Are you on the natural language train? It’s clear that natural language is driving changes for advertisers. And as luck has it (or not so much luck as it is me pestering poor Patrick over at SEMRush) we had the pleasure of talking about natural language from three distinct points of views last week at the SEMRush webinar. Our team has put together an overview of what we covered so that you don’t miss a thing. As soon as we have a link to the recording, we’ll include that too!
The gist of the whole webinar boiled down to the fact that natural language has become more important than ever for your marketing strategy. The way that search engines and users interact has an impact on how you should be setting up your web page content, location, and keywords. Correctly utilizing natural language will help your business reach a larger audience. And that’s what we’re all striving for as marketers, right?
Natural Language: What’s changed?
When people first started using search engines they would ask a question as the search inquiry, “Do all kangaroos have pouches?” Over time, to get better results, people have narrowed these inquiries into keywords, “kangaroos,” and “pouches” (source [https://trackmaven.com/blog/natural-language-processing-changed-seo/]). This search transition brought about change for the search engine as well. As removing linking and searching words became more common the search engines now have different results for a natural language question and a keyword search.
The phrasing of a question puts the search into a different, more detailed context. New technology like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home allow for natural language in conversation with your technology environment. As these programs delve deeper into our lives we can further develop our use of natural language for technology.
User Intent & Natural Language
Natural language also helps you pick up more information about user intent. User intent factors encompass type vs. voice search, number of consecutive searches, other people’s searches, and relevant topics. You can find more visitors with natural language.
By focusing on queries…
- you can cast a wider net
- identify opportunities
- understand where searchers are in the funnel
BIG IMPORTANT POINT HERE: Knowing what the consumer wants can bring them further along in the process.
It is vital that you test all landing pages so they work to complement the user intent and use of natural language. Some current marketing strategies use location-based marketing. This is important when looking at the benefits of local SEO, location targeting and geo-fencing.
We’ve said that the last 6 years were the year of mobile. We’ve finally decided that this is the decade of mobile because so much has changed and will continue to change as a fundamental shift in the way we interact with the internet.
Here are a few key things to watch for:
- Make sure that your user experience is amazing. Abandonment and bounce rates have always been a marketer’s worse nightmare and unless that is a seamless experience, you’ll love more people than ever. We’ve got expectations as searchers and if you don’t meet them: #disappointment.
- Better data for you. As mobile continues to eat user desktop searches for lunch, there will be more engine targeting, better access to data, capture researchers on mobile and more devices. Make sure you use this to your advantage!
- Don’t miss a beat. Watch the engines for change, collect and evaluate user data, and test everything.
- Stop pretending that you’re in different college houses. It’s time to de-silo marketing departments (no, really, and still) with a holistic marketing strategy, best practices, and shared learnings.
- Keep educating internally. If you don’t build internal confidence across your organization around the importance of all of the above, when you do have the make a major pivot, it will be like turning the titanic.
- Search engines are changing the way customers behave.
- Knowing what your user is trying to accomplish with their language.
- Collaboration is the key to doing natural language right
Quick Note: I want to make sure everyone knows that this was drafted by Ryleigh Hazen, our marketing intern. She did a great job getting the meat of our webinar down so I could go through and turn it into a helpful blog article. So, great job Ryleigh! *hooray!*
We’ll include a link to the recording as soon as it’s available! For now, take a look at a few of our other digital marketing strategy resources in our resource center!
Any other thoughts on the importance of natural language? Let us know!