Search engines are a lot smarter these days—they are capable of understanding not only the words a searcher uses to find information, but the intent behind the search. Search engine optimization is now about so much more than using specific keywords in your titles and meta descriptions. It's also about understanding what information is relevant to the interests of your potential clients and providing content that meets their needs.
Think about it—if you're looking to buy a new vacuum cleaner, searching for "vacuum cleaners" is going to give you thousands of results, not narrowing down what you’re really looking for. Instead, you'll search something more specific, like "best upright vacuum cleaners.” You know exactly what it is you want because the search term itself tells you.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a new vacuum cleaner but don't know exactly what kind of vacuum you want, you'll have to use more general terms. You might search for "what is a good vacuum." You probably aren't an expert on vacuums, so it's unlikely that you'd be able to know whether one type is better than another.
This hidden parameter is something that search engines are now able to process. It's a way of gauging user intent and can allow your website to be ranked higher in Google searches.
In fact, it'spossible for you to rank number one on Google search results even if your hidden keyword doesn't appear anywhere else on the internet, as long as there is a hidden keyword that is related to your content and that searchers would use in order to find it.
In 1996, Google revolutionized search with what was known as Google PageRank. It was the first algorithm to rank websites based on not only how many other sites linked back to it, but also how important those other pages were.
Since then, there have been several updates to Google's search algorithm and some required major adjustments by website owners and SEO experts, like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, Mobile, RankBrain, Medic, Bert and Core Updates.
There are two algorithm updates that stand out the most—Hummingbird and RankBrain.
In 2013 Google released the Hummingbird algorithm update. Hummingbird helps Google better interpret search queries and provide results that match searcher intent (as opposed to the individual terms within the query). This helps to remove irrelevant results and can help searchers find exactly what they're looking for.
With Hummingbird, Google also began using RankBrain—a machine-learning artificial neural network—to better understand a searcher's intent. RankBrain produces better results by associating search terms that may not be directly connected but carry the same meaning.
RankBrain is the reason why hidden keyword optimization works. It's now possible to rank within the search results when you're optimizing hidden keyword terms that match the searcher's intent.
The RankBrain update is considered to be Google's third most important ranking factor. This algorithm does so much more than look for specific keywords in your content—it's a machine-learning algorithm that helps Google understand the meaning behind queries and serve best-matching search results in response to those queries.
Hummingbird and RankBrain work together to help Google better understand hidden keywords for which the searcher may not even be aware they exist.
This is achieved with the help of natural language processing (NLP) that relies on latent semantic indexing (LSI keywords), co-occurring terms and synonyms.
In case you're not familiar with NLP, it's a subfield of linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human language—in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data.
Basically, Google goes beyond a person’s search query and takes into account the larger context, like synonyms, implied words and personal search history. This algorithm update was designed to make up for the lack of query-specific relevance to a user's search and deliver results with incredible accuracy, pinpointing the meaning—or intent—behind the search.
RankBrain requires creators to build out content that meets a user's searcher intent, not just the specific keywords that are relevant to their products and services.
Instead of just reading the words on a page to understand what that page is about, Google now understands what ideas those words represent, including the broader context and related topics that searchers may be interested in.
Google's RankBrain algorithm is constantly adapting to the needs of searchers, which means that your content needs to evolve as well.
RankBrain was initially rolled out to satisfy one simple but large problem: 15% of searches are new and have never been searched before.
Every single day Google processes over 100 million search terms that are extremely specific and valuable to advertisers.
These are long-tail keywords that carry massive intent yet smaller search volumes.
They are too specific and often unable to find through traditional keyword planners or analytic tools.
Searches like "water damage repair near me asap" or "affordable roofing contractor in Boston" are incredibly specific queries that can lead to relevant products or services.
However, this is a major challenge for Google because there is no existing data for these types of searches since they are so specific and unique. These hidden keyword searches were not previously searched, which means Google has no data to analyze and return these results.
This is where RankBrain comes in. RankBrain helps Google understand hidden keywords like those mentioned above—keywords that don't even appear as top auto-suggestions, or if they do appear, they're hidden with dashes.
Using the example above, RankBrain would look at the things instead of the strings.
It would read that hidden keyword as "water damage repair near me," and then pull from the billions of documents in its index to come up with the top ranking related searches—like businesses that may provide this type of service.
RankBrain would also consider environmental contexts (e.g., searcher location) and extrapolate meaning, so this same hidden keyword "water damage repair near me" when typed into a search bar in California, would return completely different results than the same hidden keyword used in Vermont.
These hyper-specific long-tail keywords often go unused by businesses when creating their website content, but these terms are used by searchers who have high intent to purchase and can drive more high-quality traffic to your site.
By using these less obvious and more specific keywords, you can ensure that your content stands out to both search engines and human users.
Google's algorithm is now capable of picking up on the context of a page's content and can even rank your site for keywords that you don't mention within your copy. These niche keywords are related to your main topic (root keyword) and enable search engines to determine the relationship between your main keyword and the concepts within your content.
Think about the types of words you would use to describe your product or service in a sentence. Then brainstorm additional ideas or concepts related to your services.
