In 2015 Google dropped it’s RankBrain system, an artificial intelligence application that learns about, improves, and constantly updates it’s algorithm in order to produce relevant results. Even though it’s been almost 3 years since the implementation of RankBrain, content marketers are still trying to master the system and create content that ranks #1. It’s a good thing we’ve had a few years to work on it, because we are now finding tips and tricks that work with this new system to get higher rankings. One of these hacks is to optimize your title and description tags. Let’s dig into:
As explained in the introduction, RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence system that analyzes search results in order to produce the most relevant ones. Before this algorithm, Google’s search process was fairly simple and unrefined. It would simply scan web pages for the keywords that people typed. The problem was, 15% of search queries submitted were unrecognized by the system. They needed to up their game, and thus RankBrain was created.
In the past, the system was hand-coded, and it was up to engineers reevaluate and update the system. Now, the RankBrain machine-learning system updates the coding and algorithm, and then determines whether the results are relevant enough in order to keep the update or rollback on it. Engineers are still involved, of course, but the system did outperform them by 10%!
RankBrain’s focus isn’t on turning out more results, it’s on producing relevantones. The system really tries to understand exactly what you are searching for in order to generate results that satisfy the intent of your search. Moz says that it’s “believed that the query now goes through an interpretation model that can apply possible factors like the location of the searcher, personalization, and the words of the query to determine the searcher’s true intent.” By figuring out this true intent, RankBrain can come up with more relevant results for the searcher.
How does it do this? RankBrain keeps an eye on how you are interacting with search results. It records and analyzes factors such as click-through-rate, dwell time, and bounce rate. And it’s with this information that we can jump into the fun stuff- how titles and description tags can help optimize this system and get your content to rank #1!
Titles and description tags help with your click-through-rate, which is one of the evaluators RankBrain uses to filter results! So how do you write titles that will make people click on your content?
Check out Coschedule’s headline analyzer tool! It will score your headline based on common and uncommon words, emotional value and power value. Aim for a score above 70! Not only that, but the analyzer will give you feedback through a length analysis, the first and last three words of your title, keywords, and sentiment!
Description tags won’t necessarily boost your SEO, but they will optimize your click-through-rate. Brian Dean at Backlinko gives 4 steps to optimize your description tags:
Alright, let’s review: RankBrain is Google’s AI system that improves it’s algorithm. With the implementation of RankBrain, Google’s results become more relevant because the system tries to figure out the true intent of the search. How can we hack this system and optimize our content to rank #1? Improve click-through-rate by writing good headlines and intentional descriptions.
Make your headlines emotional. Further clarify them with brackets or parentheses. Add numbers into the title. Lastly, don’t forget to add power words that will take your titles to the next level. Run your title through a headline analyzer and aim for a score over 70!
For descriptions, write a summary of your post that also has emotional value to it. Sell your content and tell them WHY they need to click on your post. Pay attention to words and phrases used in paid ads when you search your keywords and incorporate them into your description. Make sure that you include your topic keywords, as well!