Google on Thursday made a significant update to its search algorithm. The new algorithm, “Hummingbird,” will accommodate longer, advanced search queries instead of only generating search results for simple keyword queries. For example, Hummingbird will produce results for questions on par searches such as “tell me about Larry Page.” This will make the search experience more natural and user-friendly. In addition, Hummingbird will provide better responses on advanced voice queries and respond vocally to searchers through tablets or computers. This is crucial in today’s age of mobile and voice technologies as more users will likely utilize voice search through wearable devices to find relevant content.
Here are three things digital marketers can do to leverage Hummingbird:
1. Invest in content marketing. While the search algorithm has been changed, its perpetual intent of providing searchers with the best, relevant content has not. In fact, Hummingbird now considers content that serves users’ needs even more valuable as it wants to give the best results to answer users’ questions. Therefore, by investing heavily in content creation, digital marketers can lure qualified traffic, establish as thought leaders, and reach a larger audience. Digital marketers can also target more mobile users with relevant content as consumers who are searching remotely are likely to purchase products or services imminently. By producing a boatload of content, not only can digital markers target desktop and laptop users, but also engage with the 46% of consumers who use their mobile devices exclusively to conduct research.
2. Use long-tail keywords. Since Hummingbird will accommodate longer, advanced search queries, digital marketers can include long-tail keywords in their content. With long-tail keywords, digital marketers can use more detailed, specific product attributes to target consumers who are specifically looking for their products. Digital marketers can contain specific keywords such as “Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 12.1MP 30X Optical Zoom Digital Camera with WiFi & Lowepro Bag – Black” as opposed to generic keywords such as “Canon digital cameras,” as the advanced algorithm will likely encourage users to use more narrow terms in their searches.
3. Adopt responsive web design. With more users expected to conduct searches on their smartphones or tablets, it’s crucial that brands build responsive websites to enhance the mobile experience. With responsive web design, brands can ensure their websites fit perfectly on consumers’ mobile devices and are navigation-friendly. Brands can also make sure their webpages are optimized for different computer screens and have all their chief call-to-actions, key benefits and conversion actions above the fold. This is integral for digital marketers as three-fourth of all clicks actions occur within that area. This will also help digital marketers increase return traffic visitor traffic and reduce bounce rates – a vital goal in today’s digital-concentric society.
Hummingbird will further improve the search experience. By updating its algorithm, Google will not only help users find specific content they need, but also reduce the amount of time required for allocating relevant content. Moreover, the new algorithm will further embrace the advent of mobile and voice technologies by making it extremely convenient for mobile users to conduct searches on their tablets or smartphones. Therefore, it’s imperative for digital marketers to adapt to these changes by ensuring their websites meet the consumer demand by producing useful content and optimizing their websites.