In 2013 a seismic shift hit the world of SEO, and search experts are still trying to figure out what they think about it. Google’s Hummingbird changed some major rules about how its search algorithms work, and many businesses still don’t know how to update their SEO strategies to fit the new rules.
If you’re still in the dark about how to find the right keywords after Hummingbird’s changes to SEO, the biggest trick for you may be changing the way you think about keywords.
Keywords Aren’t Obsession-Worthy Anymore
The three things you need to know about keywords:
1. You don’t need to find the “right” keywords to have strong search rankings.
Search rankings are determined by a lot more than keywords now. Search engines are becoming more interested in who created the content, who’s sharing it, and how valuable it is.
That means there’s no “best” keyword to target anymore. In fact, there are potentially hundreds of combinations of keywords that could be relevant to any one page—especially considering the personalization of search results. Hummingbird cares more about understanding the searcher’s intent and needs than it does about specific keywords.
2. The topic is more important than the keyword.
If Hummingbird has changed the rules, then the topic of your content is now more important than the keywords it contains. Focused, relevant content with authority that gets shared has more power than any particular keyword or keyword combination.
Which means each page and each blog article should be centered around one topic—and it’s got to be good content. So before you start writing your content, make sure you know your audience and their intent—a single persona who has a single question.
3. Write your content around one long-tail keyword.
That’s not to say you should forget about keywords. Even if keywords aren’t king anymore, they’re still significant. Every search starts with keywords, and they do play an important role in search results.
To get the most out of keywords, build your content around a single long-tail keyword. This will help you maintain a tightly focused page, which will improve the value of your content. Include your long-tail keyword in the body of your content and optimize your blog or web page for that keyword as well. As you craft your content, you will invariably include related keywords that will help your content get found.
The More SEO Changes, the More Content Stays the King
SEO rules may have changed, but as always, it’s the quality of your content that matters most. Focus on this, remember the three keys to keywords, and the rest will fall into place. Everything else is just details.