For example, if you offer moving or relocation services, related topics may also be preparing for a move, packing up a kitchen or bedroom, or even tips on unpacking in a new home.
Niche keywords can play a huge role in improving your ranking by demonstrating your competence and knowledge for both search engines and website users.
Using these keywords can also help improve your bounce rate. The better understanding search engines have of your content, the more likely they are to show your site to your target audience, ensuring that the people who discover your content are more likely to stay on your page and read the information you have to offer.
With niche keywords, you can rank for additional related keywords and phrases as well as your main ones, providing you with the opportunity to rank for the high intent terms searchers are using to find services like yours. Plus, the more engaging and informative content you create, the harder it will be for your competition to push you out of your top spot in search engine results.
You don't have to use only keywords that your competitors are using. In fact, you can create your own hidden keywords that are exclusive to your site, such as your brand name and other phrases and words that are associated with your brand.
By using your brand name as a keyword within your website content, you can help Google associate your brand with your niche, building trust and awareness with both search engines and users.
You can also create user-generated keywords that generally don't appear in keyword tools. This allows you to rank for keywords that are missed by your competitors, while also answering questions that your readers have.
Search Reddit and other forums for common questions about the services you offer and answer those questions within your website content. Be sure to write the question word-for-word in your new content and try to answer it as clearly and simply as possible.
Root hidden keywords are terms that your competitors may not use, but provide you with opportunities to capture more page views and clicks from searchers. For example, if a competitor is using the keyword "water damage repair services," you could use hidden keywords like the city in which you operate, types of damage and other relevant terms within your content. So, for example "water damage repair services in Minneapolis,” "basement flooding repair services” or "burst pipe water damage repair services near me.”
Since hidden keywords are content-focused, they also provide you with opportunities to develop a unique and compelling message that differentiates your company from all of its competitors.
By targeting hidden keywords, you can better position your business for success and help search engines find and understand your content and generate more high-quality traffic to your site.
Long-tail keywords are very specific search queries that are capable of generating a significant amount of traffic to your website because they help more precisely optimize your content.
By themselves these "micro-terms" only carry 5-10 searches per month and tend to have very low or even no search volume, so the goal here is not necessarily to create content featuring these specific keywords, but to focus on the general topic. In short, answer the question that the long-tail keyword asks.
To generate traffic from long-tail searches, it is important to optimize your web page titles and meta descriptions using specific keywords. Though hidden keywords will not necessarily help you rank for long tail searches, they can play a huge role in determining how often your website ranks on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
By examining hidden keywords and using them to inform content creation, you can boost your page views and increase the time users stay on your website.
Furthermore, hidden keywords may help move you up into more prominent positions in search engine results pages, providing you with additional opportunities for conversion and growth. You can even start to rank quickly for these specific searches that have high purchaser intent.
A single "micro-term" is not going to do much when it comes to generating leads or calls. With only 5-10 searches per month, it may seem hard to justify the time and effort put into researching the topic and creating content.
However, combining 10,000 "micro-terms" is the holy grail of customer acquisition, as you can intersect buyers at the peak of their buyer journey.
Unlike your main keywords, these "micro-terms" are using vertical keywords that allow you to be more creative and build more engaging content for both your own niche and related niches.
This is one of the best ways to generate brand awareness and build a solid base of loyal readers to whom you can market your products and services.
The hidden keyword approach yields a more targeted audience, which results in a higher conversion rate and provides businesses with an additional source of revenue.
By focusing on hidden keywords, you can attract new customers while also providing valuable content to your existing customer base.
When creating content for these hyper-specific keywords, the goal is to keep them sounding natural and not like a jumble of seemingly unrelated words.
These hyper-specific "invisible search terms" can drive more high-quality traffic to your site and generate leads that are at the peak of their buyer journey, meaning they are very interested in your services.
We all know meaningful content takes a long time to create. You have to research and analyze different topics, add in a bit of your specific knowledge and expertise, create an outline, and then write the piece. Plus, there are revisions and rewrites, as well as multiple checks for grammar and spelling errors before you go live with your new content.
Most marketers use GTP-1, GTP-2, or GTP-3 to help guide their content creation process (if they even have a process at all).
GTP-1 is the use of easily searchable keywords that will help drive traffic to your website, GTP-2 is the repetition and variation of those keywords in your content, and GTP-3 is focused on understanding searcher intent and creating content that will address those needs, in addition to using hidden (long-tail) keywords.
But what if you had access to an engine that could determine hidden keywords for you?
You wouldn't have to wade through all your analytics data and try to figure out what interested buyers were searching for. Nor would you have to take the time to find hidden keywords in competitor websites, glean valuable insights about their business, and then research and write more engaging content.
You can spend hours of your free time researching keywords and creating new content.
Or you can let us optimize your content for you using a combination of Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) and real-time discovery of these hidden search terms, where we can hyper-optimize up to 100 articles of content in a single day.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Tetro, our AI blogging tool. Tetro is the only AI tool on the market that can AUTOMATICALLY write long form expert-level content for you in less than a minute.