SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is a process that should be applied to your website, social media, blog, ecommerce, and digital marketing, so your content will be found when people search for topics, products, and services in search engines (i.e.; Google). Optimizing your website and digital content on the web for Search Engines can make a large difference in the amount of targeted traffic you get.
There are many strategies involved in Search Engine Optimization, but one of the most important ones involves keywords which are words frequently typed into search engines by users. In the past SEO specialists concentrated on stuffing large lists of high-ranking keywords into the back end of your site and getting as many back links as you could drum up. Back links are still as important, but the focus is on those links being relevant to your content and a good strategy to encourage organically obtained backlinks is important. As of late, Googles’ algorithms have gotten more sophisticated and that, coupled with their focus of ranking sites that provide quality content provided by companies of authority in their field, and weeding out spammers, has led them to ranking for different criteria. Keywords have always played an important role in SEO, but now the way they are used in your content has become a crucial focus for ranking well. For example, Google is looking for “long-tail” keyword phrases (combinations of keywords in a phrase), that occur naturally spread throughout your content in a sensical hierarchy. In addition, with the increasing use of voice commands with devices such as mobile phones, watches, tablets, computers and tv’s, search phrases for voice, which have a different structure, are becoming an important ranking component.
Although keyword research for your company and strategies for their use can increase traffic to your site, SEO is about much more than keywords. There is a long list of criteria your content needs to meet for search engines such as Google to rank you high in search results, some as simple as speed, and relevant content, to more complex criteria based on backlinks, image optimization, semantic keywords, transition word use, duplicate content, screen reader compatibility for the handicapped, permalink naming and more.
Semantic keywords have become an important part of a keyword as of late because search engines are now sophisticated enough to try and decipher a searchers intent instead of just the keyword itself, so phrases that indicate what a user is looking for are analyzed. If you don’t change your strategy to include semantic keyword phrases, you will lose out on potential traffic, but you may also get non-targeted traffic that produces a high bounce rate which is a completely separate ranking factor that will get your site demoted in search engines.