Using contextual signals in your website content to gain exposure and reach the right audiences in Google search

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:24

Google is the leading search engine in the world. 

In fact, 90% of searches made on desktops are done via Google. Be it with organic or paid search, Google offers businesses the potential to reach their customers, and improve their visibility against their industry’s competitors. 

However, Google’s constant change in, and the invention of new, algorithms, has made it easier for customers to consume information fast, with the least amount of disruption. They’ve grown their model to be customer-first. And if businesses do not acknowledge or strategise around Google’s Best Practice Guidelines, they’ll struggle to attract new, and retain customers using their search engine. 

And this is why relevancy has become a defining quality for content creation. When contributing content to a giant search engine like Google, your content should aim to solve customers’ queries. It should help them determine the usefulness of your offering, and whether or not they’ll need it. 

To create relevant content, you need to factor in contextual signals. It’s important to remember that Google does not read content the way a human does, well, we’d hope not. There are multiple elements that add to your visibility, as well as ones that decrease your chances of online success. 

Google loves contextual signals  

...and so do your customers. 

Before we unpack the elements that give your website a higher weight in Google’s eyes, let’s discuss this inbound marketing approach. Put simply, contextual marketing in search is highly effective. This approach brings together a range of semantic meanings, based on a customer’s behaviour and search history with your brand. Of course, to be as efficient as possible, you will need to have a clear understanding of who your customers are, their pain points, and how you plan on solving them. Consistent, relevant information that is updated will add to this process, and customers will become more trustworthy of information that is current and resonates with them on a personal level. 

The goal is to create SEO-friendly content that meets Google’s requirements, is properly formatted and supports its latest algorithm updates. By creating content that is technically optimised and follows Google’s language modelling, the search engine will be able to recognise themes, subjects, categories, and more, related to your content. Of course, your success with search rankings will also depend on the build of your website and how long Google takes to implement your changes

While all these elements are connected, focus on each and start optimising for contextual signals:

Your page URLs  

Be considerate of the words you use in your URL structure, as Google will analyse it according to customer intent. For example, your keyword usage and how you categorise your product or service in the market. This will give off contextual signals, and determine where your page will appear in search. 

For example, which URL describes our search services page better?

  • https://www.rogerwilco.co.za/performance-marketing
  • https://www.rogerwilco.co.za/performance-marketing-services

Meta titles and meta descriptions  

Your meta titles and descriptions need to relate to the content on the page. Avoid duplication of titles across pages, and make use of pipes and hyphens to separate content and help customers understand you better. 

Header titles and subtitles 

Often, people ignore the value that H1 tags and subheadings can do for your business. By paying attention to this detail, and incorporating contextually relevant keywords, you’re already helping Google understand your content better. Now, it will crawl in context, knowing what your intent is. 

Keywords 

Along with SEO campaigns, copywriters need to consider the context and topic of a particular page and seamlessly match these words with frequently searched for keywords. Each keyword group or phrase should be categorised according to themes, allowing Google to understand your signals. 

Alternative text 

Google scans your content by looking at the five words before, and the five words after the keyword. Now, Google does not only have to “read” your content, but it can also crawl images with alternative text. By using alt-text on images, you’re providing additional assets to help describe the page.

Semantic words 

Semantics can be understood as complementary, descriptive words that are generally associated with a specific topic. These words are naturally used when an expert writes content relating to a topic but can be done for any business which wants to associate industry terminology with their brand.

Internal links 

Internal linking is a powerful way to boost relevancy in your field. Google will identify your link, and contextually summarise what your website is about. This can help to increase your page rankings.

Anchor texts 

While an anchor text connects with your internal link, the words you use still need to trigger readers to click on the link. Anchor texts need to provide context about the link; otherwise, people will not click. They also indicate to search engine crawlers what the page is about that the link is going to.

Google My Business 

With so much information available on the web, it’s common for customers to lack insight on businesses that relate to the same field as what they’re searching for. Especially when they’re loyal to a particular brand. Google My Business gives you an advantage, enabling you to explain to Google, and your customers, about what you do and how it’s contextually relevant to a customer’s search. It is also an easy way to get onto Google and in front of people who live close to the business’s location.

Schema 

By optimising for Schema Markup, it will boost your business’s visibility and click-through rates (CTRs) in search results pages and stand out from your competitors. Essentially, you incorporate new microdata (tags), also known as a rich snippet, into your website’s HTML, which will provide a better browsing experience on Google. Some popular content uses for Schema are recipes, events and people.

Final thoughts 

Google learns from consumer searches, so you need to monitor their patterns for your business to stay top of mind, and essentially, to help Google improve your chances of success. The more content that gets created, the more important it is to factor in the above elements to increase your performance. You can always count on Rogerwilco to optimise your business website for a digital world and pivot your business during and post-pandemic. Our performance marketing team can guide you on the content your brand should create to stand out in the market and outrank your competitors. 

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