What is Google Hummingbird?

Google has a new search algorithm, the system it uses to sort through all the information it has when you search and come back with answers. It’s called “Hummingbird”, the name come from being “precise and fast”. Google uses search algorithm to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers.

Google announced Hummingbird on September 26, 2013, Google’s 15th birthday but it had actually already been in place about a month prior.

It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results. Hummingbird looks at PageRank — how important links to a page are deemed to be — along with other factors like whether Google believes a page is of good quality, the words used on it and many other things. When Google switched to Hummingbird, it’s as if it dropped the old engine out of a car and put in a new one. Google did this so quickly that no one really noticed the switch.

Penguin and Panda updates:

Unlike the previous Panda and Penguin updates which were initially released as add-ons to Google’s existing algorithm, Hummingbird has been cited as a complete overhaul of the core algorithm. Panda, Penguin and other updates were changes to parts of the old algorithm, but not an entire replacement of the whole. Previous algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin sparked significant reporting of lost traffic and rankings. Hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it continues to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda

Hummingbird purpose and voice search:

One of Hummingbird’s main purposes was to translate semantic search from a concept to a reality — and one that would ultimately become the search standard. Why type your search when you can speak your search? Voice search is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.

Conversational Search is the basis of Google’s new algorithm and core update named Hummingbird. “What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

Will Hummingbird affect my rankings?

Hummingbird is part of Google’s need to become less dependent on keywords. Compared to previous updates, there has been little reported about wide spread losses in rankings.With Hummingbird, Google hopes to significantly alter the way users interact with their search engine. All search engines seek to provide relevant search results quickly and efficiently. Google is working toward a new level of speed and precision in their search results. If you want to be sure, check your organic traffic from late August to early October of 2013. If you see any major dips, that could be a result of Hummingbird.

Conclusion:

The new Hummingbird algorithm is better for everyone including Google, consumers, SEOs, and website owners. Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole sentence or conversation or meaning has been taken into account, rather than particular words.

Hummingbird goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words. The only thing SEO companies have to fear is not understanding Hummingbird or other future updates. Google Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web to bring back better results.

What are your thoughts on Hummingbird? Feel free to comment and discuss below.

 

EARNING LINKS VS. BUILDING LINKS

Not only do you need to produce high-quality content for guest blogging, but you need to make sure that the blog itself is of high quality and trustworthy. Understanding the difference between “link earning and link building” is critical for SEO companies and for those thinking of hiring an SEO company. We need to be smarter in our approach and more ethical with our tactics. “Link earning” is the perfect opportunity to do so. Every SEO company in the world should stop “link building” and start “link earning”.

Link earning is a newer and more proactive approach to acquiring web traffic. The key to earning links, generating traffic and ultimately boosting rankings is not to depend on just asking for links, or even build your own links, but to earn your links in a natural way. Create great content, whether it is an article, a video, infographic, whatever, that people will see as valuable. Get attention by being original and pointing out new information.

Some differences between earning links and building links.

Link building used to be one of the best SEO practice to increase your number of backlinks. The main problem is link building is focusing on quantity rather than quality. As marketers we need to focus on driving visitors to a site through referral traffic and allowing the rankings to increase as a byproduct. In other words, don’t just think about the rankings, think about getting visitors to consume your content. The rankings will happen by themselves and people naturally share something they discovered and decided was worthwhile.

Conclusion

Earning links is surely great way to optimize your site. Earning links originated from Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land. This phrase is a huge win for the SEO industry. This is our chance to win back the credibility that black-hat and spammy SEO companies have taken away from us. Earning links is clearly better. Anybody can build them whether you provide value or not. But in order to earn them you must provide value. These links are clearly going to be of a higher quality as a result. Plus they’re more natural which is something Google has placed a very close eye on now.

 

How to Set Your Preferred Domain and Double the Power of Your Backlinks

Setting the domain preference should be the first thing that should be done by any SEO guy. Following this simple tip can even double the power of your link building efforts. However, not following this SEO tip could cut those efforts in half.

