Why You Still Need Keywords
You may have heard that keywords are dead, and keyword research doesn’t matter anymore. That’s like saying like your car doesn’t need a steering wheel.
Every website still needs a sound keyword strategy, and any good SEO company should still be doing keyword research. Keywords are the compass that guides your SEO marketing strategy. They help set the direction for your web content and give Google insight into what each web page is all about.
At EZMarketing, our keyword research is focused on your business and your target audience. We know that a successful keyword strategy isn’t about ranking for random search topics. It’s about ranking for relevant search queries that will attract the right visitors to your site.
The Evolution of Keywords & The Rise of Contextual Search
Keywords may not be dead, but they have changed. In the early days of SEO marketing, Google favored exact match keywords, and SEO writing meant littering your copy with those specific words and phrases. It was an ugly time where keyword stuffing reigned.
Now, Google is a lot smarter, and it understands the context and intent behind search queries. You used to have to search for “Best Italian restaurants in Lancaster PA.” Now you can search for “Best Italian” and Google will know what you mean – and return local SEO results.
Search engines also understand that people use different keywords and phrases to search for the same topic. This has given rise to what SEO geeks like us call semantic keywords, and Latent Semantic Indexing (or LSI keywords). These are fancy ways to say that Google is getting better at understanding natural human language. Google now looks at synonyms and phrases that are closely related to the user’s search, even if they don’t contain the same words.
Why LSI Keywords Matter
LSI Keywords and the rise of contextual search have expanded the need for quality keyword research. It’s not enough to find a few exact match keywords and scatter them around your website. Modern keyword research is about learning how your customers search and finding a whole network of terms that relate to your core topic.
For example, let’s say your business sells gymnastics mats, which is your primary keyword. Your LSI keywords might include “landing mats,” “gymnastics equipment” “martial arts studios,” “cheerleading equipment,” “floor padding,” “foam exercise mats,” and so on.
As part of our SEO services offering, keyword research delivers an arsenal of relevant keywords they can incorporate into your site, so you get the SEO benefit without your copy sounding forced or awkward. Google understands what your page is all about, and your customers get a deeper understanding of your products & services. It’s a win-win.
I Have My Keywords… Now What?
Here’s where the website optimization work really begins. On-page optimization involves weaving your semantic keywords into your website for best SEO marketing effect, without sacrificing readability or customer experience. Yes, you want Google to rank your site higher, but you don’t want to alienate potential customers in the process.
Here are a few quick guidelines for website optimization:
- Add your primary keyword in the title tag and meta description of each page
- Use your primary keyword in the main page header as an H1 header tag
- Do your best to include your primary keyword in the first sentence of your copy
- Use semantic keywords in the first 200 words of your content, especially
- Never force your keywords; make sure your text reads naturally
- Don’t be afraid to make your keyword bold for your readers
- Include your keywords in image alt tags
- Use keyword variations in the link anchor text
If you’re not a writer, that’s OK – most of us aren’t! Even if you are a strong writer, SEO writing presents a whole different challenge. We have professional copywriters on staff as part of our SEO services offering who are experts at creating content that both Google and your customers will love!