Keyword Soup: Getting the Recipe Just Right

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Keywords used to be the end-all, be-all recipe for driving readers to your online content. Use the right short strings of keywords in all the right places and Google would shoot you straight to the top of their search engine results–skipping the appetizer table and catapulting your content right to the number one spot on the menu.

But there are new cooks in the kitchen now and they’re too savvy for hobo stew. If your content writer is still using strings of disconnected keywords to boost your visibility in the search rankings, he’s serving up the wrong algorithm.

A Hummingbird in the Kitchen

In August 2013, Google introduced Hummingbird–yet another update aimed at making search results more relevant to those seeking information. Hummingbird isn’t as concerned with the exact keyword recipe your content writer is using as it is with the finished result. Is your content fresh? Is it well-baked? Is it served up with a fine presentation?

Sloppy, undercooked blog posts and articles no longer count–no matter how many delicious keywords they contain. Just like in real life–you can toss in all the chocolate chips you like but, if you forgot to add the eggs, no one is going to eat your unappetizing creation.

Don’t let your content linger alone on the table long after all the guests have gone. Hire writers who understand how search engines work, what they’re looking for, and how best to manipulate your content to score higher in the rankings.

Housing the Hummingbird

If you want Google’s Hummingbird to nest in your backyard and take nectar from your content, you must consider the whole finished product. Hummingbird was created, in part, with voice and mobile search in mind, so it helps to be succinct and conversational in your message. Other factors help, as well:

  • Write well–Your writer must know how to command the English language. Spelling, grammar and punctuation matter.
  • Answer the Question–The content on your site must answer the question posed by the seeker. If a reader types, “Do you need cheese to make quesadillas?”, you need a comprehensive, well-written recipe for quesadillas (with or without cheese) on your site. If your site focuses only on soup, the Hummingbird will not land. Using synonyms help too–think “tortilla” or “Mexican finger food” when crafting your content.
  • Be entertaining–Hummingbirds won’t hover long over dry, uninspired content.
  • Mix up your Media–With Hummingbird, it’s not all about the text. It’s about video, podcasts, and images too. Use whatever methods are at your disposal to create fresh, delicious content dishes for your readers to devour.

If your website content combines all the right ingredients in all the right amounts, you’ll rank well in the search engine results. With Hummingbird, it’s more about how well the finished soup tastes than it is the individual keywords you used to make it.

Hummingbirds are notorious for their selective tastes, so make sure your content writer is, as well.

Anne G is an avid Internet stalker of fine writings and interesting people. She enjoys big words, grand ideas, and lots of punctuation.


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