NLP For On-Page SEO

Want to know about natural language processing (NLP) for on-page SEO? Read our guide to learn more about how NLP can improve the quality of your content and on-page SEO.

Photo of Brodey Sheppard
Brodey Sheppard

The SEO strategy we use now is markedly different from the website architecture available years ago.

With new and improved software coming into the fold, the way people consume content has changed. One of the key players during this era of evolving algorithms is natural language processing or NLP.

To make your page stand out on the internet, it’s essential to have a clear structure that you can develop with NLP. It’s a part of the larger SEO strategy and helps make the subject matter more accessible to readers and search engines alike.

Nlp For Seo

The best way to understand NLP would be to think of it as X-ray goggles, allowing you to see what goes on underneath all the articles. When people browse a site, there are certain ways to grab their attention.

We’ll discuss all that and more in today’s guide as we explain NLP’s impact on SEO.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural language processing helps organise content, allowing search engines like Google to understand the intent of a website. Just as you need to remember important information, Google attempts to create a storage room for ideas and articles.

What Is Natural Language Processing

In other words, using natural language processing is an SEO strategy that works by converting human ideas into content for machine learning. Hence, it helps Google understand human behaviour for success in online marketing.

For any SEO strategy, NLP plays a crucial role in content optimisation, ensuring that users get value for spending time on your page. The search engines can rank the page for intent, matching an article to the query without any hassle.

We’ll discuss this in greater detail in the following section.

SEO Strategy

As part of NLP, you need to be aware of the changes that are taking place in digital marketing. Ever so often, there comes an algorithm that changes the way people consume content.

You need to be proactive and detect these minute changes to adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. This will give you a head start compared to other agencies, improving the website ranking.

Long story short, you’ll have to find ways to get better by keeping one eye on the future. Especially with the rise of NLP, understanding user experience, marketing trends, and structured data are more important than ever.

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BERT Algorithm

If you think back to 2019 when Google released its BERT algorithm, the statement read that it would impact 10% of Google search queries. This was significant, leading to SEOs gathering data about BERT and how it would impact their articles.

They found that BERT would allow Google to focus on quality topics, meaning people will be able to browse relevant blog posts. More importantly, the algorithm uses natural language processing to answer search queries.

Importance Of The BERT Update

The BERT update was a forward step in machine learning, helping it analyse every piece of content. It links words or phrases related to different texts, helping Google rank pages based on writing intent and content value for users.

So, with BERT and NLP working together, there’s a change in the impact of traditional search engines on SEO strategy. You develop an understanding of what people need and how to cater your content to answer a search query.

The bottom line is that if your page provides relevant, accurate information, the chances are that it will be higher up on the search list.

Understanding BERT

From the point of view of SEOs, BERT and NLP work in a partnership to achieve the desired result. But first, we’ll tell you about the two important components of Google’s algorithm, which is methodology and data.

We found that the BERT update collects data related to different content and then proceeds to analyse it. What’s more, to ensure efficient analysis, BERT uses NLP, ensuring that it understands the context of an article by looking at specific categories and phrases.

That’s why we suggest that you look at pages with a high rank to make sense of how they curate their content. Even something as simple as researching a sentence or word, before and after keywords will help optimise the page according to your needs.

Hence, the Google search engine can easily find content related to the query, generating organic traffic for the website.

Changes Brought By NLP

It’s no secret that natural language processing has changed how both people and search engines view content. Instead of looking at words and phrases as a separate entity, Google now considers an entire sentence, paragraph, or phrase. In other words, search engines are conducting sentiment analysis.

Contrary to popular opinion, NLP is not new to digital marketing, and it has always existed in one form or another. Its latest form for on-page SEO is BERT, allowing users to compare the content with other pages available out there.

While it’s important to ensure that the content is easy to understand for the algorithm, your priority should be the users. After writing an article, it’s important to get perspective and ask yourself if the content answers the user’s query.

In some cases, when you compare the content to other pages, you may find that supporting content needs to be added. This is a critical step because you can’t always judge the efficacy of a blog post solely based on search engine rankings.

How Google Uses Natural Language Processing?

One way to stay on top of Google’s algorithm is to place yourself in the tech giant’s shoes. Try to determine how Google aims to evolve by using NLP in on-page SEO.

While there are several reasons, the most significant among them is improving search quality. Any algorithm that Google introduces must be useful for consumers; otherwise, it doesn’t hold value.

Users want an answer related to a specific query, and so Google search can’t afford to display irrelevant content. It needs to adapt according to consumer demands by focusing on the title of the text, relevance of the topic, and the article’s intent.

