The content on your website is written for people to read, right? Wrong. Pretty words are all well and good, but they don’t do anything for your business if your target audience can’t find your website in the first place. To make sure search engines are understanding all of the good stuff you’ve put on your well-designed site, you have to learn how to speak their language.

Write for the Spiders

While you’re writing for the proper target audience, the first “person” to read your content is actually a machine. All of your hard work is useless if it is not found by visitors, and if your content is not written so that machines can interpret its meaning, then your brands, products and services may be invisible to the web. What do we mean by machines? Search engines employ spiders (yup, spiders) to crawl the web to increase the accuracy of delivered search results. If that wasn’t enough, don’t forget that as technology continues to evolve, so does the way consumers search for things. Increasingly, they are using alternative devices and platforms for search, including mobile and virtual assistants, like Siri.

SEO is So Not Cool

HTML, the widely used language to code websites, doesn’t describe the meaning of the content that is written on websites — no matter how many keywords you stuff in there. Regular SEO practices need an update, and one way to do that is through the addition of semantic, structured data code. This code is an elegant addition to — not a replacement for — HTML. It’s code that describes the meaning of things on a site rather than how they should look. For example, when you post a photo of your favorite pet, Google doesn’t see a picture of a six-month old, cuddly, tabby kitten named “killer.” Using structured data markup, you have to explicitly tell the search engine bot those specific details about a certain JPEG file so they can find that picture of a cute, cuddly kitten that people will waste hours sending to their friends.

You Need a New Dictionary

For years, search engines have been asking web developers to describe their content for machines. Back in 2011, Google, Yahoo and Bing took a big step by developing The collaborative community behind creates, maintains and promotes schemas for structured data on the internet. By infusing search engine-friendly language into the backend coding of a website, this semantic, structured data will drastically change the way a site appears in search.

To take advantage of this largely untapped opportunity, The Alliance Labs has partnered with Smart Data SEO, a company skilled in advanced technologies to improve web presence. As technology advances and the web continues to expand, developers need to publish content that can be interpreted by machines or risk becoming lost. Providing what search engines have explicitly asked for can make big changes to the visibility of your website.

Eric Franzon, Principal of Smart Data SEO, spoke in greater detail about this and other topics during a free training event we held on Jan. 17. If you’d like more information about your SEO or potential for improvement with Semantic markup, call us at 312-278-3550.