Keywords are and always will be relevant, for one simple reason that without them, you can’t know the searcher’s intent and this applies to the mighty Google too – they’re good but not mind readers. Whilst search engine algorithms are sophisticated, keywords are still important and it would be wrong to say that targeting relevant keywords in your content is no longer useful.
Creating high-quality content on your website still requires a clear keyword SEO strategy, but we have seen changes to keywords over recent years. It is near impossible to find exactly what you’re looking for unless you use keywords to search, although getting the coveted No.1 spot for single keywords is not necessarily the best way forward. Long tail keywords and phrases have become more lucrative and have better conversion rates. Longer keyword phrases have become more common place through voice search and with users asking more questions when searching. Keywords are also one method of monitoring your SEO campaigns and monitoring whether or not you’re making progress.
Now known as over-optimisation, keyword density rules have been blown out of the water, instead, we need to focus on the user experience. In order to stay safe and avoid keyword stuffing, concentrate on the user intent behind the search, not just the keywords themselves and make your text sound natural not forced.
If only…but there is some truth to this SEO myth. It is, of course, best practice to ensure your website is populated with high quality relevant and informative content. It’s a good place to start but doesn’t ensure that top rankings will automatically follow. Content which provides value to users means that they stay on your website for longer, which will impact rankings. This demonstrates to search engines that users are finding what they were looking for, although don’t fall into the trap that ‘content’ is the be all and end all, great content is just one factor in the varied SEO mix.
Whilst the keyword tag has been defunct for years, title tags and meta descriptions are still very much alive and kicking. The difference between SEO now and ten years ago is that while meta tags may no longer be a ranking factor they are most definitely still useful in today’s SEO. These tags now can be used to make your search results more attractive, which in turn attracts more clicks from search engine users. You can entice and demonstrate how your website has the answers to users questions and needs. To this end, meta tags should be part of your content marketing and can certainly drive traffic to your site, which we know improves search engine rankings.
A similar ethos can be applied to H1 tags, it’s true that heading styles no longer affect rankings directly, but they do make a difference to the user experience. Using heading tags may not boost your search rankings, just create a better experience for your users, so they can easily navigate your site and pick out sections of your content that are of interest to them.
This SEO myth divides many SEO experts, and whilst social signals may not officially be part of Google’s ranking factors, social media does have an impact on your search optimisation efforts. Social metrics, which are easily tracked and measured, play an important role in bringing together search engine ranking factors. As with website reviews, especially on Google, data from social media sites can help search engines determine how relevant and pleasing your site is and give an indication of where to rank it.
No one can guarantee google rankings, but even being on page one is still not a guarantee of a runaway success. There are many factors to achieving good rankings including knowing the search volume of a keyword. That’s why SEO is a long term investment and not an instant answer. If you’re looking for that quick win then paid search run alongside your SEO strategy is a much better answer.
24 May 2018
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