Three reasons why you should set your preferred domain:

1. The Panda Update

Panda is responsible for penalizing the sites with duplicate content. A large reason for the Panda update was for Google to rid their search results of duplicate content. Google sees YourDomain.com and www.YourDomain.com as two different web pages. This could be perceived as duplicate content. So setting your preferred domain (www or no www) will let Google know which domain they should crawl and index. It is advisable to the webmaster to choose 1 version and make it as fixed from the Google Webmaster Tools.

2. Double the Power of your Backlinks

It is crucial to choose one domain name version and use it for link building. If Google thinks the www and non www version of a web page are different pages, then there is a strong possibility that being inconsistent with the preferred domain you build links to could hurt your link building efforts.

For example, let’s say your preferred domain is not set, and half the time you link to www.YourDomain.com and the other half you link to YourDomain.com. There is a strong possibility that Google may think you’re linking to two different web pages, therefore cutting your link building efforts in half. Why take that chance? Now, Google does try to canonicalize matching domains, but they don’t guarantee it.

3. Personal Preferences

I always set my preferred domain to no www. In my opinion, why say www if you don’t have to? www doesn’t roll off the tongue very well. In fact, many people just say dub, dub dub. So I don’t think I’m alone here. There is no such hard and fast rule. Choose the version with which you are most comfortable. No matter what version you choose, stick to that version.

Did I miss any? Tell me below  and I will add them here!

6 Reasons Your Visitors Don’t Fill Out Your Contact Form

Marketers use forms to capture information from their site visitors in order to send them additional content designed to educate and move them “down the funnel” or simply give sales more background to close the deal.  Many potential customers leave a website without filling out your contact form. This is a common problem with websites.

Your SEO company does a great job driving traffic to your website and your visitors start showing interest in your services by viewing a few pages and staying on your website for a minute or two. Then they get to your contact page and see the contact form. But instead of filling out that form, visitors “bounce” from your website without filling your contact form. Here are the reasons.

Reason #1: Too many required fields

It’s intimidating to see a form with those scary red stars next to form fields. It not only seems aggressive and like a lot of work, but it also could come off of as invasion of privacy.

Reducing the required fields to only what is absolutely necessary will eliminate friction for the visitor.This is especially important for your more top-of-the-funnel offers.

Looking at the data, you can better decide what’s “nice to have” and what’s “need to have.” For most B2B companies – name, email and title are the three required fields for any form.

Reason #2: It’s Way Too Long

Have you ever left a store without purchasing anything because the checkout lines were too long? That’s because you are human and humans are impatient, especially on the internet. We use the internet to make our lives easier, not more complicated and definitely not more difficult. A long contact form can be very overwhelming to look at and scare your potential customer right off your website. Keep the number of fields on your contact forms between 3 and 5 max.

If your website offers a service, then your contact form shouldn’t try to sell that service. It should only try to get your foot in the door by asking a few basic questions. Review your forms and if any field isn’t absolutely necessary for your company to gather at that stage of the funnel, remove it!

Reason #3: No help text in the field default

Be clear on the information you are asking for from your site visitor. The addition of a short line of help text above fields that may be misinterpreted by some can go a long way — especially when it comes to multi-line fields where a user can write out their response.

Tell people overtly what you are looking for, but remember, try to avoid using the help text or label inside the actual field. This can cause the visitor to mistake the field as already filled in and not prompt them to take action.

Reason #4: You Ask for Their Phone Number

Unbounce states that you can expect a “5% dip in conversion rate” by asking for phone number in a form that is not a contact form.

If someone is trying to access an offer and is not raising their hand to be contacted, why ask for this information? If people are not on a contact page, they have no desire to speak to someone on the phone or give your company the option to call them whenever they want.

People can spot this as a sales tactic from a mile away so stay far away from the phone number field as much as possible.

Reason #5: Your submit button text isn’t clear or actionable

The word “submit” is such a negative word. Who wants to “submit” to anything. I’d rather “Send” or “Send Email”. For example, I’d recommend testing “click to download”, “Click Here” as well as “get it now” against “download” or “submit”. Using words and phrases that inspire action from the visitor, like these, are usually more successful.

