It’s 2018, and every single year some pundit will tell the marketing world that blogging is dead, that content and inbound marketing do not matter. SEO and backlink building? That is so last year! The problem with that thinking is that they are wrong. Blogging and content marketing has never been as relevant as it is today, it is just that things have changed.
It is no longer enough for a business just to start a website. You must learn how to start a blog, create great content with the right keywords, and learn how to use social media and other marketing methods to share the message you have created. This is how your business will grow.
So why are keywords so important? Because they tell your readers and Google what your site and the post on your site are all about. This determines where you rank in various types of searches, and those searches are how your customers find you. This kind of organic traffic is key to your business success. Here’s why
1] Voice First Devices
A growing number of households now have voice first devices. These are devices like Amazon Echo featuring Alexa, the Apple Home Pod featuring Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana among others. Rather than typing queries into a search bar, users audibly ask questions and the device provides them with an answer.
Ranking for these answers is a great way to get your business recognized, and using the right keywords is one of the primary strategies associated with this ranking. The device usually picks the best definition that briefly answers the users question. This means the content itself is important as well.
These systems are not perfect yet, nor is our understanding of how to rank in those coveted spots. However, we do know that keywords and key phrases play a huge role in these rankings.
2] Smarter than You
Search engines were once pretty basic programs and could often be tricked or gamed with keywords. This meant even if you had poor content, you could rank well in searches simply by having the right keywords in the right order several times in your post. However, the days of “keyword stuffing” being an effective marketing method are long over.
Search engines are smarter now and react to websites much like a human user would. This is due to machine learning and artificial intelligence. Things like giant popover ads and paginated articles can actually earn you penalties when these were once strategies for making content more successful.
That does not mean, however, that keywords are not important. Instead, the judicious use of keywords in your content, your snippet description of your article, your slug, and your website metadata all signal search engines to let them know exactly what that article is about. The difference now is that those keywords must be a natural part of a well-written piece of content.
3] It’s a Competition
It used to be that those who “won” the top spots on Google and other search engines were those who gamed the system the best. The same is still true, sort of. Back in the old days of SEO it was about cheating and getting away with it. Now it is about some very key ways of following the rules.
- Keywords: Keywords in titles, headings, and throughout your content make them stand out, and let search engines know what your content relates to.
- The E.A.T. Principle: This stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, and this is how Google evaluates websites and helps determine their ranking.
- The Right Question: Your content must address things your customers are searching for and that are relevant to your business.
- The Best Answer: Not only must the question be right, but the answer must be the best it can be as well.
The competition is for the right keywords with the right authority that answer the right questions with the best answer. This is how you will rank well on Google and other search engines, the key to organic traffic and business success on the web.
4] The Key(word)s to Winning
The keys to winning mirror the principles above. To be a step ahead of your competition, you need to take some very important steps. Without them, you will just be another blog filled with content that might be interesting but has little effect on rankings or your bottom line.
- Research: There are two things you must know to succeed. What are your customers searching for? What key words and phrases matter to them? This is how you will determine both the right keywords and the right questions to ask.
- Establish Authority: You need to establish your authority as an expert, and the authority of your website. This means intentionally building good backlinks, and you guest posting on other sites and demonstrating your expertise on web-based platforms, whether that is writing a book or any number of other methods
- Look at your Competition: Your competition is also trying to do the same things you are, and if they are ranking higher than you, look at why. Do they have better answers than you do? What keywords and questions are they focusing on? What kind of backlinks do they have?
To succeed, you need to do better than those around you, but those top spots on Google are coveted for a reason. They make a huge difference in your organic traffic, site visitors, and conversion rates.
Keywords are important in your content, more important than they ever have been. The game has changed and is constantly changing though. So while you have to keep up, don’t give up on the basics principles of content marketing which includes keyword strategies.
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