When people hear the word SEO, they instantly think “Oh, this guy is probably talking about keyword optimization.” Well, it’s not just that.
If Google – or any other search engine, for that matter – is so darn easy to trick, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be conversing with a client an hour later, talking about how else we can make his website better. People won’t be fussing over how to “stay on top” or to “rank the SERPs.”
Search engines are called search engines because they know more than us. They know more about SEO, keywords, marketing, and all those other things more than you and me. This is exactly why we come to them for help whenever we find ourselves running up to a wall.
If you think that you can rank a search engine by merely tweaking your article’s keyword density, you’re wrong. It takes much more than that. Simply putting a word or phrase 100 times within your content is never enough to impress Google. Check this out: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/06/11/three-ways-to-impress-google-without-knowing-much-about-seo/.
If you’re unlucky enough, you might even rub search engines the wrong way – ultimately leading to your website getting flagged down. You see, we are at a stage wherein what used to work for SEO before simply doesn’t work anymore.
If you are evolving, if your company is evolving, then so is Google. Don’t just underestimate The King of Search Engines.
Does this mean you should quit keyword optimization entirely? Of course not, search engines still use them for content appropriation. After all, how else are they supposed to classify information then? They’ve leveled up, but not to a point of having independent intelligence. They still need data. I know this sounds confusing after everything I just said but you DO need keywords – just not in the way you imagine it.
First let us define what it means to optimize.
What Is Optimization & Why You May Have Understood It Wrong
Let’s get this straight, okay? The problem with keywords, why it gets some websites or pages flagged down and everything, isn’t because we shouldn’t be using them. We are simply (or might be) using them in the wrong way. We might be doing “stuffing” not “optimizing.” Check out this website for instance to learn more about effective SEO.
When you’re writing content and you’re too conscious of keyword density, what happens? You start to sound like a broken record. You keep repeating the same word, phrase, or thought in every paragraph of the content you write.
When you’re done writing and run it through an SEO keyword tool, you see very high marks in keyword density so you’ll think for sure that you’ve done a good thing. Actually, you may have done the exact opposite. You may have done something that can possibly upset Google.
Keyword stuffing is not equal to keyword optimization. In keyword stuffing, you are merely trying to plug in as many keywords and anchored texts in the article as the length permits you.
With optimization, it’s different. In keyword optimization, what you do is you improve your content by making every bit of it relevant to the main keyword.
Does this make any sense? Simply put, you go from randomly and unnaturally mentioning keywords to creating high-value content.
Let’s understand this better by using an example:
If I’m making an article that’s strongly focused on the topic “desserts” and I would like to get into it more specifically and target “desserts popular in Australia,” the latter becomes my keyword phrase of choice. If I were someone who is intentionally (or unconsciously) using the stuffing method, I would use the keyword phrase tirelessly throughout the article.
Too many keywords plugged in a single paragraph raises the red flag bar really high. If you think that this method is going to get you anywhere in this day and age then you thought wrong.
So, What Is It That You Need?
You need keywords but not the same ones. You need to optimize your content but not through useless and meaningless shortcuts. There is a way to GUIDE search engines to your content without rubbing them off the wrong way. You can get them to understand what your website has to offer without sounding forced and manipulative.
You see, when bots (indexers, scanners, and the like) skim through your content, they find and pinpoint the necessary data. Using SEO, we can help them identify these data through the use of tags, headings, and other formatting tools. Yes, we can also help them understand our content better through proper placement of keywords. Read more about it here: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/04/proper-keyword-research/.
Mind you, proper is different from repetitive.
What you need is UX-based keyword optimization. UX or User Experience is a type of SEO method geared towards the benefit of users. These methods aim to provide value and meaning to users by creating content that actually holds information relevant to the changing needs of a diverse audience. If you want to rank search engines nowadays, it’s not enough to just have good content. You need to have MEANINGFUL content. And here’s how you do it:
- Find a topic that is timely, relevant, and meaningful for your business.
- Choose a keyword to optimize and make sure that you find a NATURAL place for it in the Title, First Paragraph (first sentence, if you can), Sub-headings, and Final/Closing Paragraph. That’s it. No more than this.
- Aside from the main keyword, be sure to branch out ideas. Use any word, phrase, or idea that is primarily or secondarily related to your keyword of choice. For example, if you’re making an article about headache medicine, cite basic pain-reliever brands or herbal alternatives that are good for headaches. Incorporating information that relates to your keyword of choice will help search engines understand your content better.
- Enrich your content. Writing everything yourself doesn’t give much credibility to your work. You need to cite reputable sources and feature factual data (statistics, researches, case studies, etc.). Read more about it here.
- Be engaging. Make sure that you don’t bore your readers out of their minds. Also, always write in first person. Talk to your readers as if you’re facing them personally. Address every problem, resolve every issue, and ask every question as if you’re talking to someone in real life.
Have fun. When you invest passion in what you do, your readers will feel it – definitely!