If you're looking to enhance your brand’s visibility online and provide users with relevant information about your business while giving them a great search experience, Google’s Knowledge Graph is here to make that possible for you.
Somewhere in 2012, Google announced the unveiling of the Knowledge Graph, a tool which collates all the facts about people, places, and things to create interconnected search results and present them in form of useful answers and not just links. And this is helping Google achieve its mission to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to its users anytime and from anywhere for an enhanced online experience.
Google knowledge graph is focused on the users and provides them with direct information quickly and easily in form of a neat little card. This benefits not just the users, but it is also a great tool for businesses.
As a brand, when you optimize knowledge graph for your business, Google better understands the content on your website. Based on the relevance of the users’ queries, it then displays your brand information in the knowledge graph and helps you get more traffic, improving your ranking.
How does Google Knowledge Graph work?
The Google Knowledge Graph displays information in two ways - in a boxed section called Knowledge Graph Card appearing on the right-hand side of the search results page and in a carousel which appears at the top of the results page. It provides brief, specific, and accurate information about people, places, and things when a user searches for them on Google.
There are three ways in which Google decides whether your brand is fit for inclusion in the knowledge graph. They are:
User Behavior - Google knows and understands what users are searching for, what they are clicking on, and how long they spend on a page after clicking on it. This is when the graph algorithmically connects all of this data to create results about your brand. So, it is the user’s queries that contribute in displaying the information through the knowledge graph.
Semantic Search - To produce highly relevant search results, the knowledge graph considers semantic search. This includes the context of research, synonyms, searcher location, and various other points.
Entity Indexing - Google tries to catalog all the related entities through the process of mapping known as Entity Recognition and Disambiguation to produce factual information about each entity.
Let’s take a look at the examples below on how the knowledge graph looks like after a user searches something on the Google.
Example 1: Type the phrase ‘famous Hollywood actors’ in the Google search bar and it will display several images of all the popular Hollywood actors in the form of a picture carousel. Similarly, type “Tom Cruise” in the search bar, it will display a box of information (also called as Google Knowledge Graph Card) about this celebrity with images on the extreme right-hand side of the search results page.
Let’s take another example, say, of a local business.
Example 2: Try searching for a restaurant - ‘Little Skillet’ by typing this word in the Google search bar. You will see a a box on the right-hand side full of information with all the details about the restaurant along with reviews, address, contact number and navigation.
How does Google Knowledge Graph help your brand?
You know how important it is for a brand to rank up in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) in order to increase website traffic. But to further improve your ranking in the SERP tracker, you should focus on getting included in the Google knowledge graph. Although it is not going to be an easy task and can take quite a lot of time, it will be worth it.
Getting included in the knowledge graph helps showcase useful information about your brand such as address, business hours, navigation, contact information, etc. to searchers. It can give credibility to your business by showing reviews and ratings. If there are good reviews about your company, the users will get attracted to your website.
Google knowledge graph is a tool which helps save a lot of time as it eliminates the effort of clicking through every link to find a specific piece of information.
3 Key Benefits of Using the Knowledge Graph:
There are several benefits of getting included in the knowledge graph that you might not be aware of. So let’s try to gain a better understanding of the many benefits of KG:
1. Displays Basic to Relevant Information - When your brand gets included in the knowledge graph, it will initially show some basic information. With the knowledge graph constantly evolving, it will improve the response over time and start showing more relevant information and search-optimized web pages based on user queries.
For example, type the word ‘Sony’ in the search bar and it will display a box with all the data about the company as Sony Corporation.
Now search ‘Sony Mobile’ and you will see a box providing you with all the data of the subsidiary ‘Sony Mobile’- the telecommunications division of Sony Corporation.
2. Provides Users with a Great Experience - Google Knowledge Graph is an engine that powers the panel appearing on the right-hand side, known as the knowledge graph card. When a user searches something about a place, brand, music, or person, it offers enough data about the subject with images, relevant facts, and related searches. This means, in one single box, you have the information you are searching for, which leaves the user with a great search experience.
3. Improves your Website Traffic - Knowledge graph is a way of connecting the users with your brand even before they land up on your website. And with an attribute like reviews, the user can quickly learn about how your brand has been rated. If there are positive reviews, it will persuade searchers to visit your website.
How to get listed/included in Knowledge Graph
Now when you know how this knowledge graph can work wonders for your brand, it is time to understand the essential part - how to get listed in the graph.
