Keywords are important when it comes to SEO, but it’s no longer everything as the main SEO strategy. The market is now so saturated with keywords that your content can no longer stand out by using just keywords alone. Keyword-based content might work great for emails and your current audience. But it won’t work to attract new customers through search engines, and here’s why.
What Are Keywords and Why Is It an SEO Strategy?
Keywords are words or phrases users search for in search engines. For example, if I’m a supplement company, my users might search the following keywords in a search engine;
- Supplements for ….
- Best supplements for ….
- What supplements to take for ….
Keywords can be single words like “supplements” in the example of my supplement company. A single keyword is extremely hard to rank for since it’s so generic.
The next keyword classification is a short tail keyword. These are keywords with two or more words. Continuing with the supplement company, an example would be “supplements for weight loss”. This is easier to rank for in SEO but still hard since it’s relatively vague.
The last classification of keywords is long tail keywords. These are keyword phrases. They’ll be specific which means there’s less competition for the phrase. For the supplement company, an example would be “supplements to improve overall health” or “multivitamin supplements for vegans”. Long tail keywords are a great SEO strategy because they’re more focused, which will attract the exact audience seeking that keyword.
Why Just Using Keywords Don’t Work Anymore for Your SEO Strategy
As stated earlier, everyone’s using keywords in their content, so the market is too saturated. Keywords were never meant to be the long-term solution for SEO. And it’s proven by today’s search engine algorithms.
Search Engine Algorithms
Once upon a time, search engines used keywords to find the best experience and content for searchers. So in the beginning, keywords were the only SEO strategy writers and marketers needed to utilize.
Today most search engines utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to find content for users. This new algorithm focuses on providing users with the information they need and creating a good user experience on your website. This is beyond placing keywords in all the right spots like it used to be.
Now, keywords aren’t used to measure the value of your content. This makes most keyword optimization content obsolete actually. And it’s a waste of time for your content writers and marketers to write about a specific piece with the words in mind. Plus, when you use the same keywords over and over in content, Google is more likely to assume you’re spamming the search engine to manipulate. And Google does not like that.
Instead, keywords and phrases should be naturally and authentically included in your content. Keywords should also be used in combination with other SEO strategies.
What Google Looks For & How to Implement Them for SEO Strategy
Google looks for specific things on your website for it to rank in its search engine. There are five key factors Google looks for and will determine the search results:
For Google to provide an answer for a search, it needs to assess the intent behind the search. Google does this by matching the keywords to the most useful content available. Google will find meaningful content for a search by using similar and related words to the search. The example Google uses is if someone searches “change laptop brightness”, it will also pull content for “adjust laptop brightness”.
Besides your keyword being in the content, your content should also have secondary and related keywords. This is what will help Google find your relevant content too.
Google also brings a focus to more recently published content. This is why it’s so important to publish content regularly on your website. This shows Google you have been active and provide meaningful content to users. Need help publishing content for your website? We can help!
For finding relevant content, Google searches keywords that are in the text, heading, URL, title tag, and images of the content. But goes just beyond searching for the keyword in text, it will search images and videos. It’s why it’s crucial to optimize your images with the keyword as well. Another SEO strategy, everything on the page should be optimized with the keyword: text, title, URL, title tag, etc.
Quality of Content
Google searches for content, but with how much content is now on the internet, it also searches for quality content. There’s a big difference between content and quality content. Quality content will tell Google your content has the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness it seeks. It’s why linking to other outside websites is an important SEO strategy. This builds credibility not just with the reader, but with the search engine too. Linking to other authorities on the same subject will get you bonus points with users and Google.
Usability of Web Pages
About 60% of all online searches are done on a mobile phone. So if your website isn’t optimized for web and mobile, your SEO is suffering. Optimizing your website so the user has a positive user experience on your website is crucial for a good SEO ranking. This also means a fast loading speed for the page is important. To optimize your page, Google recommends:
- Measure and report Core Web Vitals
- Checking your page is mobile-friendly with their Mobile-Friendly Test
- Ensure your website is secure with HTTPS
- Content is accessible
The last thing Google looks at when someone searches a keyword is context. Google looks at the user’s location, past Search history, and Search setting to help them find the most useful and relevant content. This is when long-tail keywords that contain a location will a good SEO strategy. For example, if you’re a pizza restaurant in Chicago, a long-tail keyword could be “best pizza restaurant in Chicago”.
Need help optimizing your website and implementing these SEO strategies? Book a call with us!