all written content is consistent with corporate standards and delivers a maximum impact on your target audience.
We are very proud to announce that Textmetrics will be exhibiting in the Growth program at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon on 5th of November 2019.
Web Summit Conference
The Web Summit is a well-known conference where all CEO’s of technology companies, fast-growing start-ups, policy marketers and heads of state meet each other. This year it is expected to receive over 70,000 people at the conference in Lisbon. According to Forbes Web Summit is “the best technology conference on the planet”.
It would be great to meet you at the Web Summit! Please visit us at our conference booth G109 on Tuesday November 5th at Growth Startups area. If you would like to plan a personal meeting please contact us through the Web Summit app or by email at support @ Textmetrics.com. Textmetrics is the growing content creation platform that enables you to create web content that matches your target audience. With the help of AI, Big Data and machine learning you will be able to receive real-time suggestions to write high quality content that converts. According to the Branded Content Manager at Bol.com “We were looking for a web content tool to make our text findable at scale and convert better. Textmetrics is the best solution for us!”