Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge deal for Webmasters and Publishers. In fact, without SEO, their entire existence would be next to impossible. Google, a mogul on SEO tactics and strategies, is the almighty instigator that ensures that Webmasters adhere to updates and SEO rules. Regardless of whether or not Webmasters welcome this act or Google’s influence on SEO, they have to ensure that these updates, when made by Google of course, are carried through and fully complied with. One such update or newly implemented tactics made by Google on August 30, 2013 is Hummingbird. This change was later announced on the eve of Google’s 15th anniversary on September 26. According to the American corporation, this new update on how websites are ranked will make a change for the better.
What is Google Hummingbird?
Google’s hummingbird is an algorithm that allows Google’s search engine to perform its job better. This algorithm is what Google employs to scan through the billions of web pages in cyberspace. Google termed this algorithm ‘Hummingbird’ because it appropriately does the job accurately and speedily. According to Danny Sullivan, a chief in Search Engine Land, “Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways”.
There’s the popular saying that SEO is dead. However, if that was the case, would Google be penalizing Webmaster’s heavily for it? Since hummingbird majorly impacts on SEO or website optimization, how can companies and Webmasters implement SEO tactics that will not get them into trouble with Google? If you’re so inclined on getting content viral, especially a press release, are there any effective strategies or tips that you can use to placate Google? Here are 21 SEO tips that are hummingbird friendly for a press release.
SEO Hummingbird tip #1: Befriend the hummingbird algorithm
Since SEO is crucial to any digital press release, it’s important that you learn how hummingbird or Google’s algorithm operates. By doing so, you’ll be better able to develop the content of your press release so that it matches a specific keyword phrase.
SEO Hummingbird tip #2: Do some research
The ideal way to optimize your press release (while considering the Hummingbird algorithm) is to do some research and learn about the behaviors of your audience. Try to find out what your audience thinks about your news before you commence writing. Where can you get insight on your audience’s behavior? Autocomplete and Google Trend, tools launched by Google, are two effective tools that are used for suggesting popular trends with regards to popular search terms. Additionally, Google Adwords: Keyword Planner is an effective and easy tool to use to learn about the phrases your audience is searching for. This will get you acquainted with popular terms used before crafting your press release.
SEO Hummingbird tip #3: Use press release keywords
Long-tail queries are very popular today. Instead of using a keyword (short-tail queries) to perform a search, people are now using phrases consisting of several keywords. These long-tail searches are more precise and provide better search results as reported by Google. The more precise a search phrase is with your press release headline or keyword phrases, the more likely your site will appear on top when a search is done.
SEO Hummingbird tip #4: Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSIs) or Related Keyword
If you’re writing content for Hummingbird SEO purposes, not only should you incorporate the keywords, but you should include LSIs, related keywords or synonyms. This means that you’ll be providing content to cover a vast ocean of search queries. If you’re writing a press release on exercise classes, incorporate keywords such as “sign up for group fitness” etc.
SEO Hummingbird tip #5: Title and Meta description optimization
While Google does not heavily rely on or scrutinize Meta data anymore as formerly, it’s vital that you optimize your Meta tag description. Why? Simply, your Meta tag is what is revealed when your press release pops up within a search. Ultimately, a captivating title and Meta description will determine whether or not your press release is read. Title tags are very important to search engines. When they closely parallel a keyword, they’re easily recognized by search engines. Additionally, your Meta tag describes your content and gives the reader a glimpse of what to anticipate.
SEO Hummingbird tip #6: Write clear and brief press release headlines
Your headlines and subheads should not be vague and wordy. Rather, they should be concise and clear.Try to keep your headlines around 70 characters long. Instead of writing your headlines for search engines to decipher, make it human-friendly. The aim of your headlines is to get your readers to click through, read and engage then share.
SEO Hummingbird tip #7: Try to include your keyword in Title
If viable, try to include your keywords within the title of your press release. The closely a keyword mimics your title, the more recognition it’ll gain from Hummingbird.
SEO Hummingbird tip #8: Provide proof
The mere fact that you’ve highlighted something in your press release does not convince the reader. Since Hummingbird focuses on the relevancy of information to the reader’s query, its best to provide evidence or proof of your claims. You can provide proof by including quotes and figures that the reader can refer to.