Machine Learning

Even though we touched upon machine learning in passing, it’s important to discuss it in greater detail. Just as the human mind is learning new things, the Google search engine comes across new content.

This is especially true with the advent of voice search, allowing users to be more specific in their demands. However, sometimes it becomes difficult for the algorithm to understand what the user is saying or search for a piece of content without historical data.

Hence, NLP helps Google understand the language to answer queries. And there’s no denying that due to NLP, website architecture has undergone pretty drastic changes.

Voice Search Quick Stats

Relevance Of Sentiment

To understand whether certain content should rank higher, Google tools like BERT help find the link between different words in a sentence. Unsurprisingly, Google’s algorithm focuses on keywords and their synonyms as a way to learn a new topic.

Occasionally, you may also come across a text containing ’stop words,’ which have multiple meanings, making it harder for the search engine to grasp the context. But with the latest tools, it becomes easier for Google to rank on the page and understand its sentiment.

Even if the search engine can’t follow the language, it can pick up on positive or negative sentiments, thanks to specific words. So, if your page has an overall negative sentiment, it will fall down the rankings, meaning your SEO strategy isn’t great.

How Does Sentiment Analysis Work

The sentiment impacts the score, which in turn changes the rankings. Understandably, a lot of time is spent in sentiment analysis, ensuring that search engines find your content relevant for consumers.

A sentence with positive words will have a sentiment score ranging from 0.25 to 1, whereas negative texts will score between -0.25 and -1. Sometimes. The content may also express a neutral sentiment, meaning the score will hover between +0.25 and -0.25.

Overall, you should try to keep a positive sentiment score without affecting the natural flow of words.

Entity In NLP

When you delve deeper into natural language processing, you’ll need to think about content entities. In simple terms, any object that you can categorise is an entity. Subsequently, NLP analyses these entities to improve the page ranking.

Long story short, entities play a crucial role in SEO strategy, allowing the Google search engine to shift through various categories and deliver the desired result. What’s more, there are two parts to an entity - category and salience.

We’ve already discussed how SEOs break the content into categories. So, let’s talk about salience, which is known as the relevance 0f a specific entity as it appears in the text. Moreover, search engines provide a salience score after analysing an article, with the highest score being 1, and the lowest 0.

Using Natural Language Algorithm In SEO Strategy

You should know that using NLP is just one part of a larger SEO strategy that won’t single-handedly bring you success. That said, it’s difficult to achieve success in marketing without NLP as it allows you to engage in both content and query analysis.

The former is particularly useful for researching the consumer’s online activity, telling you what he/she is looking for. Once you know, it’s possible to design your SEO strategy accordingly and curate the content to meet the demands of the target audience.

Furthermore, thanks to SEO NLP, search engines can deliver faster and accurate results for enhanced user experience.


SEO strategies focus on structured data, meaning search engines can understand and then rank your page after comparing it with other websites. And with Google’s tools like API demo, a free cost natural language software, you can examine any text.

It provides all the information to create an effective NLP architecture, permitting you to see how Google rates your content in the online marketing world.

Keyword Research

As with most SEO strategies, keyword research plays an important role in the context of machine learning. It allows you to make an article relevant for consumers while the search engine picks up on the structured data format of the page.

Speaking of structure, having keyword architecture improves your understanding of how people respond to the content. With the BERT update and NLP, you can compare your choice of words to other articles available out there.

Finding out which word works best will improve your ranking drastically, ensuring search engines understand the intent of the page. Since the top sites also rank for keywords, you can survey which keyword combinations Google rates highly. And you can target those keywords to answer a specific query.


Another essential attribute of using natural language processing is effective linking. For any SEO strategy, internal and external linking proves vital for enhancing the relevance of your page.

External And Internal Link Examples

Your page needs to engage in both inbound and outbound linking, improving user experience. For example, inbound links focus on using appropriate keywords related to a specific query, directing organic traffic to your page.

If Google’s tools consider your content relevant, other pages will link to your page, taking the website higher up the ranking. Similarly, it’s important to link out to relevant articles after careful analysis, helping your website stand out.

However, rather than linking to rival pages, you can direct a user to other trustworthy sources available out there. It shows that people can trust you to provide the necessary answer related to a topic.

External Linking Best Practices

Competitor Analysis

Using natural language processing as part of an SEO strategy means that you need to look at how top content marketers are writing. Analysing the content helps you optimise the article so that it’s easy for consumers to solve their queries.

Now, to give people what they are looking for, the Google search engine needs to understand the world as we do, but that’s not possible.

The more realistic expectation would be to improve user experience through API demo and BERT, helping in sentiment analysis. For that, Google’s tools need to have access to the data available on the internet.

