Not a week goes by that the editorial team at Pronto doesn’t get asked by a client to use their main keywords ‘more’ within the content we produce.
While we understand the thought process behind the request, it’s time to debunk the “the more times you use my keyword, the better I’ll rank” myth.
Many years ago, the best way to rank on the first page of Google was to include your keyword with a 10-20% density in your content (along with getting a LARGE number of links).
Fortunately for everyone times change, and so does ranking methods for search engines.
No longer should you ‘SPAM’ keyword in an article to get good rankings. The search engines have grown up and now place little to no value in keyword density.
Inbound Marketing 101
To help you understand why this change happened and what to do instead, let’s discuss inbound marketing.
With inbound marketing, you create content that is VALUABLE to your target market.
By creating content that provides value and answers the questions your prospects are asking, you show the search engines two things:
- You’re a credible source of information in your industry.
- People spend more time on your site and trust your content.
Both of these things have a much larger impact on search engine rankings than keywords.
Keywords are still needed in content, but they should no longer be the sole focus of what we produce.
Providing value to the end reader should be the one and only outcome for any piece of content you produce.
Where Should I Use My Keywords?
It’s still important to use your keywords, just sparingly. There are still a few places to use them such as:
- Your Page Title
- Your Content URL
- Your Meta Title & Description
- What Other Factors Matter For Ranking?
Your title needs to be more than just the keyword, though. For example, let's say the keyword we want to rank for is “IT Support”.
For your title don’t just use “IT Support”. Use something like: The 7 Reasons Your Business Needs IT Support.
It includes your keyword and clarifies the article’s subject.
Having your keyword in the URL is still an important part of the overall ranking formula.
These two are slowly becoming less important in terms of including your keywords. As they’re used to display what your content is about in search results, it’s important to use enticing words to get people to click through and read your content.
No one has an entire list of what Google evaluates to determine search rankings. What we do know, however, is that ranking algorithms are constantly changing. Writing content purely for SEO reasons is no longer effective.
Writing content that provides value to your prospects is the only thing you should be doing now. And a byproduct is that you’ll get recognized by the search engines and your rankings will continually improve.
Give value to your readers in terms of quality content, and in return the search engines will reward you. Focus on pleasing the reader and not the search engine.
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