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SEO Strategy Tips for Google's Hummingbird

By Valerie DiCarlo

Has your website property been affected by the Google Hummingbird algorithm change? It may now be catching up to many – even though the change rolled out last Fall.

Many companies go thru the effort and investment to create an optimized website and think that SEO ends there. Create it and then forget it. Such is NOT the case anymore.

SEO continues to evolve and one thing for sure that will adversely affect a website property (in the current search space) is to forget it and not keep it fresh, evolving and user-friendly.

If you aren’t already doing so, here are some SEO Strategy Tips to keep from feeling any affects from any algorithm changes:

Think of Your Users FIRST

Huh? You may be asking yourself, “Is that really an SEO strategy?” YES, it is. Foremost, Google Hummingbird is telling us, “If it isn’t good for the user, it isn’t good for this search engine.” Making your website properties user-friendly, not only in design, but providing beneficial, helpful content is key.

Users ask questions – include questions and answers in your content

Not only do the keyword research, but analyze your market and target audience. Try to provide your readers the answers to the questions they may have when visiting a site like yours.

Keyword research and analysis is not dead. It continues to evolve for semantic search – so think about your target audience, do a competitive analysis, and determine what questions your visitors might want answers to… and provide that.

Users are researching online – include beneficial, informative content

Adding fresh content is nothing new to SEO, but the difference with Google Hummingbird is the quality of information that you provide the user is what will make the difference.

One of the purposes behind Google Hummingbird was to accommodate user search for longer phraseology and asking questions. We all do it, right? The longer the search phraseology, the more targeted the search results become. Keep this in mind when creating content for your website.

Content writing tips:

  • Make it easy for the user to find answers to their questions
  • Provide user “how to”, tutorial, and FAQ type content
  • Share your value-rich content on your social channels – with links back to your corresponding website pages

In providing rich content for your user audience, you can also be increasing your chances for appearing in search results for an abundance of more targeted long tail phrases. Often these types of search results convert higher.

Users like to share – so make it easy, while helping your site authority

Have sharing capability around your content (and your videos) to make it easy for your users to share. Better yet, position the sharing buttons within easy reach and/or direct eye flow so it’s especially easy to find the share buttons. Many are using floating or scrolling buttons for this purpose.

Social signals play an important part of Google Hummingbird… but an important element to this picture that many site owners miss is how to use social to help your website authority (e.g. search engine site authority).

Link back to your own website pages from your social channels

If you are sharing your own content, be sure to include a link back to the internal website page where the content ‘lives’. Don’t always link back to the home page.

If sharing videos, it’s better to link back to where that video ‘lives’ on your own website rather than linking to YouTube.

Doing this will provide your website property the benefit of establishing the authority you need to succeed in the search engine space.

Finally, it may seem daunting to maintain a website, keep it fresh, and/or keep up with all the various algorithm changes, but if you consider your website as part of your overall marketing strategy, you can set-up your initiatives, goals, and task schedules accordingly.

Did you find this helpful? Feel free to comment and share what steps you have taken re: the Google Hummingbird changes...