In prior articles, we covered content and voice. Here we will discuss keyword integration; its importance, valuable methods of inclusion, and proper context.
Web content has become more than a glorified billboard, or business card with contact information. Search engines have exceeded the phonebook in consumer use when finding services. Gone are the days when the first letters of your business name correlated with the placement of your business on a page. In the digital age, ranking is based on relevance. Search engines “crawl your website in order to find relevance to the searchers query, and ranks it based on its relevance. This leads to the lead for SEO, or search engine optimization. There has never been a greater need for SEO. Optimized content not only substantiates your websites rank on a page, it can also save money on overall advertising costs. In essence, SEO in many ways replaces or greatly enhances traditional marketing methods.
Keyword integration is a core element in SEO. Keywords are specific words that describe your services. They are a mixture of single words and long-tail phrases. The basic concept is to integrate these keywords seamlessly throughout your websites content. This is actually a little more difficult than it sounds, but invaluable for the effort. In the early days of search engines, keywords were the sole focus in the search engines algorithm. Many website owners simply used their keywords as many times as possible to achieve a high ranking. This is not the case anymore. Search engine programmers have figured out a way around this cheat. This form of keyword use is now known as “keyword spamming”. When a search engine believes it has detected this happening on a webpage, it actually loses rank instead of increasing it.
Among the many elements of a search engines algorithms, web content is to be aimed at ease of use for the searcher. In other words, your web content must be written in a way that demonstrates it was composed for the sole purpose of assisting those who are looking for your services. It must not be written in a way that appears to be aimed at assisting search engines recognize your site. This is where the importance of keywords comes in.
Keywords must be used in an organic and natural way. They must be placed in non-pattern intervals. They may also be used in a set density profile. The generally used density profile is approximately 1% – 3% every 300 words, Using it in the title, URL, Header, and so forth. However, this is not believed by all. Some believe in not focusing on the keyword density, and focusing more on the surrounding content; keyword modifiers and semantically related phrases. This is why you focus on both. The theory is that because there is a penalty for over using keywords, there is also a failure to recognize the relevance due to under use.
The trick to proper keyword use is to follow the guidelines set forth by search engine programmers. Write for your target audience, not the search engine. Write naturally and place your keywords organically, do not write robotic and patterned copy. Pay attention to surrounding words and phrases. Use them in a way that helps describe your service, and in effect, your keywords. While there is no “magic number” or “one size fits all” approach, contracting an SEO team will ensure that your website is always updated, evolving with the industry, and keeping up with the advancements in SEO methods.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.