Keywords are incredibly important to any strong SEO strategy, providing insights to what users are searching for. It helps users understand your content, as well as communicating to the user that your product or service is the answer to their question or problem. Search behavior & Google's algorithms have dramatically shifted SEO strategies over the last six years.
The goal of this article is to explain how these changes are impacting our work today. To understand why our companies utilize certain strategies, historic content is necessary.
Stale Keyword Stuffing & Cheap, Old SEO Strategies
Not all SEO keyword strategies were created equal. You may have heard of "keyword stuffing", which is a strategy to fit a keyword into page content as many times as possible or "keyword density" also known as keyword ratio, which is the percentage of how many times a keyword shows up in a page's content.
In the early days of SEO, strategies were not very in depth and did not require much research (or rather, there was not a lot of data or tools available to help with research). Many SEO strategists would optimize for keywords without proper context by utilizing strategies to fit as many key terms onto one page. However, this paved the way for low quality, thin content that was also not very valueable or user friendly. This also led to poor user experience, with sites utilizing methods such as adding keywords in the background in the same color that was invisible at a glance.
Spiders and crawl bots were able to see it, but humans could not (unless they highlighted over them or knew how to look for it in the code). Keyword stuffing and calculating keyword ratios may have been important for strategy in the early days of SEO to rank for a keyword, but it's not a viable strategy today and can be detrimental to your site.
Google's Pigeon Pie & Other Animal Algorithms: Combating Low Quality Content
SEO strategies are constantly evolving, thanks to Google's algorithms that are responsible for providing answers to search queries. Google created algorithms to combat the rise of spammy, low-quality content to improve user experience and penalize sites that utilize poor tactics or "black hat" SEO methods to increase their rankings.
Although these algorithms have cute animal names (Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird to name a few), these algorithms affected sites in other ways, looking at link portfolio quality and geolocation for local results, but made a major impact on content quality. Not only is keeping up to date on Google's algorithm important in creating strategies, but it will also make sure your methods are in line with best practice guidelines.
The Main Course: Best Practice SEO Keyword Strategies
Here are several best practice SEO keyword strategies to utilize in order to create quality content that will help bolster quality traffic to your site.
- Research keywords by not only looking at search volume, relevant terms and industry terminology but also seasonal trends and buzz words when creating content for your site.
- Limit one main keyword to each page. Having multiple pages with different content try to rank for the same keyword will result in splitting page authority, as well as unnecessary competition.
- Incorporate a local keyword strategy into your site if relevant. If your services only target a specific geolocation, make sure to include that information and optimize it into the content.
- Your metadata (such as title tags, meta description, etc.) should utilize the same keyword strategy as the content and accurately describe the on-page content.
- Create unique content. Having unique, not duplicate content is also important, as it provides extra opportunities to rank for other keywords that are relevant to your website.
- Deliver high-quality, useful content that is readable to users and provides a good user experience. Users should be able to find information or the answer they need relative to their search query.
A Sweet Tip to End the Meal: Write for the User
At the end of the day, content should be able to effectively communicate information that is useful to the visitor as well as be relevant to the keywords that are being targeted. Relevant content should capture the audience that is right for your business and bring in users that will engage with your site, ultimately getting them to convert.
Interested in having a tailored keyword strategy developed for your site or have other questions? Learn more about our SEO Services and reach out to Rhythm today.