White hat SEO is all the rage these days and, as part of that, the times of stuffing nonsensical keywords onto a page are done and dusted. Like the Moz-Gods say, it's very spammy. If you create content online, it's important to know that it's not just about looking good for Google, it's also about looking good for your audience. Then, like magic, Google will follow. Of course, like US-based SEO company GotchSEO says, keyword density of about 1-3% is still roughly best when it comes to ranking factors. However, it's all about users, not search engines going forward. Don't be weighed down in keywords like it's a magic formula – it's not. That of course means the search engines themselves are changing to reflect things.
How Do Keywords Affect Consumption Of Content?
As a result of keyword stuffing going out of the window, it's increasingly important to take note of what you're actually writing. In previous times, you could write a massive piece of content about shoes, with the ‘reader' having learned nothing. Basically, content took the form of a massive list, whereby people would mention the word ‘shoes' as many times as possible in a desperate attempt to rank. Thankfully, things have moved on. Now – who would have guessed – readers actually need something to read. They have to learn something. As a result, keywords have to appear naturally. If Moz are the SEO Gods, Rand Fishkin is their king. Fishkin is all about content actually being useful above all else and has written extensively on the subject.
… But Keywords Still Need To Appear!
Whilst in an ideal world we wouldn't care about keywords at all, it's not necessarily always true. Yes, good content speaks for itself, encourages people to read it and even share, but people need to actually be able to find it? Obviously, you still want to appear on page one. As the clever folk over at Hubspot have found, 60% of all clicks through organic search go to the top three results on the SERP. That's why it's important you aim to be there as well.
It's about finding a balance – and constant algorithm updates are ensuring this. But what is the key to these algorithms and what is Google's new algorithm update? ‘Google RankBrain' is incredibly savvy.
It actually works alongside existing updates to really give users what they need. As described by Daniel Lee at the Greenlight digital agency, that means that if someone puts in the search term ‘Premier League' (as an example), instead of just the exact match text showing up, related keywords will also come up. This gives a better variety on the SERP and perhaps actually gives the person searching the related content that they may be looking for. As the stats (revealed by top marketers at SMX East and published at Wordstream) reveal, 50% of search queries are four words or longer – that's a lot of combinations. Increase your chances of being found!
Search Engine Optimisation is a complex thing, but in order to truly work with it, you have to understand that you can't play into Google's hands without understanding that they really do want to provide the best set of results possible to the general public. It can seem that their constant algorithm changes are complex and sometimes hard to understand (even throwing off major companies…), but the key is to understand that ‘optimisation' means making something the very best. It's finding something that people are looking for. It's answering their questions. And, yes, by doing that, it's by including the keywords they may be looking for – although this is only a part of the puzzle.
SEO is something you simply can't afford to get wrong. In fact, 57% of search marketers say it's THE best thing for tangible lead generation, according to information acquired by NewsCred.
With RankBrain, the focus should be on making content as detailed as possible, then. People are all different and all search different keywords when looking for the same information. Internet Live Stats reckon there's an increasing 1.2 trillion Google searches per year to put things into perspective!
Therefore, the content and the keywords themselves should be diverse, full of detail, and rich in words and phrases, to make use of Google's (scarily brilliant) artificial intelligence.