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How Your Business Can Make the Most Out of Google Updates

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This is a guest contribution from Emma Henry of True Target Marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), when executed well, can reap significant results for an online business.  It can boost search engine rankings and increase targeted website traffic, resulting in more sales leads and paying customers. If you have plans to implement an SEO campaign, it pays to be aware of the latest Google updates to ensure that you adapt your online business as required in order to boost your search engine rankings and avoid being penalised.

The Search Engine Landscape is Changing

The latest Google Algorithm update has had a substantial impact on the way the search engine is now ranking sites. This update has been one of the most significant in the last 2-3 years. 

We are seeing a trend away from keyword-based search into query-based search. Google is now delivering search results based on what people would ask or say in conversation rather than on specific keywords. So, for example, “Where can I find …?” Or “How to ….?” Or “What is the …”

Google is attempting to return better search results that provide a more direct answer to these query-based searches. Hummingbird pays more attention to each word in a search query, ensuring that the whole sentence in the search query is taken into account, rather than specific keywords. The result is that website pages matching the entire query will rank better than website pages matching just a few key terms in the query.

Does this mean SEO is dead?

No. In fact Google says the fundamentals remain the same, and it comes down to having original, high-quality content on your site. Signals that have been important in the past remain important. Hummingbird just allows Google to process webpages in new and more relevant ways. Gone are the days when it was all about choosing specific keywords and manipulating your content and onsite SEO around these. Content is king. This has always been the case and has never been as important as right now.

So what does this mean you need to do?

You need to create good quality, relevant and unique website content on a regular basis around search queries relating to your niche. 

Google will reward websites who display the most relevant answers to these types of queries. The more query-based content you create, the more likely that Google will boost your search engine rankings. Answering common industry questions will not only get you additional search engine traffic, but it will boost your rankings for your primary geo-target keywords.

Where to find query based content ideas

The originality of your content is very important. It’s about digging deep and creating good content around sub-topics within your niche. Here is a good trick to generate content ideas: type your seed keyword into Google (that is, one of the primary keywords you would normally try to rank for). If you scroll to the bottom of the search results page for this keyword in Google, you will see “searches related to your keyword”. You can then create an informative article relating to a query around those related search queries.

For more content ideas, continue clicking through each related search term and see what other related searches appear, and create more content based on the most relevant phrases. 

Another idea is to note down all of the common questions that your customers ask you.  Or even get friends or family who are not in the business to list out as many “typical” questions that would be asked in your industry. 

These types of questions provide excellent opportunities to create informative website content. It is the language that your customers speak. The best thing is that you are in control and can put a spin on all of your articles that position your company as the industry expert. 

There are many other places to find new content. You can look at industry forums and see what questions people are asking. You can go to Yahoo Answers to see what sort of questions people are asking there. Another idea is go to Wikipedia and have a look at the categories and sub-topics of major categories for inspiration. 

Is Onsite SEO still important?

Yes! Page titles and meta-descriptions are still very important to help you rank in the search engines. It is important to write your articles naturally around the long tail search queries. You can optimise images for your articles with the Alt tag, however do not do this for all images and all articles. Label some as generic names such as building-contractor l001.jpg. Google are on the lookout for sites where the SEO lines up too perfectly and that appear to be manipulating the system and they may just penalise your site for that. You want to get the balance right, by helping Google to understand what your content is about without lining everything up perfectly.  

What does this all mean? 

Educate your market and become a leader in your industry – in the eyes of your customers and in the eyes of Google. The informative articles based around real-life questions will drive traffic to your site for people who are genuinely interested in a specific topic. People really do type industry-specific questions into the search engines. Many of those searches could result in a lead or an inquiry or a sale for you. The traffic that you get from targeting longer query-based keywords probably won’t be as much as for primary broader keywords, however you might rank very, very quickly, and if you attract that right buyer, you are more likely to convert than someone who is just typing a broad term. 

A combination of good query-based content and a strategic offsite SEO strategy to target the prime keywords is the winning formula to reach the top of Google this year.

Emma Henry is an Online Marketing Specialist and the owner of True Target Marketing. Emma tailors bespoke online marketing strategies for her clients. She specialises in lead generation, customer conversions, increased website traffic and improved website responsiveness. 

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Comments

  1. Nate says:

    Great post! The part about searching for your keyword on Google and scrolling down to the “searches related to your keyword” is golden!

  2. Sheeroh says:

    For me, when I search for information, I’m always seeking to get specific answers to the questions that I have. I believe it should be the same for us bloggers. It shouldn’t be about just ranking for certain keywords but genuinely creating answers to specific end user questions.

  3. I have always been told to be scared of Google and never leave anything for the engine to track. This is an awesome and very informative post. I think I need to change my perception and belief thanks for the eye opener.

  4. For me, after I explore for data, I’m continuously seeking to induce specific answers to the queries that I actually have. i feel it ought to be an equivalent for America bloggers. It shouldn’t be regarding simply ranking sure enough keywords however genuinely making answers to specific user queries.

  5. Keep that emphasis on quality content Emma ;) Smart tips!

  6. For me, when I search for information, I’m always seeking to get specific answers to the questions that I have. I believe it should be the same for us bloggers. It shouldn’t be about just ranking for certain keywords but genuinely creating answers to specific end user questions.

  7. Michelle says:

    Yes,you’re indeed damn right ‘content is king’. If we do provide quality content our blog would surely receive some good things on Google algorithm updates.

  8. Priya says:

    Thanks for the nice Article. It was very useful for me.

  9. Awesome post for optimize web, this is nice and important article sharing with us, I hope helpful for everyone.

  10. Nice post, I especially liked the point of digging related searches in Google. Related searches in Google is a treasure of effective keywords and LSI keywords.
    I am waiting for the day, when backlinks should not not be considered at all and SEO is fully based on quality content.

    Cheers,
    Akshay Hallur.

  11. shawn says:

    This is such a nice article.you just described everything completely. Thanks for such an well written post.

  12. It shouldn’t be about just ranking for certain keywords but genuinely creating answers to specific end user questions.

  13. Nathan says:

    I’ve heard that the most important on-site change is that Google now pays higher attention to web pages that load faster. Also, note that social signals are only useful for the traffic to your web page. The like and share counters simply don’t matter.

  14. bary says:

    Google update can be shared as term of popularity of our website how much it will be popular more traffuic it will gain

  15. Vidushi says:

    Great Article. Clearly pointed out the difference between old SEO techniques and new one. Earlier only keywords used to work. But now unique content with keywords properly fitted into it works.

    Thanks for sharing the information. :)

  16. Naina says:

    Great post… Yes you are absolutely correct… We need to emphasize on content… I have posted unique and high quality content on my website and that’s why it is still on top…

  17. Ivan says:

    Most of the time I am struggling to work for google and earn some money, not google for me… but i am working really hard so i hope that will change :) otherwise very useful information :)

  18. The thing that Iearnt from this post : Typing in the keyword in the Google Search bar and scrolling down to the “related searches” area.

    Thanks a lot for the infomation.

  19. Actually it was very helpful to create good quality content for the website, as well as the content we improve or updates the new content in the website leads to good quality ranking as well site search results. Thanks for the Nice Info.

  20. I love this post. It is true that people put questions in the search engine and no keywords. google is also about making the best profit so it likes to help the mayority of google users. These people are for example your mom and your dad.. have a look how they look for a thing on big G

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