Are Keywords Still Important to SEO?
If you run a business, or have studied for an online executive MBA, you’ll know how important a great website is to the growth and success of any business. Keywords used to be the most important part of any SEO strategy. But with new techniques emerging to compliment the changing ways we use the internet, are keywords still important, and if not, what do we do instead?
A long tail keyword is three or four words, specific to your page. Generally, a customer would have to know what they are looking for to search for exactly these words. This might not sound great for SEO, but it is. People do more often than not search for things they know. They’ve already seen your product, they’ve just forgotten where. Long-tail key words aren’t searched as often, so there’s much less competition for a good search engine result.
Placement of Keywords
While keywords aren’t everything, search engines do still crawl text. So, while filling your article with keywords might not make much difference, a few well-placed ones might. You want to put one of your keywords in the title, Meta, and any photo titles and alt-text.
Content and Meaning
Google is becoming smarter. Its RankBrain algorithm is able to take meaning from your words, and interpret search queries instead of just looking at words. This makes the quality of your content more important than ever. This also means using variation of keywords is important. If someone searches “Honda Civic” Google knows this also means “car”.
Rich snippets are those little bits of information that show up within the search results on Google. For example, if you were to search a film at your local cinema, the screening times may come up on the search results. Make sure where appropriate you add information to your posts: prices and stock levels, ingredients for recipes, contact information; anything you can.
The speed of your website is not only important in terms of your bounce rate, with 40% of people said to leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load - it’s also becoming more important than keywords when it comes to SEO. Search engines are increasing looking at website usability when it comes to determining page rank.
Cross Platform User Experience
More people than ever are viewing websites on their mobile phones and tablets. Not just to browse, but to buy, and to interact. This means websites need to offer the same great user experience across all platforms. Google’s AMP (accelerated mobile pages) sets a new standard for mobile usability, and means the search engine is looking at how well pages work on mobile when it comes to its search results.
So in summary, keywords are still important, and should still be used. But density isn’t as important as placement and meaning. And none of it is important if your content isn’t good, or your site is slow and not utilized for mobile usage. Basically, keywords still count, but there’s a lot more to great SEO.
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