9th December 2013

The Effect of Google Hummingbird (Part 4 of 4)

Go back to Part 1: Keywords should not be the main focus of organic search
Go back to Part 2: Google Changes, Results “(not provided)”
Go back to Part 3: Hummingbird’s Effect on Search Results?, Conversational Search

Optimising After Hummingbird

These articles were only intended to explain why we at Flair might not suggest the typical things you may have heard is involved with SEO any more, and why keyword data isn’t going to be readily available, so we’re not going into detail on optimisation techniques here.

However, we can put how to optimise now in a nutshell, summed up by what I’ve often said to clients in the past, and it’s true now more than ever:

concentrate on the person who visits your website and engaging with them, don’t worry about the Search Engine(s)

We all ‘worry’ about the Search Engine(s) anyway 😉 but if you concentrate on engaging with your visitor, Google are trying to make their algorithm work out what it is about your website that will interest that visitor and so present it as an option to them when they search for something you can help them with.

Someone browsing a website

Trying to specifically match what you do with what you ‘think’ will give you better results in Google SERPs will lead to disappointment.  Why?  Because Google is a moving target… for instance, the Hummingbird algorithm was announced by Google on 26th September 2013, but they said it went live about a month before that!

Google’s guidance isn’t actually any different to what it has always been, it says: have original, high-quality content.

If you have lost traffic recently, it might have been due to hummingbird, but it could also be different factors, or because other parts of the algorithm, which are always being changed, were tweaked or improved. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know.

OK, you still want some tips?  Here are some things you can do:

  • Make your website as fast as possible – even though most users have broadband now, they still appreciate a fast website, and even more so when they’re mobile (and their mobile data may be capped or paid for).
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  • Think about mobile users – more and more people, including business-to-business users, are accessing websites either while out and about, or even on a mobile device (e.g. tablet, smartphone) while at home sitting on their sofa, instead of using a laptop or desktop.
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  • Think about the content on your website – if you sell products, improve your product pages, but also think about what a potential customer may want to know about your products and possibly about you or your company that will give them more confidence to buy from you, and add this to your website.
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  • Have a blog, and post regularly – I don’t mean a “this is what I had for breakfast” blog – unless your “job” is reviewing breakfast cereals of course 😉 – but rather a way to communicate with your visitors / customers possibly in a slightly less formal way.
    When I say “regularly” I mean virtually on a schedule. Search Engines like fresh content. Some will say you have to post at least 3 times a week.  That’s great, but if you can only post once every 1-2 weeks, that’s (sort of) OK, but make sure you do.  What you DON’T want is to post 10 times within a week or two and then run out of things to post for the next 3 months!  A website can quickly start to look neglected without recent posts.  Much better to write your 10 posts, and then keep them as drafts or schedule when they’re published and keep the content fresh, those 10 posts could keep you going for 10 weeks.
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  • Try to be creative with content – think about what your visitor or customer will ask or want to see, and answer their questions.  If you can provide buyer’s guides, tutorials, reviews, photographed examples or even record some videos, they all make for interesting content and will help with your Marketing efforts.
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  • Try to regularly look at your website through ‘new’ eyes – It’s easy to get so used to your own website that you think it’s easy to navigate and clearly shows what you do.  When a new visitor lands on it, if they haven’t arrived already knowing what you do, is it difficult for them to find out?
    Of course, don’t forget returning customers too (especially if they’re your biggest market) – but they will often be able to find what they want as long as they know it’ll be worth coming back to see.
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I hope you found these articles informative and helpful.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

9th December 2013

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