With black hat trickery more difficult to get away with than ever, the development of quality content now serves as the driver of successful SEO initiatives. Here are three steps to optimizing the materials that will ultimately determine the visibility of your content with your target market as well as the success of your SEO efforts.


           Create content that resonates with your audience – Creating content that matters to your target market may require some research to see exactly what people are asking about your products and how they search for answers. As inquiries have become more conversational through voice commands, the content that answers the most common questions posed by people who are searching is getting rewarded by search engines with increasingly high rankings. This changes the game from focusing SEO efforts on high traffic keywords to really learning and providing what people are looking for in their searches.


           Create Timeless Content – One of the biggest differences between the life of content on the web versus traditional media is that digital materials remain easily available indefinitely. To take full advantage of the longevity of online assets, create content for your SEO campaign that will be relevant today as well as in the future. Referred to as "evergreen" content, these materials typically don't reference specific dates or events in a context that can make them look increasingly out of date over time. For example, terms like "last week", when referring to an event dates the content as being written at a specific time. If the content calls for a date, give only the month if you're writing an article in the same year. After the end of that year change the content to show the month and the year in which the event occurred. To stay on top of this, keep a file of content that you'll want to edit at a future date.


           Put your content where your audience is – Great content has to be seen by its audience for optimal results. Rather than just distribute your SEO-related content through the standard channels like your blog and Facebook page, do some research to determine the sites that your target market frequents, such as industry-focused social media sites. You can also look to publish content on websites that provide general information about your industry, products or services. For example, a restaurant could create articles with tips on cooking soufflés on a site dedicated to baking and desserts. Putting your content on sites where people are passionate or at least interested in your products/services will increase the amount of views as well as actions, which can drive traffic to your site and boost rankings on search engine results pages.


Content is the key to your SEO campaigns. By creating relevant and timeless materials and then putting them where your audience can find it, your content will yield optimal results.

When Google announced on September 26th that it had released an update titled Hummingbird in late August 2013, the biggest surprise was that, despite the broad scope of the algorithm changes, the effects had not been noticed during the approximately five weeks between the rollout and the announcement. Considering that the previous two updates, code named Panda and Penguin had caused dramatic and sudden negative changes in page rankings for a wide variety of websites, the new update had slipped in under the radar which provided a second surprise in that the modifications that were introduced were considered to be the most sweeping changes in the search engine’s ranking formula since the release of the Caffeine update in 2009.
The reason for the lack of impact on rankings, as explained by Google representatives in the days following the announcement, is that the modifications in the new update focus on improving search results for two types of queries that are growing rapidly as a whole but do not represent large search numbers for individual components; complex queries that are conducted by voice command on mobile devices. Prior to the update, Google’s process for assessing spoken or keyed searches focused on keywords while ignoring other words in the query. Hummingbird changes that process by assessing each word in the context of the question. One of the primary outcomes of this change is that searches using long tail keywords will generate results that are far more likely to present relevant content.      
For ecommerce businesses, the Hummingbird update provides a huge opportunity to capitalize on two consumer behaviors simultaneously:
* The tendency of consumers to purchase items that they have researched on their mobile devices – According to a Google/Nielsen survey, more than 4 out of 5 consumers submit product queries with the intention of making a purchase within 24 hours.
* The typical online search process of consumers – Consumers generally start product searches with shorter search terms and then lengthen them as they get closer to making a purchase. By generating content that delivers solutions/answers to long tail queries, a business can become very visible on results pages at precisely the point at which consumers are preparing to make a purchase.     
The companies that will be in the best position to capitalize on these converging trends will be generating content that is recognized as a solution to consumers’ search queries. It’s a huge opportunity, and Google wants to help.

Much like personal relationships, when one person is signaling what they want while the other ignores it, the connection gradually...