Google can read. Not in a cute metaphorical sense; Google’s systems have now reached a point where they can not only analyse the words on the page but understand the context of those words.
This means that the cornerstone of old-school SEO – keywords, is now…not irrelevant but… yeah pretty irrelevant.
You see, if you are writing a piece on how good you are at Excel spreadsheets (and I genuinely hope you’re not) then traditionally you would create a list of keywords and phrases to be used in the title, body and meta.
- Microsoft Excel
- Using spreadsheets
- Why spreadsheets aren’t mindbogglingly boring
That kind of stuff.
But because Google is better at reading comprehension than any human on earth, it doesn’t need to be blatantly told exactly what you’re trying to do, it will work it out as long as you give it enough information. So, you will end up using the keywords but perhaps not according to, “minimum standards,” or, “best practice.” You’ll just use them naturally. You know, like a human.
The title should explain clearly to the audience what the blog is about. Duh.
The rest of the copy should be a well-craftedd explanation of Excel spreadsheets, how to best use them and a few hints and tips on why you think things should be done a certain way. In other words, talking to your audience as if they were real humans and not robots.
As always, we tested this before publishing this blog and found that the number of keywords included in blog posts of 800-1000 words had no impact at all on rankings achieved. This was done across 30 similar blog posts (60 competing blogs in total) in a variety of industries, using sterile conditions – no grey or white-hat tactics.
However, there was a considerable impact when it came to the use of descriptive language. We discovered that the more in-depth you get with particular phrases and contextual information, the more likely it is to rank higher. This makes perfect sense because Google is reading and comprehending your blog, and learning what you are actually saying – not just what you are trying to say.
So, make sure your next blog post is written with your audience in mind, without any keyword hacks. Just create something that people will want to read, and the best reader in the world (Google) will enjoy it.