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What You Should Know About Using Keywords for SEO

By SEO Staff Writer

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When using keywords for SEO, many businesses get it wrong.

They simply don’t know how to properly use keywords, and they still think that keywords are the main way to secure better rankings.

They’re not.

Keywords are still important for SEO, but their importance has been devalued.

Here’s what you should know:

Understanding the Role of Keywords in SEO

Google Hummingbird

With the release of a new algorithm in 2013, Google changed the way keywords are used for SEO. This update wasn’t intended to devalue keywords, but instead increase the importance of context, user intent, and its meaning.

Since the update, search engines are able to decipher how you’re using certain words in a sentence (context) in order to tell what the meaning is. This means that you don’t have to use the same keywords over and over again.

If your content’s meaning and context are similar, search engines will be able to determine that the user’s intent matches (or does not match) your content, without you having to hit a specific keyword density.  

This places a greater level of emphasis on generating content that uses natural language, not search engine specific language.

 

Using Natural Language

At the end of the day, it should never be a business’ goal to confuse people that visit your website.  That’s a poor business practice, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you create content that is keyword heavy.

You should focus around a long-tail keyword, but create content that users will find useful and valuable. Your goal should be to enhance user experience, and if including additional keywords takes away from that, then you should rethink your SEO strategy.

 

Using Keywords Properly

Where to Use Keywords on a Page

Your content should never be altered to place keywords on a page, it should fit naturally. If it doesn’t then don’t include it. But when you’re planning a piece of content, below are the areas of a page that you should include your primary keyword…only if it makes sense.

  • The beginning of your page’s title
  • The first 100 words of your content
  • Heading tags
  • Alt tags
  • URL
  • Meta description

While your meta description won’t help you rank any higher, including your keyword in the page’s meta description will make the keywords bold when people searching for that keyword.

 

Common Keyword Misconceptions

  • The more I use a keyword in my content, the better the SEO results will be
  • If a keyword has more search traffic, it’s ultimately better
  • Stuffing keywords in URL’s, footers, and meta tags will benefit me
  • Keyword density is still important and should be used in SEO campaigns

 

Improving Search Engine Ranking

Off-Page SEO

To ultimately improve your search engine ranking, you can’t rely on using keywords. You also need to be doing link building. This is important because search engines use links to gauge a domain and page’s trustworthiness.

By using a variety of link outreach techniques, you can help secure high quality and relevant inbound links to your website’s pages.

Search engines use this ranking signal to help them indicate the value of a potential site. Having more high quality and relevant links, makes search engines believe your content is more valuable.

 

Getting an Outside Opinion

Not sure how your website currently stands? Want to know how you can improve it's SEO?

We offer free SEO audits that will provide you with any information you'd like to know in regards to SEO. 

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Tags: SEO