Where Do Keywords Go for SEO? :
Keyword-based SEO practices have long been the top choice for digital marketers, but in recent years the practice has been dying a slow internet death, of sorts. The reason is the rising popularity of long-tail keywords.
“Keywords are often times headaches for clients who come to us at SEM Media Group for help,” says SEM Media Group President, Phil Thow. “It use to be a simple 1-to-1 relationship, whereby a company could see its ranking for each keyword in a search campaign and determine the success of that campaign, but that’s not really the case anymore.”
According to SEM Media Group, placement of keywords is now trumping the actual keyword. This means, for instance, that posting keywords in the title of the site and in the header is doing more SEO good for a website than keyword-stuffing a phrase or word five or more times in the body of the copy.
“Google dismantles a website into key areas,” says Phil Thow. “It considers meta information and headers as a first priority, and then it looks at body copy next, followed by side bars and footers. At SEM Media Group, we generally adhere to this hierarchy and have witnessed excellent results for our clients.”
The other important thing Google is doing now for SEO is actually considering the meaning of keywords by interpreting the data on a website, and actually forms a conclusion about a website in comparison with what an internet user is searching for. For an example, while someone might search “auto repair shop,” and a company’s website might contain that exact phrase many times, Google will also look for synonyms of that keyword phrase, like “car repair facility” or “vehicle repair specialists,” so having similar keywords throughout a site is as important as actual keywords.
“When Google released its Hummingbird update back in 2013,” says Phil Thow, “it included an algorithm for semantic searches, so Google now will take a search question and dissect its true meaning. If someone is looking for cheap food in Seattle, and searches that phrase, Google won’t look for the word “cheap” but instead look for restaurants that are budget friendly. It’s is a powerful tool for the user, but one that needs to be considered by the retailer too.”
When considering SEO practices, it doesn’t always come down to keywords. It really does matter what a website does, its security, and how fast it is. Google still prefers websites that load fast over ones that lag. And site authority is directly tied to site security. In an effort to protect its own consumer (i.e. the Google user), Google will choose more secure websites over one’s with shoddy credentials, so having SSL encryption will boost one’s search ranking.
“In the end, it’s really about the customer experience as much as keyword relevance,” says Phil Thow. “If your site is good for users, it’s good for Google.”