Hummingbird, Google's latest algorithm update (following on from Panda and Penguin), means website content is quickly catching up with traditional Search Engine Optimisation methods when it comes to driving traffic to your website. In fact, the results of a recent study by Hubspot based on feedback from over five thousand of their customers are quite staggering.

1. Content is now King!

When asked, 'What factors do you attribute to traffic increase?' blogging came out top with traditional SEO as number two. Amazing really considering that only two years earlier (and before the content biased algorithm updates from Google), SEO was definitely top spot!

In other words, if your website analytics are looking a little bare then get writing or recording some valuable, unique content consistently!

2. Establish Your Expertise

Blogging is a great way of establishing your expertise in your area of business or industry. Use your knowledge and understanding of your business, services or products in your content. Don't be afraid to show your audience how much you know!

Blogging is also a great way of demonstrating thought leadership. That's how Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute got started (look up both - it will be well worth it, I promise)!

Are there any areas of business that aren't being addressed by others or do you have any ideas that would enhance your business, service or product? Have you ever searched for the answer to a problem and not found the answer to it? You can bet that your customers have too!

3. Everybody loves a good story

It really doesn't have to be a novel! Check out the John Lewis adverts - an excellent example of storytelling! It might be a story about how your business started or where you got the idea from.

Flipping the coin, tell your stories as case studies or questionnaires based on customer experiences of using your service or product. You could even produce a 'How to' guide illustrating how something a works or how you make something.

HINT: 'How To' guides are fantastic traffic drivers as long as they've gone through the quality control test first!

4. Social Proof

Sharing is caring! Sharing information openly with your audience shows a willingness to engage and interact with them and, in turn, improve your standing with them. Consider social proof as perceived trustworthiness rather like testimonials; the more 'stars', the better!

A consistent approach to producing valuable and relevant content via a blog will get you noticed not only by your audience but also by other website owners who have found and loved your content.

Creators of relevant and valuable content are often referred to on other websites. For example, Mashable is a content curation site as well as a content creator. A link from a reputable site such as is well regarded by Google and a sign of quality and trust.

5. It's free!

Well , not quite. It might be free in that you don't need to pay someone to blog for you (although some do!) but it does take time. A colleague of mine recently introduced me to the 'Power Hour' and it really does work! Switch off your email, put your phone on silent, log out of your social media accounts and get creating!

You will be amazed how much research, writing (or recording!) and publishing you can get done in a relatively short amount of time with no distractions - honestly!

Article by Helena Hill of 49digital Ltd.

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