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How To Improve SEO Results With AI-Based Search Engine Modeling

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How To Improve SEO Results With AI-Based Search Engine Modeling


Is your search engine marketing strategy based on industry-wide best practices?

Confused because you’re not getting the results you want?

Not seeing results quickly enough?

You may need personalized SEO recommendations that just aren’t applicable to everyone.

AI-based search engine modeling can improve your SEO results with personalized solutions.

Without adding more work to your day, AI-based search engine modeling can:

  • Predict and test SEO algorithm changes before they hit SERPs.
  • Help get you to the top of the results for your target keywords faster.
  • Lead your organization to a better, personalized, and precise SEO strategy.

Don’t: Rely Only On Best Practices

Search engines are constantly evolving.

Best practices are constantly changing.

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Ranking systems and algorithms continue to grow more intelligent.

These algorithm upgrades allow search engines to detect and remove pages with issues and poor user experience from search engine results pages (SERPs).

At the same time, they exchange those removed pages with new pages that match the true intent of the users’ searches.

What you learned yesterday could be old news by the time you update and implement your strategy.

Don’t: Rely Only On Past Data & Experience

“Any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of ‘recommendations,’ most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search,” John Mueller writes in a Reddit discussion about Core Web Vitals.

He believes that it takes experience to determine which recommendations to take action upon to produce the most valuable results.

Also, Google doesn’t go into detail about the specific ranking factors that shape SERPs; they just offer a basic guide on how their search engine algorithms work.

This is where large amounts of past experience in SEO come in.

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Past experience with SEO can help you recognize trends and hope you hit the nail on the head.

But, this can take a lot of time.

The real question – how long will your search rankings suffer as you gain experience with your industry-specific keywords, chosen search engine, and geographic location?

How much time will you spend working on SEO tasks that ultimately won’t affect your visibility in search?

Instead of looking to the past and waiting until your team is up to speed, look to the future with AI-based search engine modeling.

Do: Leverage The Benefits Of AI-Based Search Engine Modeling

So, if you can’t rely on search engines to tell you which factors are most important for rankings, and the feedback loop on real-world results is too slow, what can you use to make impacts sooner?

Search engine modeling.

Search engine modeling creates a space to run experiments based on data-driven, experience-backed theories, so you don’t have to.

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You save bandwidth and increase the ability to implement tested results.

Market Brew’s search engine modeling uses artificial intelligence to create customized models for your target search engine and keywords.

How Does Search Engine Modeling Work?

Search engine modeling works by reversing the process used by search engines.

It can create simulated SERPs for your target keywords based on the trends and algorithm of any given day.

Market Brew analyzes the SERPs against the content placed at the top of SERPs for a particular keyword search to determine which ranking factors shape the results.

Search engine models are trained by current SERPs – allowing them to learn the ranking factors that shape the results today.

The outcome?

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The ability to focus on a precise SEO plan that will lead to faster, more measurable results in search rankings.

Know Exactly Which Ranking Factors Affect Your Target Keywords

First, use AI-based search engine modeling to find out the current ranking factors.

Using search engine modeling, you can determine what on-site and off-site ranking factors have helped your competitors rank at the top for your target keywords.

Screenshot of a search model within Market Brew revealing the ranking factors and scores for each website competitor, December 2021.

With this information, you can find out exactly how far behind you are from competitors and what it will take to outrank them.

By prioritizing which tasks will help improve your SERP position the fastest, Market Brew helps teams close the gap, work on what matters, and avoid what doesn’t.

Know Which Tasks To Prioritize

Once you know which ranking factors will have a direct impact on increasing your visibility in search engine results, you will know which tasks to prioritize.

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SEO

Link relevancy trumps volume for SEO

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Data speaks Link relevancy trumps volume for SEO

30-second summary:

  • Earned media coverage is more valuable than ever for your website
  • Digital PR is just as important as technical SEO
  • A large volume of links is the goal, what’s stopping someone from picking the most newsworthy idea, even if it has nothing to do with your client?

