BERT: What It Is and Why It Matters for Your Business

by Guest Author on March 31, 2020

in Guest Posts

With a plethora of recent updates and marketing strategies taking the world by storm, navigating the realm of enhanced optimization can be tricky. Take one wrong step, and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with knowledge that may have seemed beneficial at first glance, but only ends up opening a portal to bewilderment and chaos. 

Fortunately, Google’s latest BERT update is anything but nonessential. In fact, the latest update to the core search algorithm is expected to affect one in ten search queries. 

Now that you have a clear picture of its efficacy, it’s time to dive in and break down the basics of this innovative update that still has many businesses perplexed. 

BERT: What Do I Need to Know?

An acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, BERT may seem confounding at first, but is one of the most fascinating and easy-to-grasp updates rolled out by Google in the past five years. 

Simply put, the update uses machine learning to process content more effectively. If you were to search for “denmark traveler to california no visa” in the past, it’s very likely that Google would have displayed results indicating how the citizens of California could travel to Denmark without a visa. Contrarily, BERT produces highly specific results that meet the initial search request put forth by users. 

After the update, users are more likely to receive results that take prepositions and word placement into account, thereby offering a relevant outcome. 

Similarly, if you had searched for “is vegan food restaurant healthyarizona,” the old search algorithm would have processed your query as a bag of words. By picking up on prominent words—including vegan, food, restaurant, and Arizona—it’s very likely that you would have received location-specific results that displayed vegan restaurants in Arizona. 

Instead of learning about whether vegan food at the restaurants in Arizona is healthy or not, you would have been flooded with objective results that diverted from the intended query. 

BERT is designed to take subjective nuance into account and deliver tailored results that meet personalized search requirements. In other words, while the system previously took search entries at face value, it has been cleverly updated to understand language context and virtually read between the lines—although it’s stillnot as effective and accurate as content marketers would like it to be. 

However, it’s a step in the right direction that can be used as a powerful weapon to optimize content and improve audience engagement and retention. 

How Can I Use BERT to Boost My Business?

Affecting conversational searches and featured snippets, BERT offers highly-specific results that give users what they asked for—or at least as close to it as a machine can offer. While Google Public Search Liaison Danny Sullivan recently announced that there’s “nothing to optimize for with BERT,” the system impacts businesses in a roundabout way. 

Since the update wasn’t an explicit transformation, there isn’t an explicit way to tweak branding and marketing strategies. Instead, the best way to give your business a much-needed boost is to do exactly what BERT did. 

By making subtle yet smart changes, businesses can implicitly transform their strategy, thereby garnering greater recognition and engagement that boosts their brand identity.

1. Tweak Your SEO Strategy by Focusing on Specificity

Mimic the strategy implemented by Google by getting specific with your content. As one of the most effective yet covert ways of tapping into greater audience engagement and retention, producing highly-specific content that gives customers exactly what they’re seeking is a great way to boost metrics. 

Use SEO services, link building services, and keyword tools effectively to optimize your content and avoid redundancy, derailing, and irrelevance. Not only will producing rehashed and unoriginal content for promotional purposes drive audiences away, but you’ll also notice a dip in how your brand is perceived. 

Identify what potential customers are actively on the lookout for and deliver specific answers that give them a curated experience. 

2. Produce Engaging, Unique, and Relevant Content

While this may sound like a no-brainer, many businesses tend to get lost in the maze of producing content that they believe sells. 

Instead of focusing on length, keyword stuffing, and excessive internal and external usage, the best way to drive your business forward is by creating engaging, unique, and relevant content. 

Give potential customers what they asked for and more. While it may be tempting to categorize “more” as a focus on quantity, it’s essential that you don’t lose sight of quality and creativity. 

With over 9 in 10 millennials (aged 18–29)being in possession of a smartphone, producing text, picture, audio, and video marketing content that appeals to them by standing out is a recipe for long-term business growth and retained visibility. 

Resort to using humor, pop culture references, and refreshing content to engage millennials while retaining a strong focus on specificity. Striking the right balance will drive your content towards the top of Google SERP. 

3. Run a SERP Analysis

Getting in touch with professional SEO and link building services is a surefire way to make the most of the BERT update. Analyze the top ranking websites while identifying areas of improvement. 

By gaining insights into keyword density, search volume, optimization strategy, and metrics, you’ll develop a foundational understanding into effective strategies to gain more recognition, thereby improving your business. 

4. Strategically Tap Into New Ranking Opportunities

While users may initially run a specific search, it’s very likely that there are several connected queries scattered across their minds. While this isn’t a free pass to promote irrelevant content, it definitely hints towards a need for more avenues of connected content. 

We recommend creating a “People Also Ask” section toward the end of your blog, article, guest post, infographic, or video. Fill it with straightforward, informative, engaging, and relevant content that benefits potential customers, thereby increasing audience satisfaction, engagement, and retention. 

Guest article written by: The author works for the award-winning digital marketing company, Search Berg. Known for its SEO and link building services, the company has completed over 20,000 projects. The author has assisted a plethora of clients in PPC marketing, social media management, reputation management, content marketing, and web design and development.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Utkarsh Singh April 4, 2020 at 14:58

Really amazing info….i loved it

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Nikki Laker April 6, 2020 at 16:26

I am convinced there was another huge update 23rd March 2020 although can’t see much online about it. Anyone else noticed this?

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Ana May 19, 2020 at 18:30

Nice post, thanks for share.

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