Google reportedly uses over 200 factors when determining a website’s ranking. In the past, the be-all end-all of factors; it was the factor. Today, the search landscape is much more crowded, and keywords alone cannot win the war for visibility and traffic. They remain, however, very much a necessary and valuable component of any SEO campaign. What should you know when selecting your keywords?
- There are tools beyond Google to help you select targeted keywords. SEMrush is a useful tool for analysing keywords, as is Keyword Discovery.
- Think about terms that people actually search for; often, they keyword term will be longer: SEO solution provider, for instance, rather than the overly broad – and competition-heavy – SEO.
- If you are buying the term for paid search but are skipping optimising, think again. A study, released by Conductor, found that Fortune 500 companies spend $3.4 million a day on paid search, but they showed poorly in organic search. Only 2 percent of their keywords and sites made it within the first 30 – thirty! – pages of Google’s results. An integrated approach works best for most sites.
- Density. Really, how many times can one be expected to use the term SEO solution provider in a short post? We’re up to two! The key is being natural: does the word or phrase have value here? Is it offering something or are you obviously trying to force it in?
- The keywords you choose need to be relevant to your content, and they should provide you with opportunities to interlink within your site (because you should be targeting different keywords throughout). Not only does this further boost your SEO efforts, it pulls visitors deeper within your site. If your sales funnel is optimised, you may see more conversions.
- It’s all about the content. Choose keywords that will help you gain visibility, but don’t write your content around them. Include them naturally where relevant. This will make you look better in the eyes of both Google and your visitors.
While Google has changed its methods and continues to change nearly daily, keywords are still the guiding light. They are still a major factor in how people find you. The rest is up to you and your great content!