So, data collection holds the key, ensuring that machines learn quickly to meet user demands.

Page Optimisation Through NLP In SEO

To fully utilise NLP for developing SEO architecture on a page, it would help if you look at the following factors.

1. Title Links

The title tag is the name of the page that appears when you type a query into the Google search engine. For the page to appear higher up on the list, the machine algorithm must have an understanding of the content and context of the page.

Hence, you can add specific keywords to the title, making it easier for the search engine to rank your content. It would also help if you could keep the title tag short and place the keyword at the beginning so that the full name is visible to a user.

2. URL Structure

Equally significant is to create a relevant URL that proves convenient for consumers and search engines alike. We recommend that the URL have short descriptions related to the topic, ensuring the machine algorithm can display accurate results.

Also, instead of using numbers, it would help if you include a keyword, allowing people to understand the intent of the page better. Having a clear and precise URL helps update the site’s structure, generating consistent traffic.

Seo Cheat Sheet Anatomy Of A Url

3. Headings

As we go deeper into the SEO architecture, you’ll see how your writing impacts the page’s ranking. For your text to be agreeable to modern search engines, you must divide the page and its featured snippets into categories.

Each category will have a heading to break up the text into clear sub-sections, and you can use different font sizes to create the desired effect. It’s also essential to add heading tags for the convenience of consumers and search engines.

You can use these tags throughout the body of the text, allowing people to grasp the topic quickly. What’s more, thanks to related keywords, search engines don’t have trouble understanding the context of the page.

4. Writing The Meta

A meta description summarises the content of the page in just a few words. When you type a query into the search engine, it appears on the results page, helping a user understand if the content is relevant.

How To Write A Perfect Meta Description Semrush

Although it doesn’t directly impact on-page optimisation, meta descriptions play a key role in SEO architecture. Depending on the search query, Google highlights similar words so consumers can follow the featured snippets to a top website.

Like the other points in this list, you need to use core keywords, ensuring that the meta description stands out. Also, keep the sentence short and crisp for the greatest impact.

5. Creating A Keyword Database

You need to create a keyword database and update your SEO strategy. It’s essential to know which keyword or phrase will help establish a clear topic in your articles, leading to more traffic.

Once the SEO strategy kicks in, you can’t afford to lie back and wait for things to happen. Online content is constantly evolving, and you must know what words other writers are using.

For example, it’s highly unlikely that your content will be unique, given that there are so many pages, having the same target audience. However, you can develop an understanding of how Google’s search engines rank certain phrases, leaving a mark on customers.

6. Innovate

Thanks to keyword tools, it becomes easier to distribute the phrases throughout the article rather than concentrating them in one portion. It would be best to analyse the monthly search volume and find out how certain words are performing. Hence, you can get rid of irrelevant material to bring the page up to speed with Google’s algorithm.

We suggest that you use both short and long-tail keywords to make your articles relevant. As the name suggests, the latter consists of 3-4 words and doesn’t have many takers in content marketing. On the flip side, it works great for specific queries, allowing the search engine to better understand the article’s intent.

7. Alt-Tags

SEO experts will tell you to judge the content on the page, irrespective of the design because search engines don’t understand multimedia. That’s where alt-tags come in.

Alt-tags expand your reach, ensuring that the content reaches most people. Whenever you use a multimedia file, remember to add a relevant alt tag so that the machine algorithm understands the topic.

What’s more, you can add a description to the image file, increasing the website’s chances of ranking higher.

Example Of Image Alt Tags

Improving Through NLP

After regular intervals, it’s important to evaluate the content on the page and optimise it with SEO and NLP practices. We have discussed some of these topics before but let’s look into them in greater detail.

1. Adding New Content

Just because an article was relevant in the past doesn’t mean that you will keep writing on the same topic. It’s important to adapt, meaning you need to include new content, ensuring that the page stays relevant.

Firstly, start by removing irrelevant and duplicate articles to improve your SEO ranking. When you have similar posts distributed across the website, it confuses the search engine, and it doesn’t know which page to rank.

Similarly, when site visitors read the same thing repeatedly, it leaves them frustrated, reducing organic traffic.

2. Internal Linking

Unlike backlinking, internal linking focuses on providing adequate links for all the pages on your website. It would help if you linked the pages together and to the landing pages to develop a consistent theme throughout the website.

That said, don’t keep more than 2-3 sub-categories under each theme, making it easier for the search engines to find the relevant material. If there’s no internal linking, consumers won’t be able to access your site, leaving their queries unresolved.

Also, remember to link the new pages to any relevant existing page.

