I just came off of reading a great series on keywords by a writer friend of mine, Susan Silver. It got me thinking about keywords and how important that are. When I first started in digital media marketing, I remember meeting a guy who absolutely stuffed his company’s website with keywords and thought he was being clever. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re dropping keywords all over your web page and trying to plug in some content around it. Maybe you think that’s what SEO is all about.
Keywords are important. Let’s get that out of the way. If you don’t incorporate the language people are using when they search into your content, you can’t expect great results from Google. But keywords are not the most important thing.
The most important thing on your website is the content. What is the website about? That’s the central question. After you’ve carved out a clear sense of the website’s content, THEN you can focus on changing keywords. But don’t start with keywords!
Valuable SEO: ‘Build keywords into the message, rather than superimposing a message on your keywords’. Too right @douglaserice
Word choice is important but it comes second to theme. Think of the content on your website as a conversation you are having with another person. You’re trying to communicate some kind of message. First, the person needs to know what you are talking about. Then, once they grasp the general idea, you can think about tweaking your vocabulary to be more clear.
Moving From Keywords to Key Content
Whether it is your About Me page, a blog post, or a landing page, make sure the content of the web page is actually consistent with the words you use to describe it. Here are a few reasons you may want to focus on content first and keywords second:
- People don’t search with “keywords” anymore; they search with “keyword phrases.” Search engines have gotten really good at deciphering what people are asking when they type in questions. Create content that answers questions. People aren’t typing a slew of keywords into search engines to find what they’re looking for. They’re typing in phrases. Discover those phrases (i.e. “How Important Are Keywords on a Website?”) and use them in your content.
- It’s too easy for someone to leave your site if it doesn’t answer his or her question. You think you’re being so sneaky by luring people in with keywords and then trying to sell them something they don’t want when they get to your site. But, it’s just too easy for them to leave. There are more things to click in a web browser than there have ever been before. If you bore them, they will leave without hesitation. How is your website’s bounce rate? Are more people leaving as soon as they arrive…or are they sticking around? Look into it–it’s a fairly clear indication as to whether or not your content is reflective of your keywords.