There is a lot to be said about SEO in 2017. I spend countless hours catching up with trends, techniques and updates on every day basis. In fact, I could probably write a book by now, but who can honestly catch up with all SEO changes? In order to survive and continue generating business from SEO, we have to break it down to doable tasks and prioritize.
While the definition of “doable” may vary based on your business size, industry and budget, one thing that we all have to change, without any exceptions, is our approach to keywords.
Alamedia asked 39 SEO experts for tips to succeed in SEO in 2017. A lot was said, but across the board, the experts agreed that you should no longer optimize for keywords but for intent.
Keywords are out. Topics are in
Google will continue to evolve into a semantic search engine, which means that smart marketers will focus on topics, not just keywords. It’s called semantic SEO. They key is to find and use all the words and phrases related to your primary phrase, thereby spreading out your content across the broader topic. – Andy Crestodina, the co-founder and strategic director at Orbit Media.
Adam Connell added:
Optimize for user intent, not keywords – keywords are still a big deal in a way, but it’s more about answering search queries directly than using traditional on-page SEO. That means your content needs to deliver on the promises made in your headlines & meta descriptions, although Google will sometimes use its own headline and/or meta description. Keep your focus not just on user experience, but the usability of your content too – the easier you make it for people to put the information to use, the better.
So, are the keywords dead? No. Just think more long-tail, conversational terms from users increasingly utilizing mobile and voice search.
Recipes for Those Who Consider Keyword Research a Mystery…
Now, you may ask me “How do I digest this updated approach into an actionable plan?”. After all, many things in SEO are easier said than done.
If you feel like you need more actionable ideas for your new keyword research strategy, check out this video by Brian Dean:
Let me know in the comments if you found this article useful and what other SEO topics you would like to learn about. SEO is not easy, but my expertise is here for you, if I can help!