Keywords – it used to be that a site owner would just focus their articles, posts and pages on 1 keyword, and then have a page that would focus on a particular keyword. Not the case anymore. In fact, Google frowns on this practice. It is much better to build your pages and posts to target multiple keywords.
Within the past couple of years, site owners and Webmasters focus more on long-tail keywords, and find these long tail keywords in Google’s Keyword Planner. However, is this the right thing to do for today’s search algorithms and person conducting the search?
The way people search has changed, and many people know how to “drill in” their search from the start to get what they are looking for. Some searchers use very short and to the point keywords, while others may type out a longer sentence. Tina Courtney from SiteProNews.com recently posted an article that explains this, as well as other ways to do your keyword research:
Keyword Strategies to Raise Your Rankings
Keyword research and strategies have always been an integral part of SEO. This is how search engines determine relevance, content schemes are driven, and how individuals will ultimately find your site.
Much in the way that search engines (and the Internet overall) are highly dynamic and always in flux, your keyword strategy should be the same. As various engines continue to refine search experiences, user expectations, search queries, query length and methods of searching, keyword strategies can become antiquated in a flash.
Today users don’t just have desktops and sub-par mobile browsers to conduct searches — mobile has transformed into high-powered, omnipresent computers that have dethroned desktops as the preferred search platform. Moreover, voice search has altered the online investigation landscape in a way that is irreversible. As these newer modalities continue to proliferate modern society and more contemporary approaches are developed, business owners and marketers must evolve keyword strategies to fit with the times.
Let’s take a look at how you can mature your keyword blueprint for the dawning of a new digital era.
Take the Long Way
It’s no secret that long-tailed keywords have become more prominent and powerful over the years thanks to the advent of the aforementioned mobile features. As mobile use continues to increase, these terms and phrases will only become more valuable. According to a Blue Nile Research study published in 2015, the firm noted that:
“Blue Nile’s research shows an exact 50-50 split between users who search in fragments (e.g. “swollen ankle”) and those who search in more fully formed terms (e.g. “causes of swollen ankle during sleep”). When it came to questions vs. statements, 27 percent of respondents phrased their query in the form of a question, with “How” being the most commonly used prefix.”
A lot of good take aways from Tina’s article, especially the split in how people search with fragments and more dialed in searches and the Tool she recommends for keyword research.
Stop thinking about long-tail keywords and start focusing on searcher intent
Over the years, the usefulness of certain types of keywords has been debated, analyzed, celebrated, and even disparaged.
Long-tail keywords – those specific phrases of low-volume but perhaps higher-quality queries from searchers who are closer to taking action on procuring the product or service they seek – have certainly received a heck of a lot of recognition for their value to marketers.
However, I am here to declare the demise of these keywords that we held in such high regard only a few short years ago.
Please let me explain…
As the use of search has evolved and search engine optimization has become commonplace, businesses have succeeded in increasing their visibility in search results and made adjustments to be most visible for those queries they care most about.
This, by itself, would be fine; a positive and helpful thing actually, if the end effect was search results pages all containing exactly what the user was searching for. However, the issue we’ve seen is that queries on many broad keywords no longer provide the relevant results that a searcher wants.
A search engine user looking for information now often uses one of these two methods to arrive at the search results they need:
- They start with a broad search and continue to refine that search until they get to appropriately relevant results.
- They mentally refine their search, knowing the broad results will not bring what they want. So they begin with a more specific search and refine fewer times.
Certainly, longer search queries are becoming the norm. Part of the issue here is that Google has populated broad queries with many different universal result offerings… News, Images, Videos, Knowledge Graph. This moves those specific, relevant pages that many searchers are actually looking for further down the page – or possibly onto the next page.
Then, on top of those universal results, we have results like Wikipedia and educational or governmental pages that don’t exactly fit the intent of the user’s search either.
Even more great things to think about from that article! Is your business website giving the searcher what they are looking for?
Maybe we jumped the gun with these articles by assuming you know how to start with your keyword research. Have you never done any keyword research before and don’t know where to start? You really need to have some basic ways to start your keyword research and we found a great video that breaks it down and gives you a system for “brain storming” for keywords –
Probably the most important thing that we can add to these articles is this. It is so important to not only build your site and write your posts to not only rank in Google, you MUST have your content written with the end user, or searcher in mind also! It is a delicate balance, and one that must not be overlooked.