True Optimization: Why Keywords Are Not the Holy Grail of SEO

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When companies hear about keywords for the first time, it can be easy to see them as a Holy Grail of marketing. “You mean all I have to do is include these words as many times as possible in my content so search engines know what I’m talking about, then I will rank amazingly well in search results? Awesome!” Except it doesn’t quite work like that.

If you are like the vast majority of internet searchers, you have used Google to find something. Think about the results that were at the top of the list. Chances are the highest ranked results were helpful and informative. They helped you find the information or place you were looking for and there was no semblance of ‘keyword stuffing.’ Keywords, in fact, are but one part of optimizing a website.

Think: Fluency

When customers land on your site, they decide in less than 1 second if it visually appeals to them. They will give your content a quick scan to see if you have the information they seek and if you will be able to help them.

Similarly, when search engines send their spiders to crawl your site, they are looking for sites that are easy to understand and categorize. Sites that are difficult for spiders to understand will not rank well.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you need to design a site that is easy for users and spiders to understand. Some whitespace can actually be helpful and enhance the visual appeal of the site. It also makes the site easier to scan, so that your visitors can see if you provide the information they are looking for. Other aspects that you should try to incorporate to improve on-page fluency include:

  • bullet points or numbered lists
  • headers
  • bolded text

The easier spiders and people can read your site — the better it will rank.

Think: Value

Search engine optimization requires you to concentrate on two goals: your visitors and the search engines. Fortunately, when you focus on your visitors, you will please the search engines, as well. Use subjects your potential customers seek and you will naturally incorporate the keywords the search engines are looking for. The goal of the search engine revolves around answering the queries of users. When they realize your content provides the answers users seek, your pages will begin to rank higher. You tell the search engine that you have the answers by consistently and reliably putting out content that users appreciate. SEO content writing services can help you develop the content you need to keep your site current and helpful.

Keywords are a tool of search engine optimization, but they only consist of a small part of the picture. Both your page visitors and the spiders who gather information used to determine your page rank seek a site that is well-organized, easy to read, and provides value. When you focus on these areas, you will develop a much more balanced and accurate picture of successful search engine optimization.

Jessica B spends her days writing content for her customers and laughing with her children. She loves learning about the latest in marketing and how it intersects with her background in psychology.


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