Janet Peischel

Janet Peischel

Strategically using keyword in your landing pages, blogs and social media posts is important, but just as important is understanding how keywords have evolved over the years.

In the old days, people could get away with keyword stuffing—filling a page with their keywords, often to the point where the page’s meaning was compromised by repeated use of a number of keywords.

What really matters is writing for your reader, not search engines

Google’s last few major algorithm changes, including Mobilegeddon, have made good content non-negotiable.

You can no longer fool or trick Google. If you’re filling your pages with nonsense trying to create keyword density for the sake of optimization, forget it.

This is a bad strategy, and Google will penalize you. Some experts suggest that your keywords should appear in about 2.5 percent of your copy. But search has become much more intuitive, so it’s not just about your keywords.

In general, it’s good to work your keyword into your headline and a few of your subheads (do use subheads—they seduce the reader, making it infinitely easier to read your articles), but you shouldn’t distort natural copy to accommodate a keyword.

If you’re writing naturally, you’ll tend to use synonyms for your keywords and vary your phrasing, and Google and search engines have begun to recognize this.

Here’s what’s really cool — search engines are getting smarter

They’re better at understanding context, and you can help them by using well-written informative content that includes words they would expect to find within that context.

Semantic search is the concept of a search engine’s applying intent and context to the search results.

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace.

Search engines now able to identify contextual meaning

Google makes an estimated 500 algorithm changes/year, but some of these have more sweeping impact.

With the release of the Hummingbird algorithm in 2013, Google became better able to analyze full questions, rather than relying on word-by-word search analysis.

As a result of Hummingbird, any single word could have multiple meanings; it used context to discern which meaning might be accurate, often using a searcher’s own history to provide context.

That’s one reason why you and I might get different results for the same search, or you might get different results if you’re using Chrome or Safari—the browser you’re using will affect your search results.

It also takes into account what other people click on in search results using the same term.

For best results in organic search, optimize everything

For best results in organic search, optimize everything

Use “Headline” tags for your headlines and subheads.Identify and use your keywords throughout your copy.

Label your images with the name of your business and a brief description and fill in the alt tag fields that show up when you post your image.

Write descriptive metadescriptions for each page, which become miniature sales pitches. (When you search for a company, the metadescription is the description that shows up below the company name.)

Writing great content that is meaningful to your online audience will help ensure organic success for the long haul.

Janet Peischel is a writer, Internet marketing expert and the owner of Top of Mind Marketing. Contact Janet at 510-292-1843 or jpeischel@top-mindmarketing.com.