Reason #6: You Don’t Have Enough Forms

Have you ever gone to the store and ended up buying things you never intended on buying?. Stores take advantage of this by strategically lining the checkout lanes with goodies to buy. You should take advantage of the fact that humans can often be impulsive. On The Ocean Agency website there is a contact form in the footer of every page, in the body of almost every page, and of course on the Contact Page. We’ve done this for years and found that very often our visitors will fill out a contact form because it’s right in front of their face.

We also track which conversions came from which pages. From that we are able to tell that 4 out of 10 recent contact form submissions came from contact forms on other pages, like the body of the Home Page.

Conclusion

Remember, while all of these tips are useful, every audience is different. You will only generate real results if you test for your audience and identify what boosts conversions for it specifically.

Everything you see above can be done in less than one day. Put your clients aside for one morning, meet with your developer and get it done.

Did I miss any? Tell me below  and I will add them here!

 

 

How the Best Longtail Tool can Help You

There’s so much that goes into creating a successful website:

  • Writing compelling content, including killer headlines
  • Creating a strategic SEO marketing campaign
  • Drawing a massive amount of traffic daily

And of course there’s more. However, the three necessities mentioned above all center around one important factor: using the best longtail tool.

Having the best longtail tool is crucial to your website’s success for so many reasons. Here are some of those reasons:

  • You can draw your targeted audience to your site by having the right longtail keywords placed within your headline, sub headlines, and content’s body.
  • As part of your SEO marketing plan, you can use the right longtail keywords in your PPC campaign, downloadable eBooks, and any other SEO marketing material.
  • You can rank high on organic search engines such as Google; for your longtail keywords will consist of phrases searchers type into the search engine bar.

Using the Best Longtail Tool

With so many keyword research tools available, how do you know when you’re using the best one?

For starters, you want to use a longtail tool versus a short tail research tool. An example of a short tail keyword tool is Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

This is advised because short tail keywords are generic and everyone uses them; giving you no distinction from other sites.

On the other hand, a longtail tool will distinguish your website from others. This is done by giving you unique phrases befitting for your niche.

These phrases are unlikely to be used by other websites because no two sites are alike.

Additionally, the best longtail tool will provide you with the following features:

  • The ability to watch visitors arrive at your site in real-time
  • Send you email alerts on new longtail keywords suggestions
  • Improve your search engine ranking while increasing your traffic

These are just a few of the features you can expect with the best longtail tool, which Hittail offers and more.

Using Organic Search Traffic Services: Is it Worth it?

When you start a business – offline or online – you’re taking a big chance of having failure or success. In this case, let’s talk about going online to start a web business.

There’s a lot that must be done in order to garner traffic in your website’s direction. It is, after all, how your website will make money.

Social media, for example, is one of the ways people get the message out about their websites. Social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are heavily used for promotional purposes.

So, what about using organic search traffic services? Is it a good idea to use these services as part of your marketing strategy? Or is it too risky?

Let’s look closely at this matter.

The Purpose of Organic Search Traffic Services

With all the Google Panda and Penguin changes occurring, you’ve got to have a strong marketing strategy in place. It’s important for the sake of your website’s traffic.

Thus, that brings us to organic search traffic services and whether it’s useful in increasing a website’s organic search traffic.

For starters, what is an organic search traffic service?

An organic search traffic service analyzes keywords. It particularly focuses on underperforming, long tail keywords for the following reasons:

  • Less competition
  • Higher rankings on search engines
  • Searchers use these phrases more often than generic (one word) keywords

Hittail is a prime example of an organic search traffic service.

Hence, using Hittail means you’ll receive an analyzed list of suggested long tail keywords. In turn, you should rank well with these terms based on the reasons bulleted above.

Just simply place them in online materials such as:

  • Web content
  • Blog posts
  • Google ads
  • White papers
  • eBooks

So, are organic search traffic services worth investing time and money in?

Absolutely! You’ll see great results, i.e. traffic, in no time, and this alone makes it well worth your marketing efforts.

Conclusion

In spite of Google’s determination to shake up the internet with Penguin and Panda, your website still has a chance to rank well on search engines. Simply employ organic search traffic services as part of your main marketing strategy.

