It’s 2020 and SEO professionals who have been around for a while will know how much has changed in the past decade.
- Add our target keyword and its close variations to X times the content.
- Make sure you add this keyword to all magical places like your title tag, meta description, H1, etc.
- Write at least X words as this is the magic length for leaderboards.
However, the Google algorithm is mature.
We now know (or should) that it’s not about fooling Google by placing keywords in the right places. It’s about offering seekers an extraordinary experience.
How exactly should we use keywords?
To answer that, we need to step back and look at what it really means to write content for search.
What is SEO content?
SEO content is content that has been written for the purpose of ranking in search engines. However, this term has fallen out of favor with many SEO professionals.
That’s because “SEO content” is content that is written for search engines rather than people, and that’s not a good thing.
Because the Google algorithm is a programmatic representation of the viewfinder.
When the algorithm tries to model what a human visitor would choose as the best result, the answer to the ranking question is to do the best for the seeker.
So if this is the type of content that Google wants to rate, you just have to design the way you write “SEO content” the way users enjoy it – right?
Not quite. There’s a little more to it than that.
How do I make content SEO friendly?
SEO-friendly content is content that answers the intent of the search question clearly and comprehensively and has a high level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Let’s summarize that.
Content that answers the searcher’s question
“SEO-friendly” content is content that primarily answers a searcher’s question.
This means that the topic of the page itself is determined by the questions your audience asks.
This also means that not all content is relevant to a search audience. Some content is written for the exchange of ideas or for current news (new ideas = no need to search). Other content should encourage social engagement.
We write content for many different purposes, so we shouldn’t expect every single one of our pages to rank well in search engines.
That means Add Look for target group oriented topics for your editorial calendarinstead of trying to sprinkle keywords on it all Your pages, many of which were originally not written for a search audience.
Content that is clear and comprehensive
Do you prefer when you ask a question to get a confused, vague and chunky answer? Or direct, specific and direct?
It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Google thinks so too.
But it’s not so shiny and exciting to talk about grammar and diction. I think most SEO professionals would rather talk about topics like natural language processing.
But even the most meticulous letter can be ruined by content that cannot be read well. So this stuff is important.
- Replace complex words with simpler ones.
- Exchange dexterity for conciseness.
- Switch from passive to active voice.
…and much more.
Google also appreciates content that full, Take a look at what they are saying in their language Quality assessment guidelines:
The highest rating may be justified for pages with one satisfactory or comprehensive amount of very high quality main content.
Or about hers Webmaster Blog:
Q: What counts as a high quality website?
A: You can answer “yes” full or comprehensive description of the topic? “
Be thorough and clear when answering questions from your search audience.
High E-A-T content
Expertise, authority and trustworthiness are a topic that certainly does not suffer from a lack of attention in the SEO industry.
With that in mind, I’d like to leave you two great articles if you’d like to further explore this topic:
There you have it. SEO-friendly content is content that answers the intent of the search question clearly and comprehensively and has a high level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
“However, you did not mention any keywords!”
I’m glad you noticed! Because it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
Are keywords important to SEO?
If the way to get organic search traffic to our content is to answer questions clearly and with a high level of expertise, where do keywords come in?
How should we use them, if at all?
Keywords: input vs. output
Do you remember the 2010 SEO content rules I used to open this article?
We all did it then, didn’t we?
It’s easy to look at examples of it and laugh, but sometimes today’s writing isn’t much better in search.
This happens when we give our authors a keyword and tell them to “optimize for X.” Her focus will be on “How can I embed this keyword in the content” (which will likely make her cry) instead of “” How do I enter the answer the searcher is likely to want for this query? “
We have to remember that keywords are entrance,
When we write for the search, we create the output,
So instead of asking how this keyword can be inserted, we need to start creating the content and ask how this query can be answered.
That brings me to my next point.
Switching from “Keywords” to “Queries”
Imagine that we moved away from the word “keywords” and more commonly referred to as “queries” or “searches”.
Don’t think we are more likely to think they are something we need reply instead of something we have to put in our copy?
I think so!
Referencing them as “keywords” can also have other unintended consequences:
- It fixes us on the head and leads us to neglect valuable things Long-tail keywords,
- It implies a single word. Really are keywords Everything someone types or speaks in a search bar, It can be two or 20 words.
- This can result in us (or our customers and supervisors) being obsessed with some vanity keywords, neglecting the hundreds or thousands of other requests that could lead to impressions and traffic to your website.
Keywords are not bad, but the way we talk about them has an impact.
BERT & Google’s history with keywords
BERT was the latest in a long line of Google updates aimed to better understand human language.
While an artificial intelligence system that Google uses to understand even the most complex queries is impressive, it should come as no surprise.
In 2011, Google announced Panda. Panda was Google’s algorithm update, which focused on promoting high-quality websites and pages and downgrading those that offer little real value (AKA, the fluffy stuff with the interspersed keywords).
With Hummingbird in 2013, Google rewrote its algorithm to better understand the meaning of words in search queries, rather than rating content that only matched those words.
Google wants web content creators to go beyond keyword inclusion and instead answer the question. Don’t just repeat it in our content.
In 2015, Google announced RankBrain, a new machine learning component for its search algorithm that enhances Google’s ability to provide relevant results for confusing or never seen queries.
Now we have BERT, which is Google says They hope that help seekers “let go of some of them [their] Keyword search and search in a way that feels natural. “
Google has always wanted to publish content that thoroughly answers our questions. You are just better at it than before.
I think this probably means that the words that our audience uses to search will become more varied. As a result, we need to keep an eye on our queries in the Google Search Console and use them to inform our search content.
Keep your goal and medium in mind
As soon as we know what our target group is looking for, we should of course write down our answers, like John Mueller of Google recently said, And that’s often the case Naturally to include all or part of the request in our response.
How many apple varieties is there?
There are 7,500 Varieties of apples grown around the world.
(This is true by the way!)
This is not keyword stuffing. It answers people’s questions in a natural way.
We often compare “writing for the search” and “writing for people”. In reality it is not an either / or.
The audience is the goal. The search engine is the medium. Write accordingly.
Selected picture: Pixabay bu Pexels / Canva
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