Over the years, Google has been continuously rolling out new features and upgrades to the search engine. One such innovative feature whose goal is to help searchers find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily is Google knowledge graph.
The knowledge graph uses the power of latent semantic indexing to understand the context of a query and provide the most suitable blocks. The knowledge graph panel usually appears on the right side of the search results page.
It contains useful information about a person or brand, which includes the bio, historical events, website details, contact information, logos, related searches, and more.
Here is an example knowledge graph for McDonald’s:
Google added a knowledge graph infoboxes to the search engine in 2012. Since then, they have revolutionized search experience for users. With over 70 billion facts as of October 2016, the Knowledge Graph provided answers to roughly 30 percent of all monthly searches.
However, the knowledge graph is not only meant to improve user experience. To online brands, it provides an opportunity to increase online visibility and stand out. In this article, we have put together some tips that can help any brand rank with a Google knowledge graph.
A proven 6-step process for getting your business in Google’s knowledge graph
According to Hubspot, 76% of online users consider the ability to quickly access information as the most important aspect of effective web design. This is in line with Google’s mission to enhance the search experience for all users through knowledge graphs. For this reason, brands should focus on getting their business information in the right place. This way, Google can recognize business information as an entity and generate a knowledge graph.
Below are six easy steps you can follow to get into Google’s knowledge graph.
Implement schema markup on your website
Using schema markup to tag elements on your website is one of the things that can help your brand appear in Google’s knowledge graph. About 36% of Google search results have Schema.org rich snippets, which implies that Google prefers websites with schema markup.
Schema markup is a code template added to your website to help the search engine understand how your website content is structured. It makes it easier for the search engine to crawl your web pages. Schema markup can include events, pricing, location, ratings, reviews, or any other type of content.
Here is a simple schema markup that sheds light to the search engine by highlighting that the website is owned by an organization. It also shows the location of the company logo.
Schema markups might appear tricky, especially for less-tech savvy users. Luckily, there are tons of resources on the web that can help you create structured data.
Correct implementation of schema markups helps Google organize information about your site, which gives you an edge in search results containing rich snippets. It also increases the chances of getting a highly detailed Google knowledge graph.
Get your brand on local business listings
Google uses local listings and business directories to ascertain whether your brand should appear on the knowledge graph panel. For this reason, it is important to claim a listing on Google My Business. Google listings are particularly important for building local visibility in Google Maps and Google search.
In most cases, Google listings are triggered by location-based search queries. For instance, if a user searches for “digital marketing agency London” your local directory listing will tell Google your website, location, operation hours, and contact information. If your listing matches the search intent, then your brand has a higher chance of appearing in the knowledge graph.
Apart from Google My business, you should consider using other directories such as Yelp, Yahoo Small Business, and Bing Places for Business.
You can also consider getting listed on industry-specific directories such as Great Schools. However, Google My Business is the most useful because you’re sharing business information with Google’s database. Here, the knowledge graph can easily draw your brand’s information.
Create well-formatted content and promote it
Producing high-quality content is a strong optimization strategy, not only for google knowledge graphs but for your target audience. As you know, Google loves valuable content that matches user intent; so you should be creating all content with the reader in mind. This way, you will get Google’s attention.
Here are some formatting guidelines for optimizing content for knowledge graphs:
- Create high-quality, long-form content that provides in-depth information about the subject
- Include a short explanation of the writer, brand, or subject. This is different from the meta-description
- Use sub-headings to break your content into sections and make it more structured
- Use bullet points to make your content easier to read by highlighting sections such as key features or benefits.
- Link informative content or pages related to your website
- Use high-quality images, videos, and other visual elements.
- Conclude with a short, attractive paragraph that includes a call-to-action wherever possible
For your content to appear on the knowledge graph, it must provide exceptional information on a particular topic. This means you have to do better than your competitors, then create some buzz by promoting it.
Proper use of keywords
The Google knowledge graph works by recognizing entities, disambiguating them, and searching for related entities within the database. In this case, keywords are the entities used to connect pages on the web to specific search queries. Without keywords, it would be impossible for the search engine to map content on your website to particular websites.
All content on your website should have target keywords to increase the chances of showing up in the search results and the knowledge graph. As a norm, ensure your URL, title tags, meta-descriptions, image names, and alt texts contain your keyword.
When writing your copy, use the keyword in the introduction, headings, body, and conclusion. However, be careful to avoid keyword stuffing – the keywords should be placed naturally.
Create social media profiles
One of the reasons your brand might be missing on the Google knowledge graph is the lack of a strong social presence. A highly active presence on social accounts serves as evidence that your brand is an online entity. This is one of the reasons why the Google knowledge graph has an exclusive section that indicates a brand’s social status.
When you search for a reputable brand on Google, there are several icons at the bottom of the knowledge graph. Let’s use Tesla as an example. Notice the five icons showing the brand’s presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
However, creating social media profiles is not enough. You must stay active with regular posts, reviews, and fresh streams of high-quality content. Maintaining a high level of engagement not only increases your visibility but also tells Google that your brand is active.
If you stay updated on social networks, Google is more likely to feature your brand in the knowledge graph results. So, even if your marketing strategy does not focus on social platforms, it might be the right time to pump new life into social media.
Get covered in press releases and other reliable information sources
Getting significant coverage in independent and reliable information sources can be quite impactful for obtaining an entry in the knowledge graph. For instance, when a brand features in reputable news sites through press releases, it establishes credibility and could feature in multiple websites, including Google news section. This not only increases online exposure but also serves as reference material for the brand’s profile. Google’s knowledge graph is more likely to recognize brands with consistent mentions from multiple authoritative sources.
The good thing about getting significant coverage is that information is garnered and confirmed from multiple sources. So, you do not have to rely on a Wikipedia entry. If your brand is notable enough on Wiki or does not have a wiki page at all, you can start optimizing its profile on websites like LinkedIn, Crushable, and Bloomberg.
This last point should be the sticking point for every brand – because you’re not limited in terms of scale. You can corroborate your brand’s information on multiple trusted sources. Ideally, focus on generalist news sites like Inc, Reuters, Globenewswire, PRNewswire, and Businesswire. Additionally, consider using specialist news sites like Geekwire, Marketwatch, and TechCrunch. The bottom line here is strengthening your profile on reputable news sources relevant to your niche industry or location.
Finally, be consistent – it’s a general rule that applies in every marketing strategy. If your online presence is inconsistent, then it will be difficult for Google to show users accurate information about your brand.
The Google knowledge graph plays a great role in enhancing search experience for Google users. To brands, it has a significant impact on online exposure. It shows important details about your brand, making it easier for potential customers to learn about your business products or services without visiting your website.
Optimizing for Google’s knowledge graph can help you grow your brand by increasing organic traffic to your website. Any strategy that drives business growth is well worth the effort, so use the tips above to land the highly coveted spot in Google’s knowledge graph.