If you’ve been in the SEO world for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard all of these statements at some point: SEO is dead. SEO is alive and well. All of your blog posts must come from keywords. You should stop wasting time with keywords.
SEO gurus have been saying things that contradict each other over and over again. So, who’s right?
The answer is, as it usually goes in these types of arguments, no one. But also no one is completely wrong. If you ask any of the people who defend either side of the argument, they will most likely tell you that they have results to prove their claims. The problem is the tendency to confuse causation with correlation when it comes to search engine ranking. So what should you do if you want your blog to rank well in the search engines in 2017?
Everything changed a few years ago with Google’s Hummingbird semantic search algorithm. Long gone are the days when all you needed to get your page to rank was to research some high traffic keywords, stuff them wherever you could, get some shady links and call it a day.
Ever since Google implemented this update, the way SEO was approached had to be changed. This semantic search algorithm is what gives Google that eerie ability to just know what you are looking for. To say it in a grossly oversimplified way, the search engine understands what you are looking for.
We see this when we search for a topic and the search results show what we wanted, but had none of the keywords that we entered in the search box. Which is the answer: keywords or topics? It turns out that you need both.
The key to making sense of all this SEO mess is to understand what Google actually wants. Google wants to help you find what you were looking for – only faster. This means that the content you create must be an interconnected series of topics that make sense for the reader. Additionally, it must also contain relevant keywords to the search topic.
The best way to think about it is from a user experience perspective. This is one of the main concerns of Google nowadays. So if you are in the process of creating your blogging strategy, you need to make sure that the topics you cover make sense for the person making the search. You also need to make sure your content contains the necessary keywords for the search engine to put it all together.
Also, keep in mind that keywords can’t come at the expense of topics or the other way around. The keywords you choose to target should be logically connected with the topics you’ll be covering on your blog.
Complicated as it may sound, things are a lot easier now. Create quality content that humans will find helpful and make sure it has your target keywords in a way that makes sense. Remember always, content is still king. Do this and you will be well on your way to SEO success.