Get a Google+ Account
Creating a Google+ page for your brand will help in getting the information about your business on the Google graph. Make sure the name of your Google+ page matches with your actual brand name, which the users will use to search your company online.
While creating the page, you will be taken through multiple steps where you will be asked to fill in the details related to your business and the type of product or services you offer. And next comes customizing your public profile, promoting your page, and optimizing it for lead generation.
Picture credits: hubspot.com
Get Google Local Listing for your business
To build visibility for your brand in Google Search and Google Maps and attract more customers, it is important you claim your Google listing. When people search for a business similar to yours, your brand will also show up in the search results. This can be done through Google My Business.
Picture credits: practicalecommerce.com
Create a profile on social media platforms
If you notice in the Google knowledge graph panel, there is an exclusive section of social media profiles indicating a brand’s active social status. If your brand is present on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for instance, the graph will show the three icons at the bottom. This ensures an increased visibility for your business and helps the users easily discover your social profiles.
Picture credits: kottongrammer.com
Use structured data
To appear in the knowledge graph, your website needs to be properly coded with structured data. This is the information that helps search engines to crawl your website and understand its content for creating rich snippets. You don’t need to look for a coder or hire a web developer as you can do that by using JSON+LD, one of the preferred schema markups used to declare structured data. Want to know more? Here is a complete beginner’s guide to schema for you.
Include customer reviews
As said before, positive reviews are a great way to drive traffic to your website. So, if you want to get included in the knowledge graph, you should encourage your customers to write reviews about your brand on review websites including Google+. Here is an example:
Picture Credits: searchengineland.com
According to a Bright Local survey carried out in 2017:
- Around 97% of consumers read online reviews about local businesses in 2017
- 49% of consumers need a minimum four-star rating before getting convinced to buy from a brand
- Out of the total 74%, only 68% customers left a feedback about a local business when asked
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends
All these statistics clearly indicate that the consumers have become review-savvy and prefer buying from businesses that have a high number of positive scores.
Build quality backlinks
One of Google’s ranking factors is backlinks and it considers only values backlinks that are from prominent publications. Effective link building focuses more on trust and popularity and it improves your rankings in the SERPs, ensuring you get listed in the Google knowledge graph. So be particular about consistently posting your content on your website as well as on high-ranking websites.
Create your Wikipedia page
Google highly values Wikipedia entries and a major chunk of information, which is to be included in the knowledge graph is pulled from Wikipedia. That’s because Wikipedia is the world’s 11th largest website. It has a strict moderation team and not just any brand or person can have their own Wiki entry. But when your brand’s Wikipedia entry stays around for an extended period of time, it is considered as a vote of confidence by Google.
Ways to optimize Google Knowledge Graph for your brand
With proper knowledge graph optimization, Google can gain a better understanding of your brand. This ensures that searchers are able to find their answers quickly and easily and gives a great search experience. There are two ways of optimizing the knowledge graph:
Human content optimization
You should always focus on humans rather than search engines and provide them with valuable content. And when you are optimizing your content according to your users, keywords can play an important role in gaining visibility with relevant searchers. So, when you optimize the content, keep in mind the keywords should appear naturally in the page title, introduction, URL, meta-description, image name, and description.
If your aim is to improve sales, then you have to maximize the value of every piece of content by making it interesting, well-organized, and persuasive.
When writing articles, blog posts or any long-form content, you need to format your content in five ways:
- Headline: Make your headline short (between 60- 65 characters), crisp, and of course interesting enough to get the maximum number of clicks and views.
- Sub Headline: It is not mandatory to have a sub-headline. But if you are using it in your content, it should be in sync with the headline.
- Sub Headings: To make your content look more structured, use sub-headings.
- Bullet Points: To make it easy-to-read, include bullet points to highlight sections like key benefits, features, etc.Conclusion: Conclude your write-up with a short paragraph, which has to be attractive and should have a call-to-action button wherever possible.
Google content optimization
Google spiders crawl the web searching for fresh content so it is important to help them find the search terms on your webpage by proper optimization. The best way to do it is by using keywords, especially in the headline and meta-description. Do not overstuff the content with keywords, however, else you will be penalized. When you provide high-quality content to improve your site’s usability and user experience, your website too will benefit from it in terms of ranking, as more and more users will click on your brand. And you know that Google considers what matters the most to the users.
If you really want to grow your brand by improving its ranking and getting more traffic to your website, Google knowledge graph can help you in achieving exactly that. It will help your potential customers learn about your brand without even visiting your website by showing important details in the search results. You just need to implement the above techniques to experience the best results.