While each new year brings about new goals and aspirations, many of our business goals often remain the same, carrying on year after year.
One of them is increasing brand awareness as well as your company's overall visibility in search engines. After all, it's hard to drive traffic and generate leads
Free Guide: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
if no one can find you, right?
However, because Google is constantly changing its algorithm, many keyword practices are often used well past their expiration date by companies who fail to keep up-to-date with the latest in search engine optimization, and as a result, spend valuable time and resources over-optimizing their website and marketing content only to yield minimal results.
Equally as bonehead-ish is companies who place no value whatsoever into SEO and keyword implementation, and take the 'ole "seat-of-the-pants" type approach to their marketing.
We're here to tell you that there is in fact a middle ground, and we're going over it here in order to provide you with a more focused keyword strategy for 2013.
It's natural to assume that ranking on the first page of search results is not only necessary, but also critical to the success of your online marketing presence.
The truth? While it certainly helps, according to HubSpot, ranking in the top three results on subsequent pages yields similar results.
The reason? Since search results have been appended with rich text/snippets and author tags, people are more likely to browse search results until they find something relevant to their need. So while ranking on the first page is huge in driving website traffic, so does ranking high on the subsequent pages.
Rankings do not always guarantee traffic and leads, so focus on the quality of your content as it relates to your keywords. And if you wind up on the second page of search results, but you're ranking high on that page, the results will be quite similar to if you had been ranking on the first page.
Believe it or not, keywords do not need to be repeated verbatim in order for your marketing content to be successful. This is where many marketers and business owners get nabbed for keyword stuffing, the practice of including the keyword as many times as humanly possible in the hopes of throwing one past Google.
It doesn't happen. In fact, search engines like Google actually penalize websites for keyword stuffing, which will negatively impact your search engine rankings.
Instead, include the keywords in a manner that makes sense. Avoid awkwardly phrasing your headlines in a way that prominently displays your keyword. If it fits, fine. If not, take a more conversational approach to your keyword implementation.
Asking how many keywords you should have on a page is like asking a roomful of mechanics the most effective way of reducing tire wear. You're going to get as many answers as there are people.
The bottom line is there is no exact science behind how many times you should include a keyword on a page or blog article.
There are certain areas where the keyword is a must:
Page title (so your readers know what they're reading about)
Headlines throughout content
Once throughout content
Other than that, there's no rules. Again, the goal is to provide your target audience with clear, resourceful information that helps to solve a need. Crowding your content with keywords will only annoy your readers.
The Misconception of On-Page SEO
Here's where many marketers drop the ball.
Optimizing for on-page SEO is not a guaranteed fix. Simply adding keywords to your pages won't magically improve your search engine rankings.
Approach your SEO to focus on creating focused, quality content throughout your entire campaign. From on-page, to off-page, to the entire user experience, focus on solving your prospects needs rather than stuffing keywords down their throats.
Approaching your Keyword Implementation
In short, spend your time focusing on quality content that revolves around a specific keyword. The days of slaving over keywords and trying to stuff them anywhere it fits have come and gone.
Instead, focus on creating attractive, shareable content that has much more of an impact on brand awareness and visibility than a few keywords on a page.