User intent is the key to surviving the world of search engine optimization (SEO) this year. Many people wanted to focus on user intent before, but could not quite deliver. Things, however, changed when Google brought Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) into the picture. Now, it’s not just about how a user might search, but what drives the user to search.
The Significance of BERT
According to Neil Patel, BERT is the biggest update since Google released RankBrain. The algorithm sure got a lot of attention in 2019. So what makes BERT different from the other algorithm updates?
For starters, it improved Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and narrowed down the rankings to show what the user looks for. If you looked up, “do truck drivers sit a lot at work,” you would stumble upon an article or a website about the physical demands of truckers.
BERT makes a big difference in the results. The goal is to help a machine understand a group of words with all the nuances of context. Not only does the algorithm update make the results more relevant to the users; it also creates a better user experience. This should come as no surprise. After all, customers want nothing short of the best, with an emphasis on efficiency.
Whether you’re an SEO company in Tampa, Florida or Texas, you will only hear one question about the changes: so what happens to SEO now?
Time to Change Your SEO Strategy
If you want to stay ahead of the game, it’s high time you accept that BERT has a huge impact on SEO. The best way to do that is to think like how users talk about their issues, needs, and wants.
Businesses must understand how users process their thoughts when they type in their searches. As it turns out, it’s no longer about the keyword matching, but more on fulfilling user needs. There are two words to sum this up: think human.
This should be easy. But you will have to set aside the tactics you used for the previous Google algorithm updates. BERT needs you to come up with a different strategy.
Zero In on What Your Users Need
The key to getting more engagement and ranking higher is to focus on answering questions. Think like a consumer. If you need shoes, what do you type on the Google search bar? And when you get to the results, what do you want to see? The photo and the price of the shoes you intend to buy.
In short, you have to change your SEO tactics. The Google algorithm does not focus on word count; it focuses on quality. Take note: it’s not about the length, but the quality. From content that subtly focuses on being transactional, go for informational.
To win the SEO game, you have to be informative, creative, and reliable. Cut to the chase and focus on what your customers need not what you’re trying to sell them. Make their lives easier and more convenient. That is what user-focused optimization is all about.