How Hummingbird Changes the SEO Game (Hint: Long-Tail Keywords are Back)
About half of all web traffic comes from search engines. Because of this, Google’s continual tweaking of their search algorithms can fill online marketers with anxiety.
What worked well yesterday can send you plummeting off the first page today. But, updates like Hummingbird can be seen not as an impediment, but, as an opportunity for quality content to rise to the top.
Long-Tail Keywords Are Back
As far as analysts can tell (remember, Google is very secretive about the workings of its algorithms) Hummingbird takes the full query into account to decipher the intent of the question instead of cherry-picking a few keywords.
This can feel discouraging if you have been having an SEO content writer optimize your pages and posts for a few keywords. But, it’s good news for sites that have maintained a commitment to quality content. When you fill your site with quality content that fully addresses surfer’s questions, you don’t just increase your chances of converting them once they are there; now, you have a better chance of getting them to your page in the first place.
Focus on content that is valuable and highly specific. Why bother fighting for the top result for a general query, you can show up higher on the page when surfers are looking for specific answers? These surfers are also more qualified leads, and thus worth more in the first place.
You Need to Go Deeper
Google now gives searchers a small information box as part of the results in many searches. For instance, “what is a heat pump?” brings back a list of sites that describe the technology; but, they’re under a simple definition right on the results page. What this means is that, for simple queries, surfers may never make it past the SERPs. To preserve your traffic, you need to go deeper in your explanations.
In your meta description (which Google typically uses when returning search results), create a compelling synopsis of your post or page. Then, on the page itself, deliver quality content. If your company installs heat pumps, don’t just describe what a pump is. Create pages that describe the cost savings, environmental benefits and comfort of the technology.
Rewarding Quality Content
While Google doesn’t like to share how it determines what site appears where, it has never made a secret of its preference for quality. With Hummingbird, sites that truly give readers what they want will be rewarded. When you hire an seo content writer, don’t get hung up on technical qualities like keyword density and H1 and H2 tags. Consider, instead, the dilemmas and questions that prospective customers of your business might have and answer them.
As search engines get smarter, the divide between SEO and inbound marketing will become so thin as to be nonexistent. Get ahead of the curve by making a fulltime commitment to valuable content, and watch your traffic grow.
Lara S is a content writer and blogger. She’s written professionally since 1998 and specializes in creating reader-friendly posts for complex industries like healthcare, law and insurance. On the weekends, you’re likely to find her out on her sailboat or ensconced in bed with a book.