Optimize for a Variety of Keywords

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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It’s true that keywords are an important part of the SEO process. We research keywords to zero in on the best phrases to serve a variety of purposes, such as signaling to the search engines what the website and its pages are all about, as well as attracted the right audience to those pages.

As part of the process, we zero in on the best keyword phrase or two for each page. From there, we make sure the phrase is represented, either directly or implied, on the page. In other words, using keywords is a bit more complex than it used to be.

Search Engine Algorithms are Sophisticated

First, search engine algorithms are a lot more sophisticated than they used to be. Years ago, they were built to rely on keyword phrases and meta data (title tags and meta descriptions). The end result of this was a series of abusive behaviors, by people who used keywords and meta data to try to game the system.

Not everyone did this, of course, but the search engine companies knew they had to adapt by changing the algorithms, or else those who were taking advantage of the system would have forever cheapened the industry.

Relevance is the New Focus

These days, keywords are still a driving factor for SEO, but not in the way they used to. With the algorithm changes, the focus shifted from relying on exact match phrases to a much different mindset. Instead, the bots read the page and assess what the page is about. From there, the page will get returned even if a keyword phrase isn’t directly present on the page.

Instead of writing website content with keywords in mind, your main concern should be to make sure the main idea of the page is well-represented in the content. You can use the keywords to inspire your focus, but at this stage they should just be considered a tool. When you write relevant content, you will naturally work in keyword phrases without realizing it.

Keyword Variety is Important

Because keyword optimization is no longer an exact and precise pursuit, this means that there this no longer an end to obsess over finding the “best” keyword for a page. Instead, research for longer lists of relevant keywords, and keep them in mind as you write the content. This will give you content a lot more breadth than it would have had if you just concentrated on one or two highly focused keywords.

Keeping all this in mind, also consider this point. Sometimes, we may have a specific keyword in mind for the page. So, we make sure to write it into the copy once or twice. These days, the algorithm is so focused on the relevance of the content that it may never pick up on the fact that you had a specific keyword in mind.

In order to meet your long-term goals for SEO, you will need to focus more on keyword variety. Focusing on the keyword first will likely cause you to miss some opportunities.


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