SaaS Marketing Blog

Selecting your key terms in a post-Google Hummingbird age

20th December 2013

The impact of Google’s largely well received Hummingbird Algorithm update was slight at first, with few online marketers registering any noticeable effect. However, as we settle into life post-Hummingbird, those in the know are noticing the nagging reach of this little bird stretching ever further.

The main thrust of Hummingbird was an emphasis change from search semantics to naturally occurring key terms. By removing the ability for marketers to identify precisely which key terms are bringing traffic to their website, businesses have been forced to adapt their strategies by producing more natural, context based content.

The vague search query data now provided came as a shock to many marketers, who were used to being spoon fed the information they needed to drive more and more traffic to their website. Fortunately however, there are plenty of resources and tools available to help marketers find their way around these strict new limitations.

Dig into Bing and Yahoo

Google might be king, but Bing and Yahoo are still a handy source of helpful information. Although much of the data available is less in depth than Google once provided, it still harbours valuable insights which enable marketers to fine tune their online marketing strategy.

The information available reveals some of the more descriptive searches entered by your website visitors, as well as the inclination behind these terms. Perhaps the search was a specific question, or a longwinded conversational phrase? Your findings are vital to shaping content in the future.

Analyse your best performing blogs

Those businesses taking onsite blog writing seriously will be posting fresh new content regularly, with each blog designated its own target key term. By posting blogs frequently, you’ll have a good data sample at your disposal to pick through for trends.

The first job is to select your top ten most viewed blogs. Unless you are particularly active on social media, then the majority of these views will have come from organic traffic.

The next step is to lift your target key terms from your ten most popular blogs and feed them into a keyword planner. Type in the target keyword and look closely at some of the long-tail suggestions this reveals. Many of these terms will make for excellent blog fodder in your next post and help you to sate Google’s desire to cater to increasingly natural search enquiries.

Talk to your customers

When you receive an enquiry from a new customer, why not simply ask them how they found you? Businesses usually keep a keen eye on their rankings for the key terms they are targeting, but often they perform well for terms they never intended to target, but which are still closely related to the products and services they offer.

Scour forums

Online industry forums can be a veritable treasure trove of potential key terms you may never have thought of. What sort of questions are contributors asking? What are the main topics of conversation?

Once again, Google’s Keyword Planning Tool is the best bit of kit for the job. Simply plug the URL of the industry forum into the planner and wait while it grabs a range of terms which appear in the forum on a regular basis. You can then scour the list for long-tail ideas which are particularly relevant to your business.

Suggestion tools

Tools such as Übersuggest can make short work of unearthing potentially lucrative key terms. Type your keyword into the query bar and Ubersuggest will busy itself by producing related suggestions which are listed alphabetically. You can then dig through the list to find those which are most relevant to the products and services you offer.

Give Xander Marketing a call today on +44 (0)330 223 2770 to lift the veil on the key terms that sell your business online or find out more about our search engine marketing services here.

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