In late October 2019, Google rolled out its BERT update to its Search ranking system. Here is why SEO agency in Melbourne recommends the latest algorithm of Google. BERT is the most significant update to Google’s search platform since Rankbrain was introduced in 2015 and it is predicted to affect around 10% of all search queries.
What is BERT?
If the words Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers don’t mean very much to you, you are far from alone. In short, Google’s new custom-built super computers are using machine learning technology to look at the words surrounding each search query to better understand its context and deliver more accurate results.
As BERT is a language model, businesses across a range of industries and sectors should pay close attention to how Google plans to deliver results to its users moving forward.
What queries will be affected by BERT?
Featured snippets and organic results will be affected. As Google utilises its new capabilities to better understand the intent behind each search, BERT might also impact the type of featured snippet that is used and when it is displayed.
It is important to note that Google has openly stated that because its function is to enhance understanding of searcher intent, there isn’t really a way for site owners to optimise for BERT. It is not so much about ensuring that your website is long-tail keyword search friendly, but is instead about helping Google to understand what searchers mean and connecting that knowledge to some of the more specific information and content already sitting on your site.
Excitingly, there is a distinct upside for content writers and SEOs here as they should feel more encouraged to focus on writing excellent content for real people than attempting to write with machines and algorithms in mind.
Can I see if I have been impacted by BERT?
BERT mostly deals with complicated, long-tail search queries. As these searches will often be unique, it can be difficult to measure the impact of this update in the ways we have become accustomed to in recent years. Many tracking tools primarily monitor shorter search queries, which will mean that the impact of BERT will be less visible here.
What does BERT mean for on-page SEO?
Poorly written websites will struggle to perform well in search results. Web pages will need to have a strong focus moving forwards and those that are light on content must utilise cues including internal linking to deliver results.
For site owners who are unsure about best on-page optimisation practices, engaging the services of our professional SEO agency in Melbourne will help to shape a strong optimisation strategy that will translate to a solid performance in search engine results pages (SERPs).
As BERT will affect ten per cent of all English language search queries, this update is significant and should not be ignored. Keeping users in mind will help you to drive long-term results from your search strategy.
How digital consulting companies help increase efficiency, competitiveness, and accessibility of business
Digital marketplaces are becoming increasingly competitive and businesses striving for success in these arenas need to do everything they can to increase their efficiency, accessibility and to stand out for the right reasons. Working with a dedicated team delivering outcome-focused digital consulting in Melbourne can help businesses to ensure their offerings are tailored to the needs and expectations of their audience, and remain at the forefront of innovation to maintain a competitive position within their marketplace.
Expertise and Mentorship
The best digital consultants can immediately recognise what needs to be done to propel your business further towards achieving your core goals and objectives. Not only can they enhance your selling processes, but they will also have a keen eye for identifying monetisation opportunities and weak areas of your current approach that will benefit from additional refinement.
Data Visualisation and Analysis
The big data phenomenon has resulted in companies sitting on more data than ever before. With valuable data about themselves, their marketplaces and their customers, businesses need to understand how to measure and analyse this important information in order to effectively transform it into insight that can be used to inform future business decisions.
Digital consulting firms can help businesses to clean and compile datasets into informative infographics and dashboards that can deliver real-time analyses to decision-makers and management teams.
With more than 50% of all Internet users globally conducting the majority of their browsing using a mobile device, understanding how to deliver the first-class experiences audiences expect is vital for every business looking to remain competitive and secure success in modern marketplaces. Designing meaningful experiences relies on a data-driven approach and digital consulting teams can provide vital insight regarding how to meet your audience needs at every stage of their journey.
A Strong Digital Strategy
Effective marketing in modern marketplaces is reliant on an in-depth understanding of market segmentation, customer targeting, social media management, editorial production, advertising, content, and the development of customer-focused campaigns that deliver the right experiences to audiences.
With so many channels and platforms to target, a range of expertise and a strong creative vision is required to deliver consistent solutions across a variety of content formats. As most companies simply don’t have the technologies or experience in-house to deliver such wide-reaching campaigns, digital consultancies can help brands to build holistic marketing plans and ensure they are executed correctly to maximise results throughout their duration.
The digital space is in a constant state of evolution and staying ahead of the curve is a complex task that requires specific expertise and a creative, data-driven eye. Not only do experienced digital consultancies have a detailed knowledge of powerful tools that can help to refine your business processes, but they will also help you to channel your focus towards the areas that really matter in driving the results you want to see.
It’s reckoned that over 400 million voice assistants are now in use.  One of the reasons for this popularity is that voice technology has become much more accurate in recent years, bring us much closer to the ‘Star Trek’ vision of simply being able to talk to your computer. So, with more and more people accessing the internet via smart speakers or voice assistants like Siri, it’s vitally important that your web presence is voice friendly.
The attraction of voice search for users is that it allows you to multitask; you can get instant answers when you need them without having to wait for a computer to boot up or a website to load. You can ask a question faster than you can type it, and it generally eases your daily routine.
Voice search usage
The adoption of voice search is still in its early stages, but businesses need to gear up for it now as it’s only going to become more widely used in future.
So, what do people want out of voice searches? One of the primary considerations is location information. People might ask, “Where is the nearest restaurant?” or “Where is the nearest petrol station?” so it’s vital that your site includes location information.
But research carried out by search giant Google  also reveals people want a personalised experience. They want to know about sales and promotions underway locally; they want to find out about upcoming events; and they want to be able to make customer service queries.
Making your site voice friendly
Employing a custom web development company can help you identify how to best optimise your site for voice. There are a number of things you need to consider. First is that people don’t all speak in the same way, you need to consider what questions people are likely to ask and tailor your keywords accordingly. Google has a useful tool  that allows you to see how questions relate to each other and what people ask on similar topics.
You also need to consider the structure of your site and map content to searches accordingly. This means considering the steps someone will take. The journey might start with location, followed by what goods or services you offer, moving on to price as a precursor to making a purchase. You then get on to post-sales questions like servicing or support queries.
The issue with voice search is that it’s rather harder for people to pursue follow up questions, by clicking a link for example. It’s therefore much more important to make your content as relevant as possible so that good results are returned first time. To help with this, you can use meta data to tell search engines more about the content without affecting what your users see.