This much you should know: in 2017, your online marketing plan must include SEO (search engine optimisation). The most integral part of SEO is keyword optimisation, or keyword research. This essentially means selecting and analysing the best and most relevant keywords for your e-commerce site or online business, and scattering those words all over your online presence, to make sure that you rank highly in the search engines (ergo achieving ‘optimisation’). However, this approach is a little outdated; things move fast in the online world, and while the basic principles remain the same, how you tackle the topical issue of keyword optimisation could make all the difference.
The most important factor in this change is the internet itself; it just keeps growing and growing. Ten years ago, there were around 50 million websites; these days, the number clocks in at close to 1,000,000,000. Despite that, the functions of search engines remain the same and only one website can hold the top spot for any given keyword. Compounding this is the fact that SEO is becoming a well-known and fundamental tool for online promotion, so just about everyone and their mothers are getting in on the game.
The trick is to not focus on keyword optimisation at all and instead focus on a solid online marketing plan that will, by virtue of its existence, incorporate some solid SEO. The attack should be multi-pronged, featuring blogs, social media, video and website design. Throughout all these, if you keep your message simple and strong and keep returning to the same core group of keywords, you will naturally produce new content geared toward your speciality and climb higher in the all important SEO rankings.
Let’s look at blogs first. These days, you can’t just ram the keywords into any old blog or post and expect to produce results. In 2017, content is king, and the search engines will not reward you simply mashing your chosen keyword into every other sentence…and neither will your audience. As long as you make sure your keyword is in the title, meta description and placed at sensible intervals throughout the post, this should be more than enough to get you up the search engine ranks, while still leaving you enough room to create some awesome content that will make your readers come back month after month. This doesn’t mean overloading the blog posts either! If you don’t have the resources to create regular top-quality blog posts, keep them sparse but consistent; once a week is a solid goal for longer posts, while once every three days is great to aim for for the smaller ones. Focus on creating well-written, engaging, humorous, fun and informative blog posts – keep them coming, and the SEO will work itself out through them.
No one gets a kick out of reading reams of hard sell articles. Over-saturating your content with keywords just doesn’t work in 2017, so the focus has to be on the content itself. Video is another popular tool that dominates the internet. It gives your potential customers an instant window into your site or business, and in the best cases, into your own personality too. Like blogging, make sure your keywords are built into your video script and tags; Google runs videos through their own special filter in search of keywords, and it ends up as similar statistics to written words. So videos are just as crucial as blogs when it comes to SEO, and can prove a valuable ally in getting your page stacked high in the rankings. The same rules apply to videos as well as blogs; keep the content first and foremost in your mind. Videos provide the opportunity for you to get even more personal and unique than blogs, so make sure to utilise them to their full advantage. Solid keyword optimisation will follow as a direct result of smart, relevant content.
Another important factor in the evolving SEO landscape is relevance. Previously, ranking high off the back of a popular but broad keyword was the holy grail of optimisation. In 2017, relevance is thought to be prized higher, as the number of websites available keeps inflating. Relevance has been shown to generate more conversions than sheer search volume, so you should keep it front and centre in your mind when planning your SEO strategy. Making it to the top of the rankings using a broad keyword with downplayed relevance to your specific business might seem like something to celebrate; but in actuality, it won’t covert as many new clients as you might think. Competition is fierce; focus on carving out your own boutique nook using more specific keywords.
The main takeaways for better keyword optimisation in 2017 are two-fold. Number one, focus on content and keep the quality high above all else. Be smart but sparing with your keywords and integrate them naturally into your content. Number two, the old blanket-bomb methods of SEO are dying; the new way to work is to carefully consider specific terms that relate to your business, and go after them. Keep these two things paramount in your strategy, and you’ll soon stop doing keyword optimisation wrong, and start doing it right.