Are you ready for the SGE shift?
Keeping our clients up to date with the latest industry advancements is at the top of our list of priorities. So, we’ve kept our fingers firmly on the pulse when it comes to entity SEO. Use this page to keep up to date with the latest entity advancements and learn about our entities service offering.
Entity SEO services
Sleeping Giant Media is very excited to be offering entity SEO to our clients. While entities are not ‘new’ (they’ve been around for over a decade, in fact), they’ve recently gained traction during the advent of Google’s Search Generative Experience. As such, it is becoming increasingly important for brands and businesses to:
a) Understand what entities are, and
b) Optimise their site accordingly
With this in mind, our team of passionate SEO experts have been hard at work developing our entity SEO approach, comprising the perfect blend of innovation and testing. Take a look for yourself below.
Brand entity research & analysis
The cornerstone of entity SEO is entity research and analysis — and this takes the form of two unique phases.
Brand entity audit
Brand is the heart of all entity SEO. If your company or brand is not itself a single, strong entity, it is going to be extremely difficult for Google to find and categorise you. It’s also essential that your brand only shows up as one unique entity, rather than several entities such as:
– Your legal name
– Old names that have since been updated
– Other iterations of your brand name
So, our team would first look to perform an analysis of your brand’s online presence to decipher how it is understood and referred to by Google. From here, we will have a series of optimisation suggestions for your site. Most often starting with the ‘About Us’ page (also known as the ‘entity home’ to search engines), these recommendations can be actioned by our team to content and structured data alike. This will allow Google to better consolidate all of the E-E-A-T (Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trust) signals to only your brand.
Core entity analysis
The second crucial stage is core entity analysis. Acting as a foundation for any optimisation strategy, it is vital that brands must first understand what entities currently exist within their content.
So, undergoing a process known as entity research, we can use a combination of mapping techniques and tools to create an entity list, identifying the entities on your site and related entities you should be talking about.
This is sometimes referred to as an entity audit and involves an assembly of the top search queries for your site, extracting the entities which occur the most frequently (using tools), clustering them into specific topics, and making suggestions on content optimisation/creation that can be used to strengthen those topics.
This process involves determining all products, events, and people associated with your brand as well as assessing any Google Business profiles, review sites, and media mentions to gauge brand sentiment.
Once the entities have been formally identified, we recommend conducting a complete audit of your site — to get a feel for the quality of the content before entity-based optimisation begins. During a content audit, our Creative Team will assess the content clusters on your site, taking into consideration performance and looking at both functional and blog pages to determine the value of your content, identify any gaps, and indicate where quick wins or larger-scale reviews can happen.
Auditing is an excellent opportunity to flag any issues pertaining to content duplication, keyword cannibalisation, or thin content too.
After auditing, we can take a list of the pages that require optimisation and work through them in priority order, making strategic changes to the core elements on the page in line with entity SEO best practices.
Bespoke entity SEO structured data
Another crucial part of working around entities involves making informed changes to structured data. Why? Because it can help to strengthen the entities on a webpage and the relationships between them, forging connections that Google wouldn’t necessarily recognise on its own.
But entity-based structured data is fiddly and requires expertise to make sure that Google is able to understand the content we are classifying for it. It is also different for every business and every website — but essential.
Kelly Sheppard, Senior SEO Lead, explains the importance of structured data when it comes to the future of entity SEO:
“By writing bespoke entity-based structured data we can “talk” to the Knowledge Graph, which will play an essential role when Search Generative Experience comes into play next year.”
So, what can we do? Starting with your homepage and about us page, we can work outwards, mapping out other core pages and making bespoke rewrites to your structured data that provide Google Search with explicit clues about the meaning of the information found on each page.
Custom structured data
If there isn’t any present, our team can also create custom structured data for your entities, far superior to that generated by plug-ins. Read more about the benefits of creating custom structured data in another of our blogs.
Got a burning question about entity SEO? Find the answers you need in the list below.
1. What are entities in SEO?
An entity is a uniquely identifiable object or thing characterised by its name(s), type(s), attributes, and relationships to other entities.
In SEO, however, an entity is only considered to exist when it exists in an entity catalogue like Wikipedia, Wikidata, dbpedia.com, or Google’s Knowledge Graph. As such, it can be classified as either a person, place, thing, idea, or concept.
2. Are entities new?
Entities are not new. While they might be all the rage at the moment, taking online forums by storm in the same way that ChatGPT has done, entities have actually been around for about 10 years.
What’s now known as ‘Entity SEO’ began in May 2012 with the creation of Google’s Knowledge Graph and its ability to help Google understand the meaning and connections behind a keyword. This, in turn, led to the coining of the phrase that all SEOs love: “Things not strings”.
If entities have been important to SEOs for over a decade, though, why is everyone talking about it now? The advent of generative search.
3. What’s Google generative search?
SGE — or the Search Generative Experience — is an experimental version of Google’s search engine that uses artificial intelligence to generate contextual answers to complex questions.
Launched in May of 2023 — though still only available in Search Labs as a beta test until 2024 — SGE makes the connections between things quicker and aims to take the work out of searching. How? By showing users more of what they are looking for without them having to re-search or click around so much.
4. How is generative search different?
Instead of the traditional blue links you see on the SERPs now, SGE is far more responsive, allowing for a more immersive and journey-focused experience by showing results that are tailored to the user’s search.
SGE also gets the information to show to users from a different place too. Under SGE, a lot more of the information will be taken from the deep web, instead of just the most well-known websites or the highest-performing articles. Now, information will be from the most expert content — even if the domain authority or following of that site is small. This links well to the addition of the ‘E’ for ‘Experience’ to Google’s famed E-E-A-T acronym.
5. How can I identify entities on my site?
At the most fundamental level, you can identify entities organically by reading the content of a page on your website and thinking about what it should be focused on.
However, there are also a number of tools such as Google’s Natural Language API — and even AI tools like ChatSonic — that can help with entity identification. The key thing to remember here, though, is that one tool is unable to catch everything completely. You should be strategic and thorough in your application of these tools.
6. What’s the difference between keywords and entities?
While keywords are specific queries that users search with, entities are distinguishable concepts that keywords often refer to. To break this down further: Keywords can be a phrase, a question, or a statement acting as a connection between user search queries and website content. Entities, on the other hand, are often the topics or things that keywords are talking about.
Using Sleeping Giant Media as an example, ‘digital marketing agency in Kent’ would be a keyword, while ‘Digital marketing’, ‘agency’, and ‘Kent’ are all individual, separate entities.
7. What do entities mean for the future of SEO?
It’s safe to say that lots of SEO best practices for content and keywords alike may change dramatically during the advent of SGE, and as a result of the increased importance of entities.
Link building is likely to become less important as Google can add all mentions of your brand to its Knowledge Graph, whether linked or not! Similarly, it will likely be far more helpful to gain brand mentions on pages with a strong relationship with your entities than with a high domain authority.
Finally, internal linking is likely to become more important than ever to connect your entities together — as will structured data.
Still thinking about entities?
If you’re still brimming with questions about entity SEO and what it could mean for your site, get in touch with us and chat with our experts today.
Get in touch
If you have any questions for us or want to find out how we can help, fill in the form and one of our Giants will be in contact as soon as possible!