There's a lot of talk about organic keywords, and whether they're on the way out in SEO. We're diving in to give you the scoop on what's up.
In the fast-paced world of SEO, it can be hard to remember where organic keywords stand.
Are businesses still using them? Are they effective? Wait, what are they?
We're here to answer all these questions and more.
Back To Basics
But many of them aren't implementing a content marketing strategy to drive traffic to their site at all - or they're using the same plan as they did two years ago.
You already know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge part of getting clicks, links, and shares to your webpage - and that keywords (AKA what people enter into search engines when they need something) are a crucial factor in the SEO game.
Let's quickly focus on the difference between Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and organic keywords.
Organic keywords don't cost you anything (think of them as "traditional" keywords) to implement into your content, and use algorithms (and of course, Google Analytics) to boost your page higher in search rankings.
By contrast, PPC keywords are paid for, and you get higher rankings on search engine pages. You can usually recognize when a site has used PPC keywords in Google, for example, by the yellow square reading "Ad" next to sites at the top of the results page.
Do Organic Keywords Still Boost Your Ranking?
But to get those numbers, people need to find your website. Sometimes, Google doesn't make it easy.
Google is constantly updating their regulations regarding organic keyword usage, (overuse and you could end up being penalized) they try to get users answers/results on the search engine page, (without clicking to another webpage) and their Universal Search feature can sometimes feel tough to navigate.
This came about because of "keyword stuffing," a pretty slimy SEO hack that focused way less on content and way more on putting as many keywords as possible in web content, to drive traffic.
But organic keywords are still effective when used properly - you just need to know how to use the new regulations to your advantage when creating your webpage content.
So, where should your organic keywords go?
- In the Title Meta Tag: Basically, in the title of your website. This isn't just what users see when they type in search terms - it also helps Google to determine your ranking factor.
- In the Description Tag: Think of this as a one-sentence summary of what your page is about/will do for your customers. Using organic keywords here will help to boost your page in search results.
- In the H1 (also called the "Heading") Tag: This is essentially the title of an interior page of your website, or the title of a blog post. It's easier to identify them in your mind if you just think of them as the biggest words on the page!
- In the Actual Page Content! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many websites we see that don't incorporate organic keywords in their actual longer form posts and pages.
- In your Social Media Posts: Of course, keywords will have a different strategy in your social media accounts - but it's still important to use them as much as possible, in connection with popular hashtags and trending topics.
Switch It Up
Now that you know where to put organic keywords in your content, let's focus on how you use them.
Think about how boring it is to read a book or an article that uses the same phrase over and over and over and over again - yeah, you get it. It's mind-numbing.
Well, the same goes for your organic keyword usage: you need to add a little variety.
When it comes to your content marketing, strategy matters (in fact, while 88% of businesses use content marketing to boost ranking, only 32% of them have a solid, frequently-updated plan.)
Part of that strategy is creating content that uses organic keywords but still actually teaches your visitors something. To make sure you don't get penalized, and to make sure your readers actually finish your article, change the word order of your keyword phrase.
Use your organic keywords in both the singular and plural forms, move it around in your sentence placement, and use it in different contexts as much as possible.
Let's say our keyword was "easy recipes." Sure, you can say something like "check out our list of easy recipes for dinner tonight!" But you can also phrase it as "Life isn't easy, recipes should be."
Find The Right Words
One of the most important factors in effective organic keyword usage?
Making sure you've found the best ones out there!
Even the best content in the world can't be read if it's condemned to page ten of search results.
Remember that your keywords will vary from page to page, and topic to topic - and you'll need to be as specific as possible. (For a reference, think about how specific the phrases you type into Google are, and approach your keywords from that angle.)
Make sure your keywords reflect the exact nature of the content on your page - if you're a travel site, for example, don't just use "best hotels." Use "best hotels in Tokyo $100 night."
You can do the heavy research of locating these words yourself, through free keyword generators, but it's time-consuming and often isn't updated as frequently as it should be.
And while relying on yourself and your friends to come up with commonly-used phrases relating to a topic may be fun, it's not exactly effective - especially when you're up against an algorithm.
Instead, you may want to rely on the services of a professional content marketing firm to get your organic keywords where they need to be.
You're Set To Go!
We get it: wading through the worlds of content, SEO, and organic keywords can feel overwhelming, even to those with experience.
If you have questions about the effectiveness of your webpages, are looking for a total content marketing overhaul, or aren't sure where to start and need a consultation to help you figure it out, reach out to us.
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