3. Mobile-friendly Website

The ultimate goal of your website is to attract more visitors and resolve their queries. Not surprisingly, you need to consider the kind of device people will be using to access the page.

The Rise Of Mobile Graphic

It might interest you that what the website looks like on a laptop is quite different when people access it on their phones. Hence, if more people can navigate your site with their latest gadgets, the page’s ranking will improve.

Understandably, Google’s algorithm considers mobile compatibility an essential factor when delivering ranks. So, it would be best if you curated your SEO strategy to make the web page mobile-friendly.

Mobile compatibility creates a more responsive website, meaning that you can update and make changes without any hassle.

4. Multimedia

We had previously mentioned how Google doesn’t recognise multimedia, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. Having images on the different pages improves user experience and is a critical part of modern SEO strategies.

Having relevant images helps to break the text into readable paragraphs, helping readers skim through the article. Now, when we talk about images, it doesn’t necessarily limit itself to pictures.

To describe complicated processes, you can use graphs and diagrams rather than writing long, drawn-out sentences. But when including images, do compress the files; otherwise, they will reduce the page speed.

There are also additional features like alternate texts and video transcriptions that may increase the website ranking. These may seem inconsequential, but they prove equally important as you get another chance to include keywords, making the subject matter relevant.

5. Page Speed

Finally, the featured snippet, the entity, and all other on-page architecture must load quickly to prevent consumers from leaving. So, if the web page takes longer to load, your ranking will take a hit.

Site Speed In Real Time Graphic

With Google tools like PageSpeed Insights, you can learn about how to keep the website from lagging. You can control both the site and page speed by removing long lines of codes, reducing wait time for visitors.

Additional NLP Tips

In this section, we’ll discuss how NLP allows you to engage in advanced SEO strategies.

1. Structured Data

Structured data permits you to arrange the information in a tabular form, acting as the blueprint for the website. Along with NLP, it helps increase organic traffic to the page with help from tools like API demo.

Overall, structured data and NLP work together, improving website quality, and making it accessible to the search engine.

Structured Vs Unstructured Data

2. Text Recommendation

NLP also helps in providing adequate text recommendation by finding out what the user is likely to read next. This is the beauty of machine learning, as it gathers information from every word and sentence, storing them in a readable format.

We must mention that using text recommendation helps increase dwell time - the duration between how long you’re on the website and when you exit the page. Understandably, a higher dwell time means that consumers find the text relevant, spending more time reading your articles.

So, if Google offers better recommendations, the dwell time increases.

Dwell Time Vs Time On Page Vs Bounce Rate

3. Redirecting

You should know how, when, and where to redirect a user, increasing the relevancy and authority of your page. It’s a simple algorithm but works wonders in intercepting irrelevant topics while directing people to a page with suitable information. Understandably, it improves user experience.

4. Topic Clusters

As part of the modern SEO strategy, people focus on topic clusters rather than keywords. NLP helps you make the website relevant by looking at specific topics rather than only keywords so that consumers have all the information.

As machine learning is taking significant strides forward, search engines can better understand the world around them. This is why for many marketers, the attention has changed to specific portions of text instead of words and phrases.

It proves useful in establishing the context of the page, as you can explore the topic from various directions. It also becomes easier to interpret the intent and relevancy of different pages, delivering information in greater detail.

5. Using Simple Sentences

One common mistake digital marketers tend to make is using industry jargon while writing. This alienates the customer from the page, decreasing dwell time and leading to the site falling down the rankings.

A simple technique is to use short, crisp sentences and sticking to the topic. Longer sentences may read well when you’re writing, but in reality, it confuses visitors. Plus, in contemporary society, people don’t have time to read large chunks of texts.

Simple Compound Complex Sentences Examples

By dividing the topic into clear paragraphs, consumers can skim through the page to find out what they need. Naturally, it enhances the user experience, while search engines find it easier to grasp the website’s theme.

Another technique is to use bullet points for better readability as the topic comes across clearly. What’s more, it allows both people and search engines to judge articles without any hassle, improving your reputation as a brand.

Summing Up NLP For On-Page SEO

If we think of the website as a ship, NLP together with SEO helps steer it in the right direction.

We hope you have all the information related to NLP SEO strategies to understand how it impacts online data. But NLP isn’t a crystal ball for success; you need to innovate and expand your horizon to stay updated with the latest developments.

It’s time now to bid you farewell. Take care, and remember to refer to our guide whenever in doubt.

Photo of Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre and a data-analyst in the SEO, Paid advertising space who uses machine learning and AI to advance sitecentre as an industry-leading digital marketing agency across Australia.

Find them on their website: sitecentre, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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