5 Digital Marketing Tools You Shouldn’t Live Without

If you want to make the most of content marketing, you need to know which strategies to implement and which tools to use. There are many online marketing tools that can dramatically improve your productivity and increase your sales.

Following are 6 online marketing tools to boost traffic, generate sales and much more.

1- MailChimp

Every marketer needs an email marketing service, and MailChimp is what I use. MailChimp has one goal and one goal only: to help customers “send better email.”

MailChimp boasts more than 10 million users who send approximately 600 million emails every day. It’s impossible to list all the benefits and features of this email platform, but its flexibility deserves a special mention.

It has powerful reporting features and integration with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Magento, Salesforce, ZenDesk, Shopify, WooCommerce, Mandrill, Eventbrite, Unbounce, Squarespace, Drupal, Slack, and Google Analytics. Recipient can share your content on Twitter, helping you increase your exposure with one click.

MailChimp is designed to help marketers send better emails. MailChimp has social media integration and API integration features.

2- Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the top free analytics tools. Google Analytics provides marketers and website owners with detailed statistics about their website traffic and visitor behavior.  The most used analytics software, Google Analytics allows you to monitor traffic patterns, track how your visitors navigate through your site, and monitor your conversion rate.

You don’t need much knowledge to understand how this tool can improve your business.Content marketing success is based largely on data and data is what you get when you rely on Google Analytics.

Two most used functions of Google Analytics are

Bounce Rate measures the number of visitors that come to your site.

Conversion Rate measures the number of visitors who perform a specific action on a page that converts into a lead.

3- SEMRush

SEMRush is one of top and very popular SEO tool. SEMrush allows you to observe the success of your online marketing efforts but also track your competitors, which is great. It allows you to analyze not only how your site is doing in organic search but how your competitors are doing as well.

 

This powerful software has grown to allow you to observe back-links, display advertising stats, video and display ad research, and sample ads. The site also offers various tools, including a keyword difficulty tool, domain versus domain tracking, a site audit tool, organic rankings over time, top organic keywords for which your site ranks, and a lot more.

Read More

How to Get Long Tail Keywords for Your Website

 

It doesn’t matter if your website is free or customized; new or established. There’s something far more important that your website needs, and that’s traffic.

So how do you get traffic to your website? You simply optimize your webpages with long tail keywords. This means including long tail keywords in your content’s sentences.

A bigger challenge, however, might be how to get long tail keywords i.e. how to find them. Read on and discover this isn’t a challenge at all.

Three Options on How to Get Long Tail Keywords

In regards on how to get long tail keywords, there are three ways:

  • Social media tools: Twitter is an example of a social media site that’s usable for generating long tail keywords. Simply use Twitter’s search engine bar to type in long tail phrases – with or without the hash tag.

However, you have to rely on your imagination to contemplate long tail keywords. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee your keyword selections are popular beyond Twitter or frequently used by other websites.

  • Google analytics: With this option, you must wait a day or possibly longer to see what keywords are bringing people to your website. In addition to this, Google Analytics presents charts and data that might be difficult to read at first.

You’re trying to run a website. You don’t have time to figure out some crazy information that in the end, still might require the attention of an analytics expert for better understanding.

  • Keyword research tool: Hittail is a prime example of this. With the installation of a tracking code to your website, you’ll quickly get a suggestion of underperforming long tail keywords that will rank your website better on search engine result pages.

The Best Option for Getting Long Tail Keywords

The best method for getting long tail keywords is with a keyword research tool. This is so because of five reasons:

  • No imagination is needed to develop long tail keywords
  • Long tail research tools such as Hittail work in real-time
  • The results are instant
  • The long tail keyword suggestions are commonly used by searchers
  • The long tail keyword suggestions are unique to your website’s niche

So, with these reasons, it’s obvious how to get long tail keywords for your website: by using a long tail keyword research tool.

 

The Advantages of Longtail Keywords

We can never discuss longtail keywords too much here, especially since there are still a substantial number of people not using it. The traffic and profits these website owners are missing out on is astounding!

If you’re using or don’t understand the “big hoopla” surrounding long tail keywords, then get ready to discover the advantages of longtail keywords.

It All Begins with the Search Engine

The success of using long tail keywords starts with searchers using search engines to find information. Rarely do they research using one keyword.