SEO Hummingbird tip #9: Evergreen Content
There are some types of content that are referred to as ‘what’s in the news’. This means that in time it’ll not be useful or provide much benefit to readers. However, evergreen content will always be of value to readers and will continue to rank, grow strong in authority and drive traffic.
SEO Hummingbird tip #10: Write for people, not for search engines
Instead of solely writing for optimization purposes, write for human consumption. This means that you’ll take into consideration what your human audience finds ‘readable’ and ‘helpful’. The more relevant your content is, the more clicks and visits you’ll get. The reality is, content relevancy works hand in hand with traffic.
SEO Hummingbird tip #11: Content quality
Content will always be king. This notion cannot be further stressed. The better the content, the more traffic you’ll drive to your website or press release. Instead of focusing entirely on keywords, Google focuses on content that users want to read and share. The best way to optimize a press release is to create well respected content which will later establish your press release as a reliable source.
SEO Hummingbird tip #12: Use related links
Instead of soliciting links from other sites to link to your page, try to earn them. When you’re linking your press release to another site or another site is linking to your press release, this should not be spammy. Rather, they should be natural and relate to the content in question. A typical example: If your press release is about an immerging tech, do not try to link to a TV show blog (… and vice versa). Google have penalized Webmasters in the past and they will continue to do so, once they recognize a pattern. This means that you should use links sparingly.
SEO Hummingbird tip #13: Be authoritative
Google loves a strong online presence. If you’re always providing your readers with irrelevant information and content, Google will know. By asserting your online presence through useful information, guidelines, quotes, references and tips, you’ll prove to your readers that you know your market and what you’re talking about.
SEO Hummingbird tip #14: Include multimedia
Including multimedia (videos or anything graphic) within your press release is not just a great idea. In fact, it’s necessary for SEO purposes – it’s a must to be ranked favorably by Google. When including multimedia, ensure that they’re properly formatted and include a description.
SEO Hummingbird tip #15: Remember those share buttons
Websites have different widgets to assist in Search engine optimization. Instead of underestimating or disregarding these social tools, why not use them? They’ll even do the work for you since once you link your website to your social profile, you’ll automatically have your posts live on selected social media platforms whenever a new post is created. Additionally, with the share buttons located to the side or at the bottom of your press release, your readers will find it easier to share your posts.
SEO Hummingbird tip #16: Use mobile design
The use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to conduct web searches have sky-rocketed over the years. Since Google is aware of this increased usage, it’s crucial that Webmasters and Publishers optimize their sites to be mobile friendly. This means that your website should be responsive (responsive includes the ability of a website to adapt to different environment such as resizing and reordering of content.)
SEO Hummingbird tip #17: A distribution channel
The number of traffic your press release attracts is also dependent on the distribution channel used. The distribution channel is the website on which the press release is wired or featured. If your content is featured on an authoritative site, this will greatly influence your search results.
SEO Hummingbird tip #18: Use Social Media Tactically
Social media networks are ideal platforms to use when considering SEO. The reality is, the more awareness you build, the easier it is for people to find your press release, especially with a large following on social platforms. You can get active on Social media sites such as Google+, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other reputed platforms to boost your online presence.
SEO Hummingbird tip #19: Implement Google Webmaster tools
Google Webmaster tools keep track of everything that happens in and out of your site. It features both internal and external links and those that are bringing in the most traffic. With this detailed tool at your side, you’ll be better able to make decisions when implementing strategies to drive traffic.
SEO Hummingbird tip #20: Be consistent with your keywords
Ensure to maintain the consistency of your keywords. While keywords at times can be manipulated or fluffed, it’s best to maintain them throughout your press release or website. Depending on the size of the press release, your content should highlight a keyword density of 2-8%.
SEO Hummingbird tip #21: Don’t forget Images
A vital feature of Google’s Hummingbird is images. Images are very important to the algorithm so ensure that images are inserted in your written content. This assists greatly with optimization. Since Hummingbird is also about relevancy, the pictures inserted within your press release should be relevant to the overall subject.