This was the best way to rank high in SERPS not so long ago. Make sure you have the exact phrases that someone would search for within your content, and repeat them as often as you think you get away with. But there came a time when it became apparent that content was written for the search engines and not for the real value the content would offer the reader. In fact, the best content was often hidden away on page 4 or something, for the fact it didn’t match exact search terms, yet it was this content that gave the real important information.
IT IS THE REAL MEANING THAT IS IMPORTANT
So Google has spent a lot of time understanding the meaning of what it is you write so although the words still need to be on the page at some point and relate to each other, they do not need to appear in the same syntax as the keywords entered into the Google form.
In fact, the reality is a lot more extreme than this. Google hates exact match (yes, I am splitting this up) keywords to a point where you will often lose rankings if they appear rarely.
NOT JUST THE WRITTEN CONTENT
Title tags are defiantly something to look at. Do a search on Google for a specific term and identify which pages that are on the first-page title tags match exactly. I bet you won’t find many, maybe one or two pages out of ten. The rest are likely to have the keywords somewhere in the tile but not as an exact match. In fact, do not be surprised if similar words are used instead or are even missing.
What is even worse is to present these as the first words of the title tag. It doesn’t take much of investigation to learn that the first words of a title tag are often the most important. So presenting the exact search term at the beginning of the title right through the website is likely to raise a red flag to Google.
KEEP THINGS NATURAL, OR SO WE ARE TOLD
We often hear the word “natural” through the many blogs out there, but exactly does this mean? It should mean just writing your piece for the reader and not for SERPs. trust the search engine to understand its meaning and rank it appropriately. It is good advice. but I know that we are not all journalists or professional writers, and we don’t have superb vocabulary. Just look at my grammar here. So we still have to step back and say, would Google understand this? Yes I have written in my words, but can I improve it to make it more trustworthy? And of course, are my keywords in there somewhere?
IT WILL ALWAYS EVOLVE
Google will always be a work in progress, continually looking to improve SERPs and sometimes having to go backwards to go forward again. If we take duplicate content. It was a bigger thing a few years ago. Now they say you will not be punished for it? The reason of course relates to social media. Think about what this is. It is about sharing, and of course, this means, in fact, it means duplication. The same story on many websites being shared. So, in my opinion, Google had to backtrack on duplicate content and make it fit in with the current social media fashion.
Of course, this does mean you will rank by copying other people’s stuff, But i does mean you can get away with including stuff that is interesting that maybe links to another website. Quotes, news etc.
So don’t get a list of keywords and work backwards. Start by thinking about what is this about, them moving towards great content, with a final check that they are in there and in there. And avoid the syntax approach where every word has to appear in a search phrase.