How often would you say a search engine makes changes to its algorithm in a year? If you guessed a number between 10 and 100, you are way off the mark. Google, for example, makes modifications to its search algorithm well over 500 times a year. If you’re making a keyword plan for your website, it is completely impossible to respond to every change Google makes. So what do you do?
Luckily, each of the improvements Google makes to its algorithm is focused on achieving one central objective – to give users what they are looking for, quickly. This means that your keyword strategies need to focus on what your users are looking for. Everything else is secondary. You should target real users and real queries. This is the only long-term strategy that can get you better rankings, more page views and greater revenues. In 2014, more than ever, Google values quality content over spammy, keyword-stuffed gibberish. Let’s look at how you can create a winning strategy that will succeed no matter how much the search engines evolve.
Let the search engines guide your content.
If you’re looking to create a website in a niche that you haven’t previously explored, you should take your time to study the websites and pieces of content that are ranking in your target market.
For example, if you’re thinking about creating a dog training website, go to Google and type in each of the keywords that are relevant to your niche. The search results are a very powerful indicator of what is currently working. In the dog training niche, you can search Google for the phrase ‘[dog training]’ to see a list of the websites that are currently ranking in your market. Use these results to fine-tune your content strategy. If you find that users are looking for a lot of information products, you can create your own and sell them on your website.
Look at forums and social media groups in your niche.
Forums are an extremely powerful tool when you’re performing keyword research. Visit a few forums and look at what people talk about. Examine the most popular posts and see if you can find any burning issues or demands. You’ll also gain some crucial insight into the jargon of your target market. Facebook groups can also serve as a valuable source of information for figuring out what people in your market want. After you’ve visited these websites, you will have plenty of ideas for specific keywords and pieces of content.
Write content that addresses the topic of your keyword. Don’t just use the keyword as is.
Search engine algorithms are evolving constantly and are capable of connecting a piece of content to a related keyword in an organic manner. This means that you can write a post that addresses a particular topic, and Google will intelligently link it to several keywords that it feels the post is relevant for.
If you look at the ‘In the news’ section for the ‘[dog training]’ search, you will find several articles that don’t directly have the phrase dog training in the title. This means that the search engines are now using keywords as a general guideline to provide their users more useful content.
The user experience is always going to drive search engine algorithms. As long as you have your basics right and your content is focusing on providing value to your visitors, you will continue to enjoy good rankings. So don’t worry too much about finding specific keywords. Pick long-tail keywords that don’t have too much competition and you will be good to go.