Why Content Matters For Search Engine Marketing

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Whether you are a search engine marketing expert or a novice who is just exploring what it can do, one thing will stand out beyond all others: keywords. They are certainly the driving force behind the way your website is perceived to Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and all the other engines. But even the most seasoned professionals (and perhaps especially the most seasoned professionals) risk making a very common mistake: not seeing the forest for the trees. Too much focus on keywords at the expense of content won’t lead to good search engine optimization results.

Think Like A Search Engine

Switch your perspective for a moment. You’re not someone trying to get listed on Google, you’re the one doing the listing. How do you decide what websites get ranked? You’re going to look for the most useful content for people searching a given term. How do you decide what’s the best content? You’re probably going to look for uniqueness, use of the keyword, use of other relevant words in context, and many more factors beyond that. What you don’t do is simply look at how many times the keyword is used, and then rank according to that. The keyword has to be present to indicate that the content is relevant, but the keyword itself isn’t enough to warrant listing.

From the perspective of Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, this is a perfectly logical way to work. After all, they’re in business too: they maintain their market share by delivering results that people consider to be relevant. If you don’t like what Google delivers for a search, you can go elsewhere and potentially see better results. If they consistently underperform, they lose their revenue. That is the key reason why search engine optimization is always changing: the big engines are always updating their algorithms and requirements to better match what they think searchers want to see. And if you think about it, you know one thing they don’t want to see: fluff content that has no value beyond overstuffed keywords.

Adapting Your Website

Now you understand a bit more about where the guidelines that govern search engine marketing come from, and why they change. It’s time to put that knowledge into practice for your own search engine marketing efforts. One of the best ways to start is by letting keywords take the back seat on your content generation. Instead of focusing on incorporating them, start writing using the keyword as a topic. Write about it, and see what comes naturally. What you write should be educational, informative, and highly unique. At the end, look back and check how many times you actually used the words that you were targeting. You’ll be surprised to find just how frequent it is – and it’s all happened naturally!

This is arguably the best kind of search engine optimization, because in addition to the words you were targeting, you’ll have a lot of related words that further highlight your site. These related words are things that indicate natural writing, which is informative and fresh yet relevant to the selected keywords.

It can be hard to see the content when you are focused on keywords, but ultimately it’s the content that is most important. Keywords are simply flags, helping guide web crawlers for the big engines to a place where they might find something interesting to searchers. Think of it this way, and you’ll see better results from web crawlers and human readers alike.

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