For instance, if someone is interested in staying in an affordable hotel in San Francisco, they wouldn’t just type “hotels.” That would garner a broad return with no mention of hotels in San Francisco.

Instead, they would type “affordable hotels in San Francisco.” This would get them a better return on the information they’re looking for.

So how is a similar scenario advantageous to your website? Here’s how:

Traffic: If your website has the exact phrase that the searcher typed embedded within its content, you’ll show up in the search engine result page (SERP). This will drive traffic searching for your information to your website … lots of it.

Higher SERP ranking: With a top SERP ranking based on the searcher’s longtail keyword, searchers are likely to visit your website.

Conversion rate: Thanks to long tail keywords, when visitors visit your website, they can easily convert in some form:

  • Make a purchase
  • Subscribe to your website
  • Contact you for more information

It’s your call as to what you want them to do after they visit. Just make sure after they leave your website, they’ll be interested in returning.

Natural flow in content: When visitors read your webpages, you want them to understand what your information is about. Longtail keywords make this possible by providing a natural flow to sentences; helping each sentence make sense.

Remember that no matter how much information you provide, if it’s poorly written, it will drive searchers away just as much as misinformation.

The right target audience: It’s a waste of time for visitors to a visit a website that doesn’t offer them the right information – even though it only takes a click of the mouse. People want information fast; therefore, they don’t want to waste time clicking to the wrong websites.

So, one of the advantages of longtail keywords is it prevents the wrong target audience from coming to your website. Instead it sends the right audience searching for your exact information.

Conclusion

Now that you know the advantages of longtail keywords, it’s in your best interest to start using it. You certainly don’t want to continue to lose traffic and profits because of not doing so!

Increase Website Search Traffic by Following Top 10 SEO Blogs

 

SEO is a BIG industry where you need to constantly learn latest SEO trends to master the game of SEO. Without keeping an eye on SEO updates, you are going to fail miserably in increasing your website search traffic.

The top 10 SEO blogs aren’t solely based on my personal opinion. In fact, part of the reason I wrote this post was to find more and better resources. These are the top SEO blogs you should read in 2017. I spent more than 15 hours researching and reading SEO industry to narrow down the best SEO blogs.

Here are some of the criteria I used when deciding whether or not to include the blog in this top 10 list.

  1. Quality and consistency of posts.
  2. Google Rank for SEO blog.
  3. Article shares (Facebook,Twitter).
  4. Google Reputation.
  5. Time since last post.

If you are searching for best SEO blogs, this post is a one stop guide for you where I’m going to share few top SEO blogs that you must follow. This post will help you in saving your time for finding the best content on creating a search engine friendly blog.

Top 10 SEO Blogs to Follow in 2017

1. The Moz Blog
Blog: http://moz.com/blog
Twitter: @moz

Founded in: 2004

2. Search Engine Journal
Blog: http://www.searchenginejournal.com
Twitter: @sejournal

Founded in: 2003

3. Search Engine Land
Blog: http://searchengineland.com
Twitter: @sengineland

Founded in: 2006 by Sullivan after he left Search Engine Watch

4. Search Engine Watch
Blog: http://searchenginewatch.com/
Twitter: @sewatch

Founded in: 2009

5. Semrush
Blog: https://www.semrush.com/blog/
Twitter: @semrush

Founded in: 2008

6. Matt Cutts
Blog: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/
Twitter: @mattcutts

7. SEO BOOK
Blog: http://www.seobook.com/blog
Twitter: @seobook

Founded in: 2003

8. Bruce Clay
Blog: http://www.bruceclay.com/blog
Twitter: @BruceClayInc

Founded in: 2008

9. SEO Chat
Blog: http://www.seochat.com/
Twitter: @devseochat

Founded in: 2003

10. SEO Organic
Blog: https://www.seoorganic.co.uk/blog/
Twitter: @seoorganic_ltd

Founded in: 2013

Your SEO Blog Recommendations:

Of course, there are many, many more quality SEO blogs out there that didn’t make my list. Let us know your favorite and what you like best about the blog in the comment section below.

Did I miss any? Tell me below  and I will add them here!