In 2022, it’s impossible to deny the benefit that digital PR as a tactic has on an organic growth strategy. Earned media coverage is more valuable than ever for your website. You could be doing everything right for SEO, but if you’re not building links, you’re still missing out on the increased search visibility, organic traffic, and brand awareness that backlinks bring to your business.

Last year, Google’s John Mueller finally weighed in on digital PR as a tactic and confirmed what we’ve all known for a while now: that it’s just as important — if not more — as technical SEO.

As digital PR is still a relatively “young industry” that’s only just sprouted up in the past 10 years, many PR pros have relied on “viral” campaigns to boost the backlink portfolio of their clients. These viral campaigns are often celebrated but are often created with little regard to how relevant, or “on-brand” those ideas really are.

After all, if a large volume of links is the goal, what’s stopping someone from picking the most newsworthy idea, even if it has nothing to do with your client?

In 2022, link volume is no longer the goal (or shouldn’t be)

While many PR pros’ were evaluating their success around this one key metric (link volume) others in the industry have suspected for a while now that the relevance of linking coverage is a key factor Google looks at when assigning “value” to links.

Once again, John Mueller has settled the debate about link volume vs link relevance,  coming out in 2021 and saying that ‘the total number of links’ doesn’t matter at all.

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This clarity has helped refocus the digital PR industry and forced PR pros to re-evaluate what metrics and KPIs we need to be focusing on to drive true organic growth.

It’s no longer enough to be ‘popular’ you also need to be relevant. Not just in terms of the publications you are targeting, but the keywords you want to rank for,  audience interest, and most importantly, brand alignment to the story you are pitching in.

Google is continuously looking to become more intelligent through its use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. It wants to understand web content as a human, and therefore through its use of natural language understanding, it is likely to not just be looking at the anchor text of links in third-party articles, but it is also wanting to understand the wider context of the article that a brand is placed in.

How to ensure your link-building activity is relevant to your brand

The first steps to coming up with relevant content ideas for your digital PR campaign are to:

  1.  understand your client, and
  2.  understand your client’s audience and their needs.

Every good idea will flow from these two pillars.

If Google’s main objective is to show the best content to users through search, then your job is to create content that either supports your client’s product or service or supports their customers.

It is more important than ever to not only create relevant and on-brand content in the written form but also ensure that any supporting assets created (video, images, audio) are also relevant to the target keywords and services or products that the brand sells.

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In addition, it’s important to create content that engages people, to drive further buzz and positive sentiment around the brand, all of which contribute to greater brand awareness and affinity among your potential customers.

How to measure the relevancy of your backlink profile

We now have the technology available to us to be able to understand and assign quantifiable metrics to the relevance of linking coverage (or indeed the relevance of any text-based content) – which allows us to be much more data-driven and targeted when developing digital PR, link creation activity and competitor and marketplace analysis.

For example, natural language understanding tools like Salient, measure the relevancy of both off-page and on-page content. Tools like this help to understand how a search engine is viewing a brand’s content, it not only enables us to identify the gaps in our client’s backlink profile.

At Journey Further, we use this proprietary tool to measure the relevancy of both off-page and on-page content for our clients.

Measuring the relevancy of your backlink profile

We can use this tool to understand how a search engine is viewing a brand’s content, it not only enables us to identify the gaps in our client’s backlink profile but also aids us in optimizing its content on-site. The outcome of which – is a much more focused, effective, and measurable digital PR activity that is better aligned to SEO objectives and that delivers better ROI for clients.

Looking ahead to 2023

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, it’s likely that Google will only continue to develop better technology to understand web content.

All digital PR campaigns should reflect this, and where possible, be multi-faceted, not just relying on a single press release to get cut through. We need to be thinking as marketers, not just SEO practitioners, and ensure we are driving as much ROI as possible. Taking a brand plus performance approach to SEO and digital PR will therefore be key.


Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

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