Yes I know you can show me articles that say keywords don’t matter anymore. People argue that the trend toward natural SEO means that we should use similar words and phrases instead of keyword stuffing. All true.
When you rank on Google, you rank for a specific keyword, or set of keywords. Thus you need to define and use those keywords in your site. That means you need a keyword strategy.
SEO is confusing for a lot of people, so I see a lot of mistakes including the following three approaches to SEO keywords strategy.
You use the same keyword for every page
Back in the day (circa 2000) we used to create a set of SEO keywords for our business and apply them as a group to every page. Nowadays the trend is to pick a single keyword for each page and optimize your page around that specific keyword.
WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO help you do this easily, and even teach you how to optimize your page. This tells Google that it is the one page you want to rank for that keyword.
So if you are using the same keyword on each and every page, you are killing your SEO keyword strategy.
You might be saying, “But marketing is what I do! Why wouldn’t ‘marketing’ be the keyword everywhere?”
- If you have 10 pages with marketing as a keyword, Google’s not sure which one you really want to rank, so it will treat everything separately. That means all 10 pages will compete with each other (and everyone else) to rank when someone does a search for “marketing.”
- Marketing is an awfully big topic. Are you really just talking about general marketing on every page, or could you find some other keywords that would help you be more specific? For example: social media marketing, online marketing, video marketing, event marketing, marketing brochures.
You pick a random keywords without optimizing the page
I mentioned earlier that the Yoast SEO plugin helps teach you how to optimize keywords for your pages. That means it gives you page grades and suggests things you could do to integrate your keyword into your page, including:
- Use your keyword in the page title
- Use your keyword is in your page link
- Use your keyword in subheaders
- Use your keyword in the image description (alt tag)
- Integrate your keyword into the page description (what the search engines pull)
Wow, that’s a lot of places to put your keyword!
Do you do all that, or do you look at a page, and say, “I think the keyword for this page should be apples,” enter it in the box and go on your way?
That’s kind of bananas if you do, and chances are you won’t be ranking very well.
You’ve optimized everything for your company name
I’ve seen people that optimize their whole site around their company name. And if your name happens to be Coca Cola, then that’s great.
But for smaller companies, there may not be many people searching for your company name. That’s why you have a keyword strategy: to show up for the things people are searching for.
People may not know to search for “JoAnne’s Company,” but they may still get to you website if you can optimize for “YouTube Marketing,” or whatever your products and services may be.
If all this makes your head spin, or you’ve seen yourself in some of these examples, then you may need a little help when it comes to an SEO keyword strategy.
No worries, this stuff isn’t easy.
Drop us a note if you need some suggested reading, or we can even help you do an assessment of your SEO and give you some specific recommendations to get you on the right path.