Keywords for Robots and People
I’ve read that keywords are dead. Well, the individual “keyword” may be a little sick these days. One, singular keyword may not hold the significance it did with Google, but it may be more significant than you know.
Today, it is reported that Google is “looking for meaning” on your webpage. This is a bit eerie, but it is the new world of artificial intelligence. So the individual words may not be as important, but the word strands (or long-tail keywords) are more important. Google is trying to pair your queries to the phrases on a page – this is called relevancy. So it is more important to optimize your site for specific meaning rather than specific keywords.
As a writer, I know words matter. And they must still matter in the digital space as well. Sure, now you can use synonyms instead of stuffing the same keyword over and over in a paragraph, but if you are searching for “keywords,” you better see articles with the word “keyword” in the title, subheads, photo description and body copy or you will bounce out faster than a speeding ticket.
Robots may select what is served to you, but people must find a direct link between what they searched and what is on the page. And since we know people only spend seconds on a page, the connection between the search query and words on your page needs to be loud and literal.
Other considerations for SEO in the modern age:
- Structure – You must adhere to Google’s parameters on structure of headers, body copy, sidebars, footer and photo/graphic descriptions. (Anything to make the site simple for Google to search and derive your meaning.)
- Crawlable sitemap
- Improve site speed
- Add video and properly optimize it for search
- Don’t forget that photo cutlines and descriptions may be just as important as headlines