Keywords Were Once All Important
SEO once meant keyword research and keyword density. And you would get serious results by focusing on keywords.
But two fairly recent changes have made keywords and keyword research less important.
Change #1: Google Hides Keywords in Google Analytics
So you have a hard time telling what keyword phrases brought visitors to your website.
Change #2: Google Hummingbird Algorithm Update
Google Hummingbird is the official beginning of the end of keywords. The algorithm update is the first big step from keyword centric searches to what are called semantic searches. Google is updating their algorithm to figure out what you mean, above and beyond what you said.
When you say “Indian” do you mean someone from Bengal, or a member of the Navaho nation? While Hummingbird has a long way to go, it’s a big step in that direction.
What Does SEO Mean Post a Keyword Centric Focus?
But done in an SEO friendly way. What that means is your website still needs to be easy to find and easy to crawl, but your overall SEO presence is created not by keyword optimizing a few pages, but but publishing interesting and useful stuff on a variety of topics around your main theme.
While who links to you (and how many) is still a very important search signal, it is not all that matters.
The other critically important search signals are about publishing.
Search Signal: Quantity
How many stories and articles are published on your websites. Website with more on them tend to rank higher.
Search Signal: Quality
How good is the stuff published on your website. Both from an SEO perspective and from the perspective of people.
From an SEO perspective what matters most is your title. Learn how to build good blog post titles, and do so consistently.
Additionally, words and phrases that appear often in a post are “keywords” in a very real sense. The main point here is to not get carried away using desired phrases to the point where the article reads as if it is stuffed with keywords.
From a people perspective make sure your blog post is easy to scan, as most of us don’t read online per se, but rather we scan.
Search Signal: Consistency
How often is your website updated? Websites that are updated more often tend to rank higher than websites that are updated infrequently.
Ideally your website should be updated more than once a day. If that is too much, once a day should be your absolute minimum.
Search Signal: Longevity
How long has your website been around? Websites that have been around longer tend to rank higher. Of course this one you have no direct control over. You can’t go back in time and start publishing earlier. You can only stop delaying and get started now.
Don’t Think Like a Publisher, Be a Publisher
Your website is now a publication. Less sophisticated than the NY Times or Homes and Garden Magazine, but within your niche, you are publisher of your expertise.
Just as those publications do, you must always be in search of good stories that your desired audience will find interesting and useful.
It Doesn’t Happen Overnight, But It Does Happen
Inbound marketing is a long term strategy, but when you do it right and stick with it, it transforms businesses.