August 2013 was the month, when after almost 2 years of Caffeine update, Google made a algorithmic update and changed the way the SERP was delivered. Search Engine is continuously working to make it’s algorithm complex & sophisticated so that it should have the proficiency in search queries identifications & as a sequel to this Hummingbird was placed by Google to add more value & to deliver results based on the search query intent.
What was considered by Hummingbird update & What not?
1. Quality behind the content is still the king
2. Keyword prominence & proximity is still an important factor
3. Natural links are still the part of hummingbird update
4. Pages lacking targeted keywords are supposed to rank
5. Semantic content are now more important to determine the relevancy
Before we move ahead with the advance SEO tips & it’s implementation suggestions let’s review some of the traffic & conversion statistics which can help you to rethink about your current SEO practices and effort
SEO companies widely practice a plan for top popular keyword ranking & they charge for their promotion but do you know that long-tail (less popular with less competition ) keywords add 4 folds of more traffic in comparison to those of most popular competitive keywords?
According to the research done by “Experion Hitwise” the long-tail keywords generates 4 times more traffic than most popular keywords and long tail keywords are more likely to convert for leads & business.
Considering the above the statistics the marketers should work under the strategies to deliver the relevant results with higher SERPs and this can be achieved by scientific on-page optimization tactics and to know the science you must understand the logic behind the search engine algorithms.
1. Make sure customer meets the objective– Making the visitors to perform desired objective is one of the most critical objective of any online business model. You cannot compel the visitors to make transaction, sign-up, drop-lead, read content etc but you can make your landing page loaded with high end usability & content placement in a way that the desired objective is meet.
To review your performance you can create goals on Google Analytics. The bounce rate may be a positive element for journals but not for eCommerce platforms; so choose your goals properly & optimize your pages for that.Some anecdotal experiments done by SEO agencies have made this clear that website with great UX retains the visitor & make them enjoy the browsing session thus facilitates the organic rankings.
The GA goals can be configured on these parameters–
Register online:-Signed up for a class or scheduled an appointment
Create an account:-Successful sign up, account, or view created
Submit content:-Submitted or uploaded a file
Refer a friend:-Emailed link
Read reviews:-Viewed reviews and ratings
Upcoming events:-Viewed calendar or list or events
Download or print:-Downloaded or printed brochure information
Share / social connect:-Shared to a social network or emailed
Get alerts:-Signed up for alerts or newsletter
Contribute content:-Submitted or uploaded a picture, story, or other
Sign up:-Subscribe to newsletter, update alerts, or join group
Duration:-ex: 5 minutes or more
Pages/Screens per session:-ex: 3 pages
Event:-ex: played a video
2. Term Frequency–Inverse Document Frequency:
According to Wikipedia tf-idf is a numeric value which is used to measure the importance of any word on a document. tf-idf is used to extract the core composition of a document and for data mining.
Considering the definition it’s bit confusing but this doesn’t measure the density of a keyword in the document but it extracts the importance of keywords from the large set of content, pages or articles.
To make the concept more clear lets compute how Google Book Ngram Viewer generates the conclusion from queries “politician” & “politics”.
This Ngram Viewer makes clear that “politics” is more obvious word & the frequency & importance of “politician” is more focused although the threshold for “politics” remain much greater than “politician”. As far as search engine ranking is concerned this is not very prominent feature is ranking although this can be used to judge your web-page relevancy in respect to those who are currently ranking high.
Scoring high tf-idf is not often easy as this will research the huge on-page competition analysis, not only in terms of individual pages ranking but in-terms of entire website.
3. Keyword Prominence, Proximity & Semantics:
Keyword Prominence & Proximity:
As suggested in 1st point the visitor should be able to meet objective and this resembles that the most important pieces should be kept with maximum prominence and this also applies with the most important keywords.Maximum prominence means it’s closeness from the body tag.
And proximity refers to the closeness of terms with one another. The moment you are targeting “Car Loan Interest Rates” you should use this with it’s importance of closeness rather than using “Car Interest Rates” or “Interest Rates”. Note that it’s implementation may be the part of over-optimization so you should be smart enough to draw the differences between optimization & over optimization.
Semantic search query placement:
With the hummingbird in place you should not play only around the content-keyword-placements” but you should also consider concept of semantic searches which means that you should also write about the variations of that particular keywords. For example if you are optimizing for “Car Loans”, you should check for the synonyms for this phrase and also include keywords like-interest rates, current loan plans, loan calculator etc
4. SEO via Entity Salience & Mark-ups
Entity Salience is the approach and concept behind the major and semantic keyword distribution among the various paragraphs of a webpages. The semantic distance can never be overlooked and this should be managed in a way that major keywords and semantic terms should have qualified distance relationship.
The content with 4 paragraphs should have similar phrase and keyword usage with user friendly distance. The moment I say user friendly it means that there should not be intended keyword fixing.
5. Designing On-page Optimization structure
On page optimization starts with the theme & keyword selection on which content crafting strategy is built. Topic selection & crafting content on the topic requires lots of research & experience. Refer to Keyword Research Guide for long tail keyword research tips. There are no scenarios for and ideal optimized webpages.
Rand Fishkin says “There’s no such thing as ‘perfectly optimized’ or ‘perfect on-page SEO.’” Even though there are some guidelines to meet the standards & to fight the competitions.
1. Strong Titles to drive CTR & to represent the page theme
2. Appealing headings (h1,h2 etc) to Summarize the content
3. Consideration of proximity, prominence & semantic content type
4. Appealing Meta-description to add values in CTR
5. Descriptive links & user friendly internal navigation
6. Important out-going links (Internal & external both) from the pages to prevent the strength dilution
7. Unique identity of each page, no page duplication to manipulate search engine rankings
8. Rich media element on webpages to retain the time on site & to minimize the bounce rates
9. Image optimizations with the alt tags, both by renaming the image with it’s actual type & actual alt tags
10. Attribution of text on images, as search engines are smart enough to read the image texts
11. URLs with the keywords without dynamic parameters and session id’s
12. Design with great user experience
13. Linking to the related resources
14. Last but not the list natural links
15. Integrated comment section to leverage the user generated content
6. Social Media Optimization Apart from FaceBook & Twitter
Social media signals now are the important element which not only drives the signal but also fulfills the need for user generated content & eventually propagates ranking. FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ are no doubt a good platform but to rule out the competition you must be engaged in these platforms as well-
List of social media websites can be checked here. These platforms are country & community specific so choose your network carefully & spend time in networking and promoting your online product and services. Check this post to have more clarity on advance SEO & Ecommerce optimization tips.
7. Technical Validations & Checklists
Google Webmaster Tool comes with the features to make your website technically rich & adds lots of value in analyzing website technical health, targeting options, crawl, index Status, robots.txt settings, URL parameters, Index status and instant webpage inclusion from “fetch as Google”.
SEO Technical Checklists-
- HTML validations
- 508 compliance
- WAI Standards
- Browser compatibility
- load time
- Redirects (especially 301 & 302)
- http header response codes
- Mobile optimization
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