Put your marketing hat on, today we’re talking about the biggest trend in SEO: Entities.
If you’ve been all about keywords when it comes to your SEO strategy, it’s time to widen that lens a bit. Today, let’s talk about a shift happening in the SEO world – the transition from a focus on keywords to a focus on entities.
Why the Move from Keywords to Entities?
We all remember the good ole days when SEO seemed like a simple keyword game. The more you peppered your content with keywords, the more visibility you gained.
But as Google’s algorithm became smarter, they introduced the knowledge graph, causing a subtle, but profound, shift in how content is ranked.
Think of entities as Google’s way of understanding the world, much like our human brain categorizes concepts. Instead of viewing every keyword in isolation, search engines now see them as part of a broader concept or entity.
This means when someone searches “Apple,” Google isn’t just thinking of the fruit but also the tech giant, the record company associated with The Beatles, maker of this computer, etc. It’s the “big picture”.
So, Why Should You Care?
- Better Understanding of User Intent: Entities allow search engines to decipher the context behind a search. So if your content clearly aligns with a specific entity, it has a better shot at ranking for various related queries, not just specific keywords.
- Future-Proofing: Search engines are only getting smarter, with more emphasis on understanding user intent and context. Embracing an entity-focused approach positions you well for future algorithm changes. Especially as we enter the Search 3.0 realm of the AI era.
- Richer Content: When you think in terms of entities, your content isn’t just limited to specific keywords. Instead, you create richer, more comprehensive content that holistically covers a topic.
- Greater Brand Visibility: Entities tie into knowledge graphs. These are enormous networks of interconnected information. By aligning your content with relevant entities, you can increase your brand’s chances of appearing in rich snippets, info boxes, and other high-visibility spots on the SERPs.
Are Keywords Obsolete?
Consider keywords as the building blocks.
They provide the necessary detail and specificity, while entities offer the broader context.
It’s like describing a forest. The keywords might focus on specific trees, plants, or animals, while the entity encompasses the entire forest ecosystem.
However, it’s essential to strike a balance.
Continue with your keyword research, but ensure your content ties back to broader entities for a more holistic SEO approach.
Implementing Entity-Based SEO
Alright, now that we’ve talked about the why, let’s dive into the how:
- Start with Existing Content: Review your current content. How can you restructure or expand it to align more closely with relevant entities? I like to use some kind of tool like ClearScope to help with this.
- Engage in Comprehensive Research: When creating content around a topic (entity), research all the angles. Understand related concepts, questions people ask, and how different keywords tie into the broader entity. We’re using FAQ sections in our content to help with this.
- Link Out to High-Authority Sources: Connect your content to established knowledge graphs by linking out to authoritative sources like Wikipedia, industry-leading websites, and educational platforms. External links to authoritative pieces (i.e. ones that you used to research your article) are a great way to show that you relate to these authoritative sources.
- Structured Data: Use schema markup to help search engines understand the context of your content better. Use an SEO plugin like Yoast.
Wrapping It Up
As search evolves into the AI era, our strategies, and tactics, must also evolve. Embracing entity-based SEO is like acknowledging that while details (keywords) are essential, the bigger picture (entities) ties everything together. It’s about delivering a more connected, contextually relevant experience to your audience.
Personally, I still hold a LOT of hope for SEO and Content Marketing into the Search 3.0 era where AI will undoubtedly play a huge role. But I think that embracing concepts like Entities and helping AI engines to more thoroughly understand our content and its relationship to the broader topic we can actually show up in more generative AI results, giving that traffic and brand boost we’re looking for.