As far as websites and SEO goes, there is only one real “hummingbird” to try to attract, and that’s Google’s Hummingbird, otherwise known as its newest algorithm released last year.
I came across an article that discussed how to use Pinterest to as a means of making customer service more efficient and cut costs, but found that many of the suggestions related very well to company websites and how to make them more searchable, especially in light of Google’s Hummingbird update some months ago.
How does this relate to Google’s Hummingbird? The except from Search Engine Land’s article on this new update explains it nicely:
What type of “new” search activity does Hummingbird help?
“Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.
“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.
Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.
In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.
So, what simple changes can you make to make your customer service more streamlined while enhancing your online search visibility?
1. Have a FAQ page: many companies are seeing the value in this, but others have not yet created a page for frequently asked questions. If you don’t have one in place, it may be time to create one. Not only will it do good for SEO purposes, as you can have keyword rich questions, page headers, and tags, but it will also give your customers a place to go to find answers to what are likely fairly common questions. Take it one step further by having a clearly identifiable link to contact customer service if additional help is needed, along with links to your company’s social media sites.
2. Incorporate a variety of media: Google loves images and video, and rich media. So do your customers. If there is a way to incorporate videos, such as how to guides for using (or choosing) products, or anything along those lines, it’d be a great idea to incorporate that into your website. It gives customers yet another way to engage with your products & services in the comfort of their home, and with the way this type of media is easily shared online, it’s great for SEO purposes.
Be sure to link videos to Vimeo and/or You Tube, post them on your social media sites to let customers know they exist on your website, and ensure that all rich media on your website has links/buttons that make it easy to share with others.
3. Make good even better: this isn’t from the article, but does fall in line with the thinking of Pinterest and other social media sites, as well as the Hummingbird updates from Google. Experts suggest using website analytics to find out which of your pages are most visited by others. Once you’ve figured that out, make them better – incorporate rich media to communicate the same message, or make it more interactive in nature.
One example I learned about while at a conference involved a legal firm that wanted to increase its visibility in the search engines. One of their most popular pages was the legal team’s individual biographies. To enhance the page, they swapped out the written biographies of each lawyer and replaced it with a short video clip featuring each lawyer. Over time, this helped the page improve its search visibility.
With competition increasing and companies trying to stay at the forefront of customers’ minds, it’s important to all that you can to make the most of your online strategies. Some of these simple changes can make an impact on your online visibility when customers need your products or services.