A lot of people would tell you that keywords don’t matter anymore in SEO. That’s not true—keywords are still bread and butter—but it is a fact that you have to be much more careful about how you work them into your content. Today’s search engines reward strong, valuable, well written content that real users will like. The content itself is the sundae, and the keyword is the cherry on top.
Unfortunately it can be hard to work top keywords into great content without making it, well, less great. And it’s always hard to know what kind of content is best for a given keyword—what topics, how specific, long or short, for experts or beginners. That means many business owners are lost about what kind of content to use while many others publish content that doesn’t help them at all, or might even sink them in the search rankings.
That’s why Tom Demers comes to the rescue in an incredibly in-depth guide to using keywords in content.
Page Rank Muscle
Right out of the gate Tom goes into detail about something most SEO consultants never even mention: how your page authority impacts the kind of content you should write. Every site on the internet has a “page rank” based on how authoritative Google considers it to be. A site with a page rank of 4 (the authority of a moderately popular blog) will have to work a lot harder to rank for a keyword than one with rank 7 (the authority of an industry leader).
That means that ranking isn’t so much dependent on how strong your authority is on its own, but how strong it is in relation to your competitors. That includes two kinds of competitors: your actual competitors, that sell the same thing you sell, and your search results competitors. These are the pages that come up in searches for your top keywords, with could be any kind of website at all (Wikipedia or CNN to name a few)—not just your business rivals.
If you have higher page rank than your competitors, you have a much easier job ahead of you than if your competitors outrank you. For example, Tom writes:
“If you have a strong domain and a keyword with low competition, you might not need to create an opus on a specific topic in order to rank for it.”
In that case, he writes, you can use a few short articles and still see a bump in your search ranking. Tom also discusses how to determine how much traffic a keyword is likely to bring in—so you can decide whether it’s worth it to rank for it.
What Do Searchers Really Want?
Another crucial but overlooked consideration is the context in which people search for a keyword—in other words, user intent. Who is searching for your keyword, and what are they really looking for? The answer to this question can determine what sorts of articles to write.
For example, let’s say you sell high end kitchen equipment. Is a typical searcher a consumer who cooks as a hobby, or a chef in the restaurant business? If it’s the hobbyist, some recipes or an intro to using a garlic press would be great content. But those articles might not interest the chef at all. He wants higher level information on which garlic press will hold up the longest.
Tom gives a great overview of some of the research we typically do to determine the keyword context and user intent, so that we can choose topics that really will matter. Google tries to connect users with the right kinds of content, not just content that mentions the right words, so knowing your customer matters more than ever before.
Making the Process Easy
In the end, writing good content is about more than just riffing on your keywords, it’s about knowing your audience, your competitors, and how much an investment in good copy will really pay off for a given keyword. Tom covers all that and more, with links to tools every step of the way. It’s definitely worth it to read the full article.
At the same time, Tom’s thoroughness reveals how technical and challenging good SEO copywriting can be. In many cases, this is research that your staff won’t be familiar doing. Hiring a professional copywriter can be far more cost effective, and will yield more reliable results. EverSpark Interactive offers complete copywriting and keyword research services, as well as a full technical audit of your site’s SEO needs. Contact us for a free consultation today.