Category Archives: Hummingbird

Radio’s One-to-One Marketing Secret Resurrected

radio-dialOne-to-one marketing is not new.  Successful radio broadcasters have leveraged this form of communication for almost one hundred years.  As the Radio Association of Broadcasters Users Guide notes, “Most people listen to radio on their own in their own personal space such as the car, the kitchen, the bedroom etc.  When they say it on TV, they’re saying it to everybody, whereas when I hear it on the radio they’re saying it more to me personally.”

Just like radio, this is how the Internet works today.  While surfing the web, a one-to-one message is targeting a specific audience group.  That message is further refined with each click to the individual level as specific content marketing strategies for top sites are being personalized for each user.

Four trends will continue to support this ongoing growth of one-to-one content marketing on the web for many years to come:

The one-size-fits-all marketing broadcast from the 20th century is not relevant in this era of social media.  Take note of how many Super Bowl and Olympics commercials on the broadcast networks encourage viewers to engage personally with the brand.  Customers are individuals and do not want to be treated like masses.  That was how TV broadcasts used to work.  Today, top brands treat individuals as they are and address their own unique sets of wants and needs.  Just follow the conversations brands are having with followers using hashtags seen on these television commercials.  By its personalized nature, one-to-one marketing via social media fulfills this desire to have each individual’s voice be heard.

Personalized direct marketing will only increase.  Despite all the time saving devices, shoppers are more pressed than ever for time.  Personal content marketing will continue to grow to meet the needs of customers who don’t want to wait in long lines or sit in traffic.  They seek to make quick purchase decisions.  Crowd sourcing product recommendations through “customers who bought this also bought this” algorithms cut to the chase and streamline the web shopping experience.

Consumers will freely share the brands they are loyal to with others.  Shoppers love the perks they receive from brands that reinforce a unique value proposition during every purchase occasion. One-to-one marketing techniques used by eCommerce marketers today focus on discovering a brand’s best customers and reward them frequently for their loyalty.  Who doesn’t share news of big discounts received or memorable experiences?

Mass-media approaches will decline.  With advances in business intelligence gathering, market research analysis, and database mining technology, marketers will be able to engage customers personally in ways never before imagined.  GPS tracking, geo fences, and instant messaging will provide potential customers with the right message, at the right moment, at the right location.  These technological advances will offer one-to-one marketers a more cost-effective way to reach customers as businesses continue to personalize their messages.

While most decision-makers realize that one-to-one communication opens the door to revenue, knowing which technologies and human resources are worth investing in to make your marketing plan successful takes wisdom. The number of companies in the content marketing space has more than doubled in the last couple years. This rapid growth was sparked by Google’s Panda update in 2011, which emphasized quality content and continues with the 2013 Hummingbird update. While there have been abuses to guest posting for SEO back-links, which Matt Cutt’s addressed in his January 2014 post, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,” marketing with a targeted message in mind will continue to thrive in blogs, social media, press releases, video and on your website. Investing in quality content creation continues to be an integral part of one-to-one marketing success.


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Filed under Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Hummingbird, Marketing, Panda

What should web writers know about content creation?

Strong content is a must-have to make your sites not only user-friendly but highly-ranked in search results. These tips will help you find a strong balance of readability and SEO.

Move Beyond Keywords

With each change to the Google algorithm, the role of keywords becomes more sophisticated. Keyword density higher than 2% can actually hurt your ranking. Just looking at keyword data will no longer work for generating high-ranking content. Additionally, the implementation of encrypted searching will make keyword data less reliable. Jayson DeMers at Search Engine Watch suggests continually building your content and refreshing pages to signal that your site is alive and growing, rather than focusing strictly on search terms.

Write Like People Think

When you do use keywords, the new secret is to instead use search terms in a way that more naturally reflects how the word is used conversationally or the way people think about the words. For example, instead of using shorthanded terms in your meta titles and keywords, use phrases or concepts. As search engines begin processing natural language more frequently, the change may become a hindrance to ecommerce and business sites that use keywords less conceptually. For example, rather than using a title like “Find the Best Writing Solutions,” which emphasizes keywords like writing and solutions but doesn’t sound much like an inquiry someone might ask a search engine, you might try “How to Write Better” or “Best Ways to Improve Your Writing.” Whereas older algorithms focused on keywords, the new algorithms are looking more for phrases and concepts that reflect real people’s language use.

Engage Your Audience

Since you’ll be writing more like people think, it’s important to think more about for whom you’re writing. As content becomes more prevalent in search algorithms, so do different ways of assessing the quality of the content, such as authority and audience engagement. Quality content is frequently updated, helpful, and targeted for your audience. Aim for content that will get the audience to comment, bookmark, or share. End your posts with questions or prompts to encourage audience participation and use reader feedback to help you assess who your audience really is. Not only does engagement with readers boost your SEO rank, it also helps you better address your readers in a way that makes them feel connected to your site or brand. Pay attention to signals that let you know what language, examples, and other trends are most engaging for your readers. Building a relationship with your audience is more complicated than analyzing keyword results, but it provides the biggest boost to your brand and content quality.

