Search Engine Optimization May 6th, 2013
Anybody who has even been near the SEO industry will be aware of keywords and how important they are to how a website ranks in the SERPs, but are we too enamoured with them? If you are too busy being mesmerized by the golden glisten that surrounds your keywords then you may be putting all your eggs in one basket and setting yourself up for a fail.
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There is no doubt of the importance of keywords and the fact that they are the best way of tracking how your site is performing in the search engine world, but if your SEO and content marketing strategy is limited and restrained by these then you may want to look at creating more of a blend.
If you were to hop in your DeLorean, gun it to 88mph and head back to just over a year ago you would see a much different SEO landscape than that which lays before us today. Until that time it was perfectly acceptable and widely practised for SEO agencies and business owners to buy multiple links from link farms using their specified keywords.
Fast forward to today and these tactics are not only frowned upon but actively discouraged by Google and its army of black and white zoo animals, but what’s to say that Google can tell the difference between these outdated tactics and someone merely using the same keywords over and over again.
Most people will have around 5-10 keywords which they focus on most of the time but if content is constantly being produced with these being used as anchor texts then how can Google be sure that you are not simply buying these?
Surely a much better strategy would be to continue using keywords as anchor texts but to also incorporate other things. Branding, where you use your company name as the anchor text, is something that is often only used at the beginning of someone’s SEO strategy to spread the word and create awareness, but there is no reason why this shouldn’t continue and be mixed in to dilute your keyword usage. There is even room for you to use the anchor text ‘click here’ or other un-optimised phrases which are deemed by some people to be a futile tactic that wastes a link, but is really a vital part of a well-blended approach to anchor text.
Some resources will specify exact percentages for diversifying your anchor text but the truth is there is no scientific formula that is going to be fool proof. Every website is different and therefore it may take some competitor analysis in order to determine the best blend for your specific site.
Something else worth a mention here is the use of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are those that are less competitive and for which you therefore might be able to rank more effectively. Whilst some experts will disregard these because there are often limited amounts of traffic attached to them; there is room for them in your SEO strategy even if they don’t play a massive roll.
I can’t help thinking that anyone too focussed on repetitive use of the same keywords, or keywords in general for that matter, has missed the point of content marketing. If you constantly find yourself with crowbar in hand trying to include your chosen keywords in some way, shape or form then your content is going to suffer severely.
The thing about great, shareable content is that it’s not forced and has an organic feel to it that others can relate to. If it’s true that content is king, and it is, then you shouldn’t turn yours into the court jester by letting keywords dictate it.
Remove the halos from your chosen keywords and don’t let them rule your SEO world. A blended campaign that includes organic, free-flowing content is much more likely to serve you better in the long run.