Google’s constant rate of change can be difficult to keep up with, but its impact on how much traffic your site gets is significant. After 15 years in the search business, Google has continually refined making a search relevant to what the user is actually seeking. But, it can be difficult to ensure that your relevant content makes it in their results. Here are five steps to help you with the latest Google search algorithm update, Hummingbird:
1. Have a Google + Account -
This may seem simple but we are seeing more and more connection between Google + and Google’s search results. Google might not be giving their + pages priority in searches, but Google is learning about your organization through Google +, and is using that information not only in search results, but to rank search results. Having a Google + page that contains accurate, detailed and updated information about your brand will impact your SEO. Sign up for Google +
2. Write Content People Need -
Content is king; Quality content is more critical than ever before. The weight of keywords has been steadily decreasing. Focusing on content that people are looking for is becoming increasingly important.
3. Social Signals -
Google is taking cues off of social media. I have been alluding to this for most of the year, but now it is becoming somewhat more official. Social media has created a way for Google to determine which content people actually like, and if people like content the chances of it being relevant to their search increases. You should be using social media, and really placing an emphasis on its presence in your marketing. Though social signals might not be the only factor, if you have content that people are sharing socially, it will increase the chance of ranking higher in search results.
4. Focus on Local -
One thing that Google has made clear with Hummingbird is that local search is becoming it’s bread and butter. This has led to speculation that national or global brands without a local connection might begin to rank lower in search results. Giants like Nike will certainly still be relevant and will rank well. Smaller brands like LightSky, who do have a national reach, will still rank higher locally than in nationally based results.
5. Use Google Places -
Use Google Places. Connect it to your Google + account and have your customers review you through your Google listings. These reviews will create relevance to your brand and will help your search results. At LightSky, we saw our position in certain searches increase as we got more reviews. Google has not directly stated this correlation, but the results are worth noting.