Think back to the last time you clicked past the first page of online search results. It is rare that users scroll through pages and end up clicking on a link a few pages back. This significantly increases the importance of ranking highly on search results. The higher you appear, the more likely people are to view your website. How do search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing decide where you rank in a search? They use an algorithm, or recipe, to rate each page on its authenticity and significance to the search. In order to rank higher, websites must create a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. An SEO strategy is like ensuring you having the right ingredients for recipe.
Imagine the performance improvement of putting a brand new engine in an antique car, rather than just upgrading the manifold. That is exactly what Google did with their new search algorithm. Unlike updates, or upgrading the manifold, Google announced back in September a completely new algorithm; Hummingbird.
Supposedly faster and more precise, Hummingbird no longer searches based on keywords, but rather looks for the meaning behind the search as a whole. More and more people today are searching by speaking into their phone or computer, and Google has evolved to be able to handle this type of “Conversational Search”. Now before you go and panic that your SEO strategy is about to become antiquated, here are a few tips to ensure that your webpage still ranks at top of the search:
- Encourage Reviews-Increasing the number of authentic reviews on a variety of review sites will boost your ranking in a local search. Be sure to continually respond to good and bad reviews.
- Link Up- Include links on your page to other websites only if they relate to your website and encourage those websites to post your link on their page as well. Build relationships with local bloggers increase the likelihood of getting mentioned in their blog. Also include a link to your webpage on anything sent out to your customers.
- Use Social Media to attract people to your page-Create a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and post on them often. Create promotions and share up to date information on your business in order to keep your customers engaged. Continually include the link to your website when posting to drive traffic to your site.
- Include pictures and videos- Optimize videos and pictures in order to appear when Universal Search results show up.