The Ultimate 2017 Manifesto
1: What is Google RankBrain?
RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google uses to sort the search results. It helps Google to process and understand search queries.
What makes RankBrain different?
Depending on the SEO keyword, RankBrain will increase or decrease the importance of backlinks, content freshness, content length, domain authority etc. Then, it looks at how Google searchers interact with the new search results. If users like the new algorithm better, it stays. If not, RankBrain rolls back the old algorithm.
2: How does RankBrain Work?
RankBrain has two main functions;
- RankBrain Understands Any SEO Keyword That You Search For
Before RankBrain, if a keyword is typed, Google would have to scan different pages to see if they contained the exact keyword someone searched for especially if these keywords were brand new. But today, RankBrain actually understands what you’re asking. And it provides a 100% accurate set of results:
- RankBrain Measures User Satisfaction
When RankBrain shows a set of results, it observes well to know if they’re good. So if lots of people like one particular page in the results, they’ll give that page a ranking boost and if a lot hated it, they’ll drop that page and replace it with a different page.
3: Keyword Research in a RankBrain World
You may need to tweak your keyword research process as it’s more RankBrain-friendly.
And here’s how:
Ignore Long Tail Keywords
Instead of long tails, it’s preferable to optimize content around Medium Tail Keywords. When this is done, they get more search volume than your average long tail as RankBrain automatically ranks you for that term, and thousands of similar keywords.
4: How to Optimize Titles and Description Tags for CTR
Organic CTR is a key RankBrain ranking signal, and here are the steps to get people to click on your result.
Pack Your Title Tags with Emotion
Emotional titles get more clicks and this is something copywriters have known for years. Though it doesn’t always make sense to create highly-emotional titles, but whenever you can, you should.
Add Brackets and Parentheses to the End of Your Titles
This is one of the best CTR hacks that work so well. Brackets outperforms bracket-less titles by about 33%, and parentheses should also be included in most of your titles:
Data from several sources is clear that numbers improve CTR. You can use numbers in your title, even if your content isn’t a list post.
Sprinkle Power Words into Your Title Tags
Power Words are terms that pack a serious emotional punch, and this helps your title stand out and get more clicks.
Optimize Your Description Tag for CTR
An optimized description can significantly boost your CTR.
How to create a description tag that gets results
Make it emotional.
Just like with a title tag, you want your description tag to convey some emotion.
Sell WHY someone should click on your result.
Is your content comprehensive, based on research or Funny? Sell that in your description:
Copy words and phrases that paid ads (AdWords) use.
Include some of the common phrases in your description.
Include your target keyword.
Google will make it bold, which can help your result stand out
5: How to Optimize Your Content for Bounce Rate and Dwell Time
Dwell Time and how Google uses it
Dwell time is the amount of time a Google searcher spends on your site after clicking on your result. Obviously, the longer someone spends on your page, the better. So RankBrain measures Dwell Time and shuffle the results around based on this signal.
Strategies to increase your site’s dwell time;
Push Your Content above the Fold
When someone clicks on your site from Google, they want their question answered instantly as they don’t want to scroll down to read your content. So when the first sentence of your content is front-and-center, you’ll hook your reader right off the bat and this increases your Dwell time.
Use Short Intros (5-10 Sentences MAX)
Most persons spend more time on intros than headlines. So there’s no need for a massive intro. Instead, use your intro to sell the content they’re about to read.
Publish Long, In-Depth Content
Obviously, it takes longer to read a 2000-word guide than a 400-word blog post, and another reason while long form content improves Dwell Time is the fact that longer content can fully answer a searcher’s query.
Break Up Your Content into Bite Size Chunks
Reading about 2,000 words is hard, and even harder if those words are presented as a giant wall of text. So the simple way to get around this problem is use of sub-headers.
6: Bonus RankBrain Optimization Strategies and Case Studies
These the strategies you can use to optimize your site for RankBrain;
Increase Brand Awareness
When people know your brand, they’re more likely to click on your site in the search results.
How to increase your brand’s awareness;
Try Facebook ads.
Facebook ads can put your brand in front of lots of eyeballs. And when those eyeballs are scanning the search results, they’re more likely to click on your result.
Create a valuable email newsletter.
Sending valuable content to people’s inboxes increases your brand awareness. In fact, your open rates are well above industry average when you send good stuff.
Do a “Content Blitz”.
A “Content Blitz” is where you release a ton of content in a short period of time. This is way more powerful than dripping content over the course of the year.
Turn “Zeros” to “Heroes”
If you have a page on your site that didn’t do well as you’d hoped, there is great news. Going back to optimize that page for RankBrain, can give it a SERIOUS rankings boost.
Use LSI Keywords to Fill in “Content Gaps”
LSI Keywords are words and phrases related to your content’s main topic, and they give RankBrain the context they need to fully understand your page.