Who doesn’t love some good myth-busting?! Especially when it comes to something that’s so important to content marketing: keywords.
In Anatomy of a Keyword and How it Works in Your Content, we provided lots of great tips for optimizing keywords for your content. But success with keywords takes more than knowing what to do; it takes knowing what not to do, too. So let’s get down to busting some keyword myths, shall we?
Myth: Keyword research is a one-time thing.
Fact: Keyword research is ongoing. Google prefers content that is “freshened up” from time to time as well as websites and blogs that are updated regularly.
Myth: The more keywords you put in your content, the better.
Fact: Too many keywords can have the opposite of your desired effect and may even get you penalized by Google. Good rule of thumb, place your main medium or long tail keyword in the title, a sub header, once in the first paragraph, and a time or two in the body. However, some keywords won’t work that way because they won’t feel natural, so you have to use your own judgment, choosing quality first.
Myth: Choose the longest keywords you can think of and include them.
Fact: The longest keyword is not always the best. If you can break it up and supplement with LSI keywords, that may be a better option for you. Keep content quality in mind.
Myth: You have to include misspelled keywords to accommodate errors in search spelling.
Fact: The search engine already does this for you. There is no need to undermine the quality of your content by including intentionally misspelled words.
Myth: Keywords need to be very specific.
Fact: Some keywords may need to be specific but using some less specific medium tail keywords can also help to boost your ranking. Keep thinking like your user and what terms they are searching.
Myth: Local SEO has to be awkwardly worded to be effective.
Fact: Local SEO can use stop words to maintain the quality of the content. This means you don’t have to try to work “lawyer New York” into the content but can instead use “lawyer in New York.” Again, quality first.
Myth: The ONLY place to find keywords is with a keyword research tool.
Fact: The FIRST place that keywords should come from is your own knowledge of your business, product, or service. You can brainstorm then use a keyword tool to determine which terms are performing well. You can also use analytical tools like Alexa to view keywords, search terms, and even competitor keywords. They also have several other very useful tools in their suite.
Keyword selection and usage is not simple. It takes thought, research, and finesse. If you can read a blog or web content and pick out the keywords because they stick out like a sore thumb, then you need to rethink your content and your keywords. It should all flow seamlessly and naturally. If it doesn’t, something is wrong.
Talking to your writer prior to selecting your keywords could help you get more natural, higher quality content. They can advise you in structure, selection, and integration so your finished product is exactly what you want, and it does the job it was meant to do.
Stephanie M is a writer living in East Central, Alabama, but she didn’t always lead such a peaceful, carefree life. A few years ago she made a daring escape from the “cube farm” at a Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. (after eight very long years) where she worked. as an analyst focusing on disaster response, technical writing, program management, and FOIA.