Google has changed search dramatically in the last couple of years, transforming it from a system that could be ‘tricked’ with poor quality, keyword-stuffed content, into a personalized search engine that draws on semantics to deliver the most relevant results possible for its users.
With the launch of the Hummingbird update in August 2013, Google aimed to deliver a search service that looked beyond basic keyword matching and into the actual context and intent behind every search query. The company has become all about improving search for its mobile users, too, and is now able to bring together an array of factors -including user location, personal search history and social media activity -when serving up results for searchers using handheld devices.
All this means that search results look very different today than they did 5 years ago. In fact, the results for any one term will look different for everyone, even though the same words are typed or spoken into the query box.
So, how do you succeed in the modern search landscape? Here are our 4 tips for making semantic search work for you.
1. Create Distinct and Powerful Branding
Great branding is no longer about appealing to everyone. If you strive to be all things to all people, your message will get lost on the crowded semantic web, where every business is trying to convince consumers that their product or service is one of a kind. Building a distinct, consistent brand through careful use of language, tone of voice and images will help Google understand what your property is about and the audience you’re catering for.
2. Publish High Quality Content, Regularly
In the wake of semantic search, creating high quality, interesting content that resonates with your target demographic has become more important than ever.
Businesses that regularly share engaging images, videos and photo content with consistent marketing are more likely to be considered an authority by Google, and therefore more likely to be served up for a relevant search query. This does not mean creating content for content’s sake. It means getting to grips with your guests’ needs and aspirations, and regularly designing content that directly addresses these issues in a compelling manner.
3. Get Familiar With Google Products
Unsurprisingly, Google places a lot of ranking value on its own products, which means if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to make yourself familiar with Google+, Local Google listings and YouTube.
Don’t forget to claim and list your resort on Google My Business, and be sure to fill out your listing with the maximum number of photos and videos allowed. You can also encourage your guests to leave Google Places reviews as part of your post-stay strategy.
4. Work on Your Social Media Game
Social media activity is another factor Google uses to understand the context and value of the content it indexes.
Likes, comments, shares and tweets from your online community are all seen as indicators of quality, and will help build your authority and influence on a web saturated with content.
How have you adapted your strategies following the introduction of semantic search? Let us know in the comments below!