January 22nd, 2014   /   Posted by Natalie Nathanson   /   Category: All, Marketing Strategy, Tech Marketing

How to Leverage the Google Hummingbird Algorithm for your Startup

4 Tips on Getting the Most out of the Google Hummingbird Search Terms

In September 2013, Google changed its search algorithm to “Hummingbird” claiming it would return better search results for the inquirer. Unlike old search algorithms that focused on keywords searches, the Google Hummingbird algorithm pays attention to a conversational search now, which means that your startup’s content should be able to answer more user questions and offer expertise on relevant topics.  For example, search “How do I use the iPhone 5?” The first result is Apple’s iPhone User Guide, showcasing that the Apple website can provide leading tips on using your iPhone 5.

Hummingbird strives to deliver the most accurate, informative, and relevant results to a searcher’s inquiry and emphasizes the great importance of leveraging content for your company’s marketing strategy.  Creating more quality and original content as well as employing social media to build your business’ presence is an important way to embrace how Hummingbird can benefit your startup’s success.

Whether your startup already has an SEO strategy in place or is planning to do so, as you begin addressing your SEO tactics, pay attention to these three tips on how you can apply Google’s new algorithm for your startup’s benefit.

1) Know your target audience

Google searches among the categories of who, where, and when are being replaced with questions of what and how.  Begin by asking yourself: What content can I present to my audience that can address their needs and inquiries? Gaining a strong understanding of who your target audience really is and what information they seek is key to writing compelling and informative content.

Knowing and understanding your audience goes far behind demographic traits. Try researching your target audience using tools like Google Knowledge Graph, which combines data from a multitude of sources.  Starting a conversation with your prospective clients is another great way to understand their pain points and needs.

After you correctly identify your target audience, you can focus on creating and curating the correct content to engage and inform them.

2) Create more original, quality and searchable content  

By changing its search algorithm to effectively provide users with more informative and relevant answers, Google has invited companies to become innovators in content strategy.  Focus on creating original, creative, and tactful content with the end goal of proving to your audience that your startup can be both informative and useful.

Ideas for your startup’s content development could include (but not limited to!):

  • Blog posts
  • Q&As with thought leaders
  • Interviews
  • “How To” posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Webinars

You can also take your content and re-use it in a variety of different ways.  For example, turn a blog post into an eBook and place it behind registration on your website.  Convert your eBook into a presentation and add it to Slideshare. Creating a large volume of content can be time-consuming, but taking one piece and adjusting it to use on a variety of channels will not only increase your SEO but will help you find your target market more broadly.

It’s important to note that the Google Hummingbird algorithm has not eliminated the need for keywords and links. Keep utilizing relevant keywords and links to build up credibility on your website and social networks.

3) Employ social media to share your content

Search engines adore original curated content, so after creating it to showcase your startup’s expertise, don’t leave it isolated on your website.  Share it across social media to engage more of your target market.  Remember to only spend time posting on social networks where you believe your target audience will be. For example, if you have a financial software product, Pinterest might not be the best social media channel to display your content, but LinkedIn might be a better fit.  Generally speaking, Twitter has been found to benefit both B2B and B2C startups.  Another social media site to employ is Google+.  We all know how much Google loves its own applications.  Make sure your startup has a conversational presence on Google+ and share your content on the site regularly.

4) Measure and optimize for success

After creating and sharing your content, be sure to effectively measure your results with data analytics tools such as Google Analytics, AWStats or Hootsuite. Start with traffic to your startup’s website and social media pages.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which specific pages within these platforms have you noticed an increase or decrease in number of visits? 
  • Have more visitors been engaging with your content?  (e.g. commenting, liking, sharing)
  • Are there specific topics that seem to gauge the most attention?

These are all questions to bear in mind when you begin analyzing your new SEO content strategy approach.  From there, you can decide which channels and content pieces could be most beneficial for your startup in gaining the attention of your target market.

So, are you ready to undertake the Google Hummingbird content challenge?

Google’s Hummingbird change has given you the opportunity to present your startup’s expertise and thought leadership in your industry.  See this change as positive, and position yourself and your team as experts of topics that your target audience is asking and always remember to share your content across numerous social sites.

If you are interested in preparing your website and pre-existing content for SEO, please feel free to reach out and contact us  for a complimentary consultation.