So, Are Keywords Bad Now?
Recently I have been hearing more and more negativity around keywords and how they affect search engine optimisation. In this post, I will explain why keywords are not the enemy, and how to tweak your keyword strategy for modern day SEO.
When Keywords were introduced as a ranking factor in SEO, it didn’t take long for people to try 'hack' the system. This is when strategies such as keyword stuffing, hidden text or links and more came about.
Keyword stuffing as it is called became known as a black hat (hacking) tactic to help boost your way to the top. However, by 2005 Google had changed how they index and rate sites, so that keyword stuffing and many techniques like it no longer influenced your rank. So much so that now it can actually be detrimental to your website ranking if the Google bot detects that you are attempting keyword stuffing.
An old favourite of some website developers was to type a keyword in multiple times, in a text that was the same colour as the background of the page. If you highlight between my e.g> <e.g tags you will see what I mean. e.g> THIS HOW THEY USED TO HIDE THEIR KEYWORDS <e.g Thankfully, this practice is very rarely seen in today's SEO tactics but there are still some who still follow some of the old tactics in the hope of climbing the rank ladder.
Unfortunately, many business owners are still applying basic keyword stuffing to this day. At its worst, it gets to the point where their content becomes practically unreadable. Take this example from a Website Developer:
“At our Company, we provide websites to all our customers who need a website. We design professional websites and responsive websites to our customers. If you need a new website or help with your existing websites, then call us, we are website experts.”
I wonder what their keyword is... Not only does it sound ridiculous when you read it out loud, it is very hard to read and its clear that it has been written for a search engine, not a person. These days, Search Engines know when your writing content for rankings and not your customers. It is an outdated practice, and if you are doing it with your website, its time for a content re-write.
'Stuffing' is not limited to keywords, it is also used for locations. By typing every location in your area and surrounding areas you could get those exact searches that happened to contain a location or area. This is still used in some case to this day, but it is not as effective as it used to be.
Now don’t get me wrong, keywords have their place and I still believe they play an important part in directing searches to relevant websites. We know overuse can be bad for search engine optimisation of our site, so what is the optimal ratio we should use. Firstly, the keyword or keyword phrase must be in the title of the page and the URL link.
E.g. the title of this page is “Are Keywords Still Relevant?” and the URL is “www.yourgotocrew.com.au/2017/10/18/are-keywords-still-relevant”
Secondly, one of your pages H1 tags should contain your keyword. The first headline of this post contains a keyword. Lastly, you should use your keyword in context once every 150-200. I can’t stress enough how much your keywords need to flow on from what you are typing. Keywords!
Another area you need to look at is images that are contain within your website. The title and alt text need to contain relevant information to the image and your content. For instance, having an image of a dog being wash on a mobile pet washing site may have the title for the image as “Dog being Hydro washed by example company”. Their keyword could be Hydro Dog wash. Their alt text may say “Golden retriever dog getting a mobile hydro dog wash from example company”. Now there is a whole section I could write about on optimizing your images for search engine optimisation, and I may do just that.
Do you want to play a game?
There are a few keywords to choose from in this post which do you reckon would be the best keyword or phrase?
- Keyword Stuffing?
- Website developers?
- Search Engine Optimisation?
Ok, so keywords can be useful if used correctly and in the right areas of our site, but can also harm our ranking if we stuff them in every corner of our site. Now the real question is, are Keywords still relevant in today’s day and age… I think Yes! But like everything, moderation is the key to long term gains in your healthy google ranking. Now go out there and change your page content to better your ranking and increase traffic or you can hire a search engine optimisation consultant to step you through the best strategy for your website and business.