Once upon a time, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns were all about cramming as many keywords into your webpages as you could. Today, experts will tell you that focusing too much on keywords is ineffective. So what exactly is the role of keywords for good SEO? The fact is, keywords are less important than they used to be, but don’t confuse “less important” with “unimportant.” A successful SEO campaign is built on a few fundamental items, and keywords are still part of that package of fundamentals.
Google Needs Keywords Because Users Need Keywords
Nobody will use a search engine if it produces worthless results. So search engine algorithms are designed to figure out what it is that the user really wants to find, and then to scan millions of websites to produce a list of those websites that it determines the user will find helpful. Keywords are a critical aspect of how search engines ascertain what content the user is looking for. But sometimes users don’t know or can’t quite remember the words to describe exactly what they’re looking for, so they type in queries that they think will get them in the right ballpark. Consequently, search engines have to be fairly good at matching up the intent of a query, and not just its words. To do that, they depend heavily on the keywords in your website to signal when it is a good match for a query.
Keywords Help Your Audience Find You
Now that you know that keywords are essential, the next question is: which keywords will work to bring more traffic to your website? If your competitors and you use all the same keywords, you will not stand out. You have to think about what will distinguish your business from theirs. This means shifting away from generic terms and creating quality content using a keyword base that describes your product or service in particular. What specific words might someone type into a search engine that uniquely matches your product or service, but not your competitors’? What audience are you missing? What sorts of interests do they share and what terms do they use? For example, nowadays, there may be some popular slang term or acronym used by people who operate in the circles you are hoping to target. What might they type into a search bar? For example, suppose your hobby shop sells drones to recreational users, but you have recently expanded your product-mix to reach higher-end users. Well, drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), pilotless aircraft, remotely piloted vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems, and a number of other terms. At the same time, a “drone” is also a male honeybee, a lazy person, or the act of talking on and on. If you want to reach your new target audience, you cannot just use the term “drone”. Instead, you will have to utilize the keywords that your target audience of users might employ, which will also indicate to the search engine that beekeepers will not find what they want in your shop.
Keywords Should Drive the Right Traffic to Your Site
It is true that search engines will downgrade your ranking for simply cramming keywords into your content with no rhyme or reason, but there are other keyword issues to watch out for. For example, it is often more valuable to have one great keyword putting you on page one than to have 50 different keywords strewn throughout your website. In other words, when you take a scattershot approach, you may be indicating to the search engine that your website has no focus, and it may downgrade your website as not really a good match for what a particular user may want if that the user is using only one or two of your 50 keywords. The closer you can tie your keywords to what your target audience actually wants and asks for in a search, the better off you are. After all, a page one ranking is meaningless if the person doing the search has no interest in what you sell. With the right keyword mix, you capture the audience that actually wants what you have to sell, and your keyword SEO strategy will drive your target market to your site. If all of this is just a little too complicated, remember that you don’t need to become an SEO expert yourself. Contact us today at Blue Zone Marketing and schedule a consultation. We’ll help you get the most out of your keywords and your SEO.