When Google’s Hummingbird update launched in 2013, the internet as we knew it was changed forever. This update introduced reliance on natural language processing to recognize voice texture, interests, and behaviors. Keyword stuffing was out, and natural search engine optimization (SEO) that targeted users’ actual intents was in. Now, with nearly a decade passed since cyberspace was shaken up, smart marketers have started to figure out how to befriend the search engines. But the algorithms are constantly changing and evolving – which is why it’s important to stay on top of the game as much as possible. Wondering about the latest Google search tricks and how to take advantage? Here we’ll walk you through some simple ones you can try to do on your own.
Start Optimizing for Voice Search
In today’s world, voice search is climbing up the ranks. Consumers want more information than ever before, and they’re searching for it on their mobile phones and smart speakers. What is voice search optimization, you ask? Great question! In short, it’s the process of making sure your webpages are optimized for searchers who will be speaking into their devices when they want to gather information, rather than tailoring content around written text searches. You can figure out a user’s intent based on the kinds of questions they’re asking. For example, ‘who’ and ‘what’ questions signal that a user is in the research phase, while ‘where’ questions indicate they’re almost ready to buy. It’s important to know where people are in your sales funnel so you can create content that targets them appropriately.
Any great natural search engine optimization service will tell you that you not only need to create outstanding, unique, and valuable content; but, you also need to create the type of content that voice searchers can easily discover. If you’re not doing this, it’s much harder to get people to go to your landing pages, click funnels, and website as a whole.
Understand the Click Funnel
Not quite sure what a click funnel is? Basically, a click funnel is a series of pages that ultimately entice visitors to convert into paying customers, subscribers, or some other desired event. People generally enter a click funnel through links on social media outlets, paid search ads, organic SEO efforts, or emails. Those links then send them to specific landing pages, which helps usher them further into the sales funnel. By knowing your audience and what stage they’re at, you will have a better idea of what keywords to search for and what content and channels to use.
Use the Minus Sign:
If for whatever reason, you’re trying to find search results that exclude certain words, you can use the minus sign at the end of your query and add the word or phrase you wish to exclude.
For example, at Zero Gravity Marketing, we do a ton of SEO work, and we’re proud of all the content we produce related to the topic. However, if we want to see what pops up that isn’t SEO-related, we can type in “Zero Gravity Marketing -SEO” and Google will populate the search engine results pages (SERPs) with articles and pages that don’t reference search engine optimization.
This trick is great for bolstering your link-building capabilities. By entering “Intext:[your company name]” into the search bar, you’ll see which sites mention your brand within their content. Once you discover the sites mentioning you but not linking back to your website, you can reach out to those companies and ask them to add links to your mentions. This is a great way to build links, which will ultimately boost your search engine rankings.
Try Out Intitle:
Sometimes, search results can lead to close (or not-so-close) results that may not actually provide people with the information they’re looking for. However, if the keywords are in the title, they’re more likely to be a relevant match to the searchers’ needs. When you’re querying for information and want the closest match possible, the “in title” option in Google can be very helpful. Let’s say we want to see the highest-ranking pages that talk about SEO, but we want to make sure SEO is actually in the title. To do this, we’d type “intitle:SEO” into the search bar. You’ll quickly see some authority sites populate the front page of your results.
When you’re searching for URLs that contain specific keywords, Google has a query option for you. This can be helpful when you’re keeping an eye on how your competitors set up their SEO strategies. When you use this function, you can quickly see which pages have specific keywords in their URLs. Continuing with the theme, if we wanted to see which pages are labeled with SEO directly in their URLs, we’d type in “inurl:SEO” to see what Google offers us.
Step Up with Site:
How do you know if Google’s indexed all of your pages? Well, one way is to perform a check with “Site:[your URL]”. When you do this, you’ll see all the pages Google’s indexed for your site. Let’s say you only see 10 indexed pages when you perform this search. If that’s not all of your pages and you were expecting a few hundred (or more), something might not be quite right. Check your Google Search Console if this is the case to figure out why Google isn’t picking up all of your pages.
Leave Out Your Own URL with -Inurl:
If you want to see where else your site appears, but you obviously don’t want your search results to spit your own company back to you, you can exclude results found within your own URL by using the -Inurl function. Using Zero Gravity Marketing as an example, we could type “Zero Gravity Marketing -inurl:zerogravitymarketing.com” to see which sites also feature our name. In our case, many of our social accounts appear at the top of the list, which is to be expected.
How Zero Gravity Marketing Can Help
If you’re looking for a YouTube SEO service, a company that can fulfill all of your marketing needs, or a team of experts that will drive your organic search to the best results possible, you’ve come to the right place. Touch base with Zero Gravity Marketing today to get started!