Utilizing Natural Language for Search Engine Optimization
What language do you use when writing content and choosing keywords and key phrases for SEO?
When creating content and choosing keywords and key phrases, it is important to think about how a person speaks and how they search in Google. While search engines like Google use robots to crawl and rank your website, it is important to write for humans, NOT for robots – that’s why utilizing natural language for search engine optimization is so important!
In the old days of SEO, it was common for a webpage to have very obvious keyword stuffing – which was the method of choosing a few keywords and stuffing your content with them. It would make the page hard and unnatural sounding to read to a human, but the crawler robots loved it. In the more modern age of SEO, the focus has shifted to using natural sounding language, as well as opting for a key phrase instead of just a single keyword. Nowadays, SEO is about optimizing your content and your website for what people are actually searching for – which includes how they phrase their search queries. Semantics and the intent of the search is now more important than the actual search itself. In order to adapt to this new way of search, natural language is being use more and more in SEO.
Read on to learn more about natural language and how to utilize it in your search engine optimization!
What is natural language
Using natural language, in the context of SEO, means using language and text in your content and on your website that is similar to how a human naturally speaks and communicates. Natural language can also be described as ordinary and non-artificial. Nowadays, search engines like Google use Natural Language Processing as they crawl webpages to determine the meaning, intent, and context of the text on the page. This helps search engines provide more accurate search results and reward pages with well written content with natural language.
Semantics and Key phrases
So what does this mean for SEO? When you are writing content or optimizing a webpage, be sure to focus on creating valuable content that is easy to read and understand. Don’t focus as much on what you think a robot wants to see, instead focus on the overall meaning of the page as a whole and how a reader or visitor would experience the webpage. Instead of choosing a single keyword and trying to include it in every other sentence, choose a key phrase (AKA a long-tailed keyword) that is 1-4 words. While you don’t want to have too many words in your key phrase, more than one won’t hurt – it will actually help search engines understand the content of your page better!
Natural sounding search queries
With the advancing technology of search engines as well as new user experiences like voice-to-text, people’s search queries are turning into phrases, questions, and sometimes whole sentences. According to HubSpot, as of June 2021, 92% of all search queries are long-tailed keywords and 14% of Google searches are a question. Google uses it’s natural language processing capabilities to understand the meaning and semantics of the question that is being searched, and compares it to websites with similar content and semantics to determine and generate the best, most accurate search results. Your keyword or key phrase doesn’t have to be the exact question to rank for a question search query, as long as it has valuable content that answers the question that is being searched it has a high chance of being ranked high as a valuable result!
Overall, now that search engines use natural language processing to determine the semantics and overall meaning of webpages to deliver better search results for users, it is important to use natural language and a natural writing style when creating content or optimizing webpages. Want to learn more or need help with optimizing your website? Contact us today!