Are keyword phrases dead for SEO?
There are many ways to create online content in order to boost SEO. Many have argued that the use of keyword phrases in this process is fast becoming redundant, however this is simply not true. Rather, what we are seeing is a shift away from the literal in order to incorporate a more contextually specific, and intent orientated algorithm.
The use of keyword phrases displays an understanding of your target market’s interests, which inevitably means you’re on the right track when trying to relate to people. Naturally, user preference is subject to change. The smarter search engines out there no longer rely on combing through content in order to extract individual key word phrases, but rather operate on the basis of semantics, as pointed out by Julia McCoy from the Content Marketing Institute.
Keyword phrases become real time language
“In addition to searching from a variety of devices, today’s consumers are searching with a different set of queries. Ten years ago, a searcher may have typed, “Bagels New York.” Today’s searcher may use voice-activated search assistants and say, “Find me cheap bagels in New York,” or better yet, “Best breakfast places in New York.” Today, what search engines are doing is understanding the relationship between ‘Bagel,’ ‘Breakfast,’ and activation terms such as ‘Find,’ and ‘Best place.’ This is a great thing for blogging, as it means that the language used in order to create keyword phrases no longer relies on the dead-end directive, and can be incorporated into your content in a much more organic, authentic manner.
This is of course, not to say that there isn’t any kind of algorithm at play. As Mike Murray points out, the effective use of keywords involves planning and analysis. “Every website has a different capacity to rank for relevant keyword phrases. Your website age, domain name, number of pages, content, internal links, inbound links, design, programming, and more will determine how well you’ll succeed.”
Instead of overlooking keywords or trying to rely on a select few, what is more important is that you consistently target the right content. “When you use each keyword phrase, it will resonate with all of the other words on the page,” says Murray. With the countless algorithm changes (for which we ought to give our thanks rather than sigh in exasperation) there is bigger opportunity to rank for a broader number of permutations. As Murray states: “Increasingly, you’ll just have more opportunities to perform well for keyword variations and even words you never thought to include in your content”.
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