Use Social Media

While all social media is a huge means of generating traffic, you can’t underestimate the use of Google+ in developing your rank and content. Link your blog or website to Google+ and make sure that you generate content that crosses over well. Think eye-catching pictures, engaging questions, and sharp summaries that encourage users to click from your Google+ page to your blog or website. That linking builds your presence and authority in the Google algorithm.

Creating a broader social media strategy is an important part of getting your content seen and of generating more engagement and authority. When using social media consider your audience and which sites offer the best reach. A social media strategy must do more than simply sharing links and hoping they’ll get reposted. Introduce content with thought-provoking or click-worthy leads. Ask questions. Use visuals that grab attention. Many social media platforms use a lot of white space in their design, so visuals really pop. Meet your audience where they are and draw them into your content.

~Kasey

More Posts:

Content Improved Our Client’s Keyword Reach and Searchlight’s Data Proved It

Ten Tips for Starting a Social Media Conversation

A Writer’s Insight into Google’s Hummingbird

Seven Helpful Apps for Social Media Marketers

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Filed under Algorithms, Content, Hummingbird, Keywords, Panda, Penguin, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media

A Writer’s Insight into Google’s Hummingbird

By My Web Writers

Google's new bird is born. What do writers need to know?

Google’s new bird is born. What do writers need to know?

Don’t stop! Google’s new algorithm motor is humming.

On September 24, my mother passed away. On the day my family was burying her, Google announced its new Hummingbird algorithm change.

Something new is always born.

About the Hummingbird

The Hummingbird update hopes to go beyond the keywords users enter to deliver what users hope to find in their search results.

While driving in the car, we might ask Siri where the dog groomer is located or where we can find Indian food.  She usually keeps us on the road and headed in the right direction.  Sometimes she doesn’t know how late the closest pharmacy is open, though.  Why can’t she tell us store hours?

Quite often, the kids ask her questions about their school work.  She’ll just open Google search results.  Down the road, it’ll probably look a little different.

What do writers need to know to write for Hummingbird?

Our reliance on the phone voice like it’s a real person or a real assistant, is where search is headed.

Our job as content strategists or writers is to serve up the semantically rich information needed to help Siri, or her Android counterpart, to look smart.  The voice is the executive and we’re the secretaries.  She’s the TV anchor, we’re the producers in her ear.  We feed the facts, knowledge, and analysis in our content so that the mobile phone doesn’t look bad when she speaks- at least that’s the hope in the future.

The race to the deliver the best executive assistant is happening and Hummingbird is part of it all.  The more interconnected phrases, ah-ha’s, and knowledge you can write over any given topic, the faster you will help the boss.  You might even rank higher and convert traffic because of your efforts.

Semantically Rich Content is Lesson Planning

Look at preparing for Knowledge Graph in the same way a teacher would prepare units of study.  We call it scaffolding in education.  The more connections you can give students, on any given topic, the better they will learn that topic.  Be warned, executive.  Researching is a time (and cost) investment, unless you’re already an expert.

If you’re a writer and a parent, you probably give your own kids a variety experiences.  Not only do you want them to learn about the Civil War, but you might take them to Gettysburg or make them watch the Gods and Generals trilogy. Maybe you watch and discuss Lincoln or you participate in a Civil war re-enactment.  There are museums to visit and books to read.  Each slices up what we know about that time period in a variety of ways.

Be the Hummingbird Nector

This is the job of the modern content writer.  Deliver content that demonstrates our clients’ insight about their products or services.  Answer real questions that customers ask.  Give them depth of knowledge in the same way we offer more information to our kids when they ask (or don’t ask) for it.  That blog post you’re writing should be so on target, knowledgeable, and detailed that your company is the one that would be selected to show up on the Today show if they called needing expert testimony.

If you manage an e-commerce site and all you have are pictures on the site, good luck.  You may be doing okay today, but it’s doubtful that a wordless format will hold up in search over the long run.  Don’t be the brick and mortar on the Internet that feels safe because you’ve been around for years.  Anyone can build a website.  Any other brick and mortar can add category pages.  You have to use all the tools given to you.  Words are tools.  Sound and video are tools, too.

Semantically relevant content starts with conversations

If you’re having a hard time thinking about what content should go on your website, start talking to people.  Some Moms (and dads) are great at lectures.  You might start there. Take your widget topic and go to the closest nursing home and talk to elderly people about it.  Wrong audience, you say?

Sometimes you glean content gems by talking to the wrong audience.   So, talk to your kids and their friends about the topic or product.  Ask your hair dresser, manicurist, or tennis pals to weigh in, too.  Ask each to ask what questions come to mind when talking about widgets.

You might find that you need blog posts or website pages written at different levels for a variety of personas.  Don’t forget that the highest search engine out there is still the human mind- yours, mine, others’ combined.  Our minds are built to express feelings and opinions through a variety of words.  Tap into those and you’ll be feeding search with content that hums.  ~ Jean


Other Posts:

From Blah to Fab, Freshen Up Your Web Copy

Adding Content to their Website Increased Our Client’s Keyword Reach

Twenty-five Effective, Call-to-Action Phrases in E-commerce Content

Corporate Holiday Email Do’s and Don’ts

Attention to Details- What is Quality Content? Part 4

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Filed under Algorithms, Hummingbird