This title refers to a common way of thinking ever since Google’s Hummingbird update was rolled out earlier this summer. But here’s the thing, it is by rights a 100% misguided way of thinking and one that only stands to get in your way. Sure, they’ll say that if Hummingbird hurts you, it’s largely your own fault, but this doesn’t help anyone a great deal.
In the simplest of terms, Hummingbird has made it very much essential to revisit the way you think about local SEO and the approach you’ll be taking to it from now on. Google is still very much a champion of local business promotion and offers plenty of scope for the advancement of those that play by the rules.
Hummingbird is all about longer and more precise search phrases. For example, Google is doing its utmost to be able to answer search queries like “Where can I buy a used iPhone in Manchester?” as opposed to a more traditional search like “iPhone Manchester” or something along similar lines. The idea is to move away from simply matching keywords that may mean nothing in context and instead offer the best possible answers with newly-tweaked rankings.
But what does this mean in terms of bettering your local SEO efforts?
A New Need for FAQ Sections
FAQ has been an important SEO tool for years now, but never had it been so crucial to incorporate and enrich. Why? Well, given the fact that what Google is trying to do is provide the answers to long-tail questions, the more of these questions your site covers – or at least appears to cover – the better. This isn’t something that’s unique to local SEO by any means, but as you’re looking to target a niche crowd in a somewhat specified region, it can work wonders. If your FAQ for example contains questions like “Where can I find a reliable plumber in London” or “What’s the cheapest iPhone for sale in Wales?” then you have a good chance of scoring hits from anyone carrying out such searches.
Keep FAQ Content Unique and Plentiful
There’s a flaw with the above tip – which is of course the fact that any business of any kind could build a fraudulent and invisible FAQ page with 100,000 questions on it for no reason other than to score hits. As such, the points will from now on be going only to those that also bolster their questions with concise, comprehensive and unique answers the likes of which aren’t duplicated and replicated a million and one times across as many websites. Even in instances where the question has a simple answer and not a particularly one at that, you can always take it off on a tangent as long as it is relevant and interesting to your readers.
Invest in Unique, Up to Date and Engaging Content
It’s never easy to keep coming up with fresh and exciting content for your site when your industry isn’t what you’d call a thrill a minute. Nevertheless, one of the best things you can do it continually refresh our content with things like industry news reports, guest blog posts, customer reviews, case studies, Tweets and anything else that’s 100% unique in nature and furthers your reputation while at the same time working winders for SEO.
Back Off the Spam
And finally, if at this stage in time there is anything black-hat left in your SEO strategy whatsoever, frankly it’s a miracle you’re still here at all! But that aside, it’s crucial that you don’t respond to any damage done by Google Hummingbird with forced SEO and the kind of spam tactics that could once be used to patch holes…it won’t work anymore. In fact, it will earn you an even more thorough spanking from the powers that be, so do yourself a favour and work at it the honest way for a better result.
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Rocky John Tayaban is a professional internet marketer for more than 8 years. He’s currently the managing director of iSolutions Media, a search marketing firm based in the Philippines. Follow Rocky’s tweet @SmartOnlinePros to get the latest tips and strategies in marketing your business online.