Clearscope makes it easy to improve organic search with Watson AI

By | 3 minute read | September 10, 2018

Creating good digital content without having a solid SEO strategy to back it up is like building an amazing restaurant but neglecting to maintain the roads that lead to it. Relevant keywords work like signposts that drive consumers directly to your content.

Once upon a time, however, content creators weren’t so enlightened. In fact, back in 2014 when Mushi Labs opened its doors, only 17% of surveyed small business owners were actively investing in SEO (1). Search engines at that time were also much more basic. In general they didn’t use natural language processing (NLP) to understand whether content could be easily discovered by potential buyers.

Recognizing this was a gap we could fill, we launched Clearscope, an AI-powered platform that applies NLP to improve digital content performance. With Clearscope, firms can use machine learning and available data to optimize content and bring their brand to the next level.

Clearscope gives companies the data they need to create winning content

The earliest version of the Clearscope platform used traditional page-ranking to manually comb through top-ranked search results and tally content by keyword for clients. This process was costly and inefficient, not giving marketers enough time to iterate and act upon the insights they learned from the data. With the increasing volume of digital content and few solutions that extend beyond simple keyword placement, we realized Clearscope could fit a gap in the market. The solution we envisioned would be able to provide actionable data that clients could use to achieve high relevancy in organic search and become instant SEO experts.

To do this, we needed to add AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to the solution–AI and NLP area big part of current day SEO and content marketing, but they are complex disciplines. Rather than building these capabilities in-house and from scratch, we looked to an industry leader in natural language understanding – IBM Watson.

Implementing Watson’s NLU was a straightforward process that we completed in less than 1 month, with a team of only 3 people. By using Watson, Clearscope is able to reverse engineer the search engine process so content marketers can understand the key concepts surrounding the topics they want to write about, without having to duplicate content or resort to keyword stuffing.

Some content writers chafe at the idea of optimizing articles for search purposes, believing that the process will detract from their creative value and negatively affect the reading experience, but writing intriguing content and having an SEO-driven approach isn’t mutually exclusive. Clearscope can capture a broad range of permutations in keywords around a given topic, giving writers insight into the intent of the reader, so they can craft content that will increase organic search traffic, improve revenue generation, and provide value to the efforts of content teams.

Clearscope’s ability to rapidly sift through top-ranking articles and put near real-time data into the hands of content experts helps them serve their buyers better. Companies like TripAdvisor and Optimizely have been using the Clearscope approach, resulting in 36% month-over-month organic search growth.

Over 100 organizations have seen an increase in organic traffic performance and have been able to streamline content production using Clearscope. Our clients include Optimizely, Dropbox, Autopilot, Eventbrite, eBay, Credit Karma and more. With Watson NLU, we’ve has been able to impact clients in the following ways:

  • Optimizely achieved a 52% increase in organic traffic using content optimized through Clearscope
  • Wide Open Media Group has seen organic traffic on sites less than 18 months old double every two months, while established sites are seeing monthly traffic grow from 15 –30%
  • Springboard reliably captured the “featured snippets” knowledge box on Google for their target keywords –leading to more clicks and better brand awareness
  • …and many more, which you can check out here

Looking forward

Content and how we think about certain concept is constantly evolving. Clearscope is giving content teams visibility into what is changing about the specific topics they care about, ensuring they have the most relevant, high-quality pieces to help them reach their goals.

We are looking to incorporate higher-level guidance during the content production process. We currently suggest “key terms” that folks need to cover, but we hope to extend into suggesting subheaders and the inclusion of other multimedia content like videos and slideshows.Currently, we are implementing functionality that will help content creators track the performance of their content once it’s published.

As IBM Watson NLU adds more languages and refines its core algorithm and entity analysis, we are excited to explore further use cases at Clearscope.

Discover the AI solution that enabled Mushi Labs to achieve success


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