SEO Myths: #9 Exact Matching Keywords
Since we were already discussing On-Page SEO in the last article, SEO Myths: #8 All I Need Is On-Page SEO, and crushed that myth with extreme prejudice, I thought a good follow-up to that would be taking a deeper look at keywords, which is part of both On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. In fact, as it was mentioned in the original SEO Bootcamp article, On-Page SEO is now only accounting for about 25% of your overall search engine ranking. And keywords are an integral part of both on and off page SEO.
But there also seems to be a lot of confusion about what is and what is not good practices when it comes to adding keywords to your pages, posts, social media content and so forth. Some people use the same keyword in several variations, repeatedly on their pages, posts, etc. and this is actually hurting them.
Myth #9 – My keywords must match search terms exactly
Typically, this line of thinking or “advice” goes something like, “Your keywords must match search terms exactly or you will not come up in the search results.”
SEO Myth-Busting #9
In reality, keywords do not need to be repeated exactly verbatim in any form of use. Much less having to be used in several different variations in order to get indexed and appear in search engine results. This is especially true when using them in the title or headline, you will want to use a keyword or two or even a keyword phrase, but in a way that makes the most sense to a human reader. Weaving that into a stellar headline that attracts attention is the real trick.
On the other hand, nothing kills interest quite so much as an awkwardly worded headline that is framed around keywords. It is a clunky experience that will have most people thinking “WTF?” and they will move on to something a bit more appealing. But the same definitely applies to content too – if your article or page reads like a user’s manual written by a foreigner, visitors or potential visitors will take their traffic elsewhere.
In other words, if the keyword you are trying to promote on say a post is “KEYWORD” then use that term in a way that makes the most sense. However you do not need to use other forms of the same term, such as KEYWORDS, KEYWORDING, etc. Your page or post will be ranked based upon the relevance in regards to a search term. This could be someone doing a search for KEYWORDS and based upon your content, your post ill be displayed along with other results even if it is not an exact match to the search term.
Using the same HTML sample image as the previous article, see if you can pick out the good from the bad and post your thoughts below as to why something may or may not be a good idea. No worries, this is a judgement free zone to start a discussion that just may help to put things into perspective for you.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the next article, SEO Myths: #10 Spamming Keywords (coming soon) and please be sure to share these articles with a friend or comment below.