Has the Power of Keywords Been Killed?

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Keywords have long been and always will be a “key word” in regards to content marketing. The weight of keywords, however, has recently been weakened as a result of Google’s Hummingbird update. Based on research, Google found that users no longer search for generic keywords. Instead, they conduct their searches by typing actual questions or sentences into the search bar.

In order to continue to improve the user experience, Google has responded by switching the focus from keywords to conversation. Due to the changes applied by Hummingbird, Google can actually understand exactly what the user is trying to tell it or ask for. The goal of this is to generate better, more accurate information to the user.

Although the power of keywords has shifted, that does not mean their importance and relevance have been diminished completely. If you already have a well-developed SEO strategy in play, it is definitely not necessary to scrap it and start fresh just because of Hummingbird. A few minor tweaks should suffice just fine. Consider the tips below to help you adapt you get more conversational with your keywords.

1. Get inside their head. This of course refers to the user’s head. Not every person is going to group together the same words in order to form their search phrase or question. It is your job to come up with as many variations of potential search inquiries as possible. Use synonyms to broaden your ability to satisfy the many different search possibilities.

2. Rely on research. Keyword research is still important, but now you must broaden the reach of your research to find out the specifics of what users are searching for. Instead of researching tables and charts with lists of keywords, now the trick is to research consumers. Continue to research competitors, but concentrate on their customers, who could potentially become your customers.

3. Play matchmaker. Once you become aware of what users are searching for, then you must produce quality content to answer their questions and offer worthy information. Your content needs to answer their inquiry in order for Google to deem it as a match, hence improving your search results rankings. Don’t focus on stuffing your high-ranking keywords into your content. Concentrate on offering quality, relevant, and understandable information.

Now that Google has the ability to generate search results based on an actual understanding of the initial search query, as opposed to just crawling for keywords, there is actually a tremendous opportunity for small businesses. Ultimately, your search engine optimization efforts should aim to please the online user. The better you can achieve that, the more boost you will receive from Google.

 

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