If you’re a small Australian business who feels intimidated by the massive SEO budgets of larger competitors, last year’s Google Hummingbird update helped level the playing field. By allowing you rank well for natural queries, Hummingbird has enhanced your ability to compete in your own unique niche.
One common SEO worry of small businesses is that larger firms have more money to put into their campaigns and so ensure they rank for all the competitive keywords. Indeed, it’s true to say that trying to rank for terms such as ‘Sydney floor tiles’ could be a challenge.
The good news is that with Hummingbird, exact match keywords no longer possess the exalted status they once had. As Google improves in its ability to understand the intent behind a search, you have a chance to rank for range of related terms.
It’s a move towards the computing of science fiction when you can just ask your computer or robot “Where’s the best place for an Italian meal with a view of the harbour?”. Today’s typical search queries of ‘+Sydney harbour “Italian restaurant”’ look positively geekish in comparison.
Of course, such totally natural language queries are still a long way in the future. However, adopting the mindset of focusing on searcher intent will pay rich dividends now. One key task is to get to know your customer intimately.
Know Your Market
If you want to dominate your own slice of the market, you need to understand it thoroughly. Only then can you intimately understand searcher intent.
Fortunately, as a small company, you have an advantage, as you’re likely to be closer to your customers. Plus, they’re more likely to be homogeneous.
How to Tap into the Power of Hummingbird
- Make your website question focused. This is aligned to the conversational search approach that Google is aiming for. Having FAQ pages helps your visitors quickly find out if you’re offering solutions to your market’s problems.
- Create unique high-quality content that stands out. Your individuality is one way you can compete against larger competitors. Specialised content positions you as an expert in your niche.
- Keep on updating. Adding a blog that focuses on helping customers works well.
- Be sure you web design is responsive. Mobile search is a big trend and one set to continue. Mobile users are also more likely to use conversational search phrases.
- Take advantage of schema markup to present your offer in a comprehensive and engaging format.
As you can see, the method is simple. However, it’s far from easy. It demands that you take a genuine interest in your customers and strive to create a website that helps people. However, once done, you’ll have an asset that draws and converts targeted traffic and you don’t have to worry about the big boys any more.