Articles in The 'keywords' Tag


October 8 2015

4 SEO Considerations Beyond Keywords

by Lauren Owens

If you’re an online content marketer or a marketing manager, you might spend a lot of time thinking about your brand’s keywords. That is fine so long as keywords are not the only thing you’re thinking about for SEO. As we’ve said before, keywords are not the end-all be-all when it comes to SEO strategy.

In fact, due to perceived authority, the search engine’s interpretation of the user’s intent, and a variety of other factors beyond keyword-targeting, even the most on-point keyword strategy is only “step 1.” Following are some strategic considerations to be mindful of beyond keywords:

Subject-Matter Relevance

Instead of thinking about building “keyword density,” it’s also important to establish and build upon a theme for each page. That theme can still be guided by a central keyphrase, but you should think beyond the keyword and instead think about what the user is looking for when they search for that theme, and deliver it with your content.

Subject-Matter Authority

Search engines are looking for the most authoritative source to respond to a user’s query. That means your brand should be an industry thought leader. Building authority takes significant time and effort. For more information, you may want to download our recent white paper on building authority through content creation and link building.

Site and Page-Level Structure

Search engines love organization. A well-organized page or website is easier for the search engines to crawl and for users to navigate. A well-organized site also makes it easier for the search engines to determine your domain-level authority, as your pages work together to build micro and macro groupings of themes. If you need help in this area, review our checklist of technical SEO issues for guidance.

User-Friendliness

User-friendliness encompasses a range of ranking signals, including site speed, site security, and mobile friendliness, among others (including the aforementioned structural issues). If your site is not user-friendly, rather than concerning yourself with keywords, or even link building, consider what you can do to create a more user-friendly website. For this, it’s always good to get a second pair of eyes (because you are likely very used to your website and its quirks). But, you can start with a DIY user-experience evaluation and then consult with an expert on how you can improve your website’s user-friendliness.

In closing, while it’s still necessary to perform keyword research and optimize your page content for selected keywords and related synonyms, keyword optimization alone is only a small piece of the SEO pie. If you really want to move the needle, it’s time to think about SEO more holistically. To begin, start to think like a search engine and try to interpret: “What is the user looking for?” and “How can I return the best result possible?”

August 29 2011

Keyword Density is Only a Small Part of SEO

by Michael Bergbauer

Keyword density, proximity, repetition — placing your keywords properly can be a major part of an SEO campaign. It’s easy become overwhelmed and obsessed with finding the perfect words or phrases to fit your pages, then cramming keywords in.

A basic guideline we give our clients is a keyword density of 2% – 4% per webpage, meaning a keyword or keyphrase should only appear four times or less for every 100 words. Anymore than that, and search engines may flag the page for spam. Four-percent may not sound like a lot, but you can try it for yourself. Read a selection of text with a keyword density of 5% or more out loud to yourself. You may be surprised at just how “spammy” it sounds, or how difficult it is to read.

It’s important to remember that good SEO is more than trying to find the right amount of words in the right order to gain the attention of a search engine. Many other factors come into play and keyword density is just one of them (and it’s not even the most important one). When you look at a few of what Google considers to be important factors in SEO, like inbound links and the growth of social search, you can see that quality content is what earns high rankings.

When developing content for your site, try not to obsess over keywords. Instead, focus on creating compelling content that people will share. Always remember to optimize for the user, not the search engine.

March 17 2011

Search Engine Optimization’s Four Cornerstones

by Melanie Wahl

Making up the foundation of search engine optimization are four key concepts on which you should build your SEO strategy.   The four cornerstones are: content, keywords, linking, and architecture.

Content
What is content? Why is it important? Content is all of the words that appear on a page or in the code of your website.   Think about your business and what you wish customers knew about your product, service, location, or team.   Do you have special promotions or certain offerings you would like to feature?   Writing about these different subjects fills your site with content.   Adding new content to your website in a timely manner helps search engine spiders recognize that your site is active.   Additionally, websites can develop an onsite blog as a place for announcements, information, and other pieces of new content that could embellish the website.

Keywords
What is a keyword? What is a keyword phrase? What are long tail keywords?   You may have heard or read about keywords when trying to develop an SEO strategy.   Keywords are words that represent the main topic of each page of your website.   For example, if you have a business like an Italian pizzeria in South Florida, your main keyword will most likely be “pizza.” Since you are not the only (theoretical) pizzeria in the world, you will want to have pages on your site that have more specialized words describing your specific pizzeria.   These combinations of keywords are called keyword phrases.   Keeping with the pizzeria example, three keyword phrases could be “Italian pizza by the slice,” “Theoretical Pizza by Juan Carlo,” and “pizza delivery near University of Miami.” Very granular (and often long) keyword phrases are called long tail.   An example for our pizzeria could be “New York style pizza with garlic bread crust near University of Miami.” Choosing your keywords carefully and monitoring to see which bring in customers can help you grow your online presence and your business.

Linking
Why do you want related sites linking to your webpage? Why is proper internal linking so important? Related sites linking to your webpage (not just your homepage) show search engines that your site is relevant to your industry. A webpage’s ranking potential is partially determined from the quality of relevant sources that link to the website.   When structuring the links of your website, make sure that there are no dead ends.   It frustrates users and search engine spiders alike.   Use proper sitemap syntax.   This will tell the search engines which pages to index, in case they missed any when crawling the rest of the site, and how to prioritize the pages they have found.   Additionally, a large push to increase the number of links coming into your site all at once could have an adverse affect.   Search engines know that it is a slow process and understand that as you add new pages and additional content to your site more people will link to you.

Site Architecture
Do you know how to communicate with the search engine spiders? The robots.txt file contains information of where you would like search engines to visit (such as a link to your sitemap), but also information on where the search engine spiders should not go.   Making sure search engine spiders can find all of your pages that you want indexed and none of the pages you don’t should be a part of your strategy and not left to chance. How your website is designed is also important.   Search engines have a hard time reading Flash along with some other fancy design features.   Users visiting your website may also complain of slow load times and music they can’t figure out how to turn off.   Simple, user-friendly design is often better for SEO.  

Additionally, structuring your site so a majority of your content is contained in images is troublesome for search engines.   Other than the image’s file name and alt tag (if there is one) the search engines see empty space.   Paying careful attention to site architecture when designing your website can save you from a costly redesign down the road.   If you did not have a strategy in place during the formation of your current website, a redesign may improve sales and show a significant return-on-investment.

These four cornerstones make up the foundation of a solid SEO strategy.   They work together to increase the number of indexed pages on a website and to increase the chances those indexed pages will show up in search rankings.   All can be optimized for placement of your website near the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Search is vital for all businesses, whether B2C or B2B, big or small, eCommerce or service based.   Any industry can benefit from search engine optimization.   Having a sound SEO strategy in place is increasingly important as more and more consumers rely on search engines.
 

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