Do Keyword Rankings Still Matter?
If you’re like many small business owners, you may be asking yourself the question, “Do SEO rankings still matter?” In the ever-adapting world of internet marketing, it can seem like keyword rankings are a thing of the past, but the truth is that SEO content matters more than ever, the processes have just changed. While basic keyword research may get you a good start, there are several other factors to consider if you’re truly seeking online success.
Before we get into the other parts of the SEO equation, let’s look at the reasons why keywords are still vital to your campaign.
1. Google is Smart
While your page used to be crawled for text only, Google is now searching for the meaning behind the words you use. This, however, does not mean you can say whatever you want and Google will get it. The search engine is smart, but not quite that sophisticated yet. Your word choice will still play a role in how easily the search bots understand your page, how relevant they think it is to the question asked and how likely it is to get picked up. Better keywords still equal better rankings.
2. Placement is Key
Placing keywords in places like headers and title tags will attract Google’s attention more than putting them in secondary places. It’s important to avoid repetitiveness, but it’s also key to be aware of correct placement.
3. Layouts Give Clarity
The ease with which your site is searched is not only important for users, but also search engines. Following a basic structure will make your page easier to scan and find appropriate keywords. Remember to use headers, a body, sidebars and footers.
Keywords Don’t Equal Sales
Finding commonly searched keywords is a great start and will usually lead to higher Google rankings and more page views, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get more sales. Having keywords that are poorly matched to your product or difficult to find on the page can turn readers away and cause you to lose potential customers. Finding good keywords is easy with tools like Google AdWords, the autocomplete feature and Bing Keyword research. Most websites also offer the option of finding out what’s trending in their searches. Google, Bing, YouTube and even Facebook all provide information on the most sought after topics. Popularity can even be broken down into different locations so that you’ll be able to focus your research on targeted groups. You can also perform Twitter searches for popular topics and searches.
Once you’ve discovered keywords that are popular, make sure they’re relevant to your page. It doesn’t matter if you use a keyword that has been searched millions of times, if it isn’t directly related to your site, viewers will quickly click away and find a more appropriate link.
Questions to Ask
Creating a successful SEO ad campaign takes more than just figuring out a few good keywords. This Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors offers a good visual of points you need to be covering in order to ensure that your efforts won’t be fruitless.
There are many questions to ask yourself when considering the effectiveness of your pages. Consider the sections covered in the chart.
Your content needs to be relevant to the target audience. Having distracting content can confuse potential clients about your purpose. You also need to be sure that your pages have plenty of substance. Posting sloppy, shallow content may get some quick clicks, but it’s unlikely to win you customers in the long run.
A lot of business owners are unaware of the correct way to format HTML to increase page views. Having proper headers, title tags and meta description tags can make a big difference on where you land in Google’s rankings. Having appropriate tags can ensure that your page is put in front of the right readers. The structure and word frequency is another factor that will influence your rankings.
The architecture of your site is another important factor. Having a slow-loading site and lacking a secure connection will turn viewers away, but you also need to be sure that visitors can access your site from any type of device. Unless you’re experienced in coding, you’ll also likely need professional help in this stage of development.
SEO Rankings Still Matter
While the world of keyword rankings is constantly changing, SEO content still matters. By following these principles you’ll be able to ensure that your page remains authoritative in an evolving search market.