In today’s fast-paced world with a plethora of brands and businesses popping up it is even more important to be ‘found’. This is where SEO keywords become critical. It can be a complicated subject for most, especially when Google is constantly changing their algorithms. Keeping on top of SEO (search engine optimization) best practice and knowing the ‘insider’ tricks is important. 

A few weeks ago we featured an article titled Digital Marketing Fundamentals: SEO in a post-lockdown world from our knowledge partner, Stephen Sandmann. We’ve teamed up with him again for part 2. In today’s article, we take a look at one of the most important things for SEO – keywords! This has been a constant as SEO practice has evolved over the years and the only thing that has changed over the last year is how to use them.

What are the most important things to focus on keyword research for SEO right now?

‘Keywords’ – the buzz word of SEO. But there’s more to it. You need to focus on what’s behind the keyword, where you place them on your pages and new trends relating to similar keywords.

It’s more than the word itself, it’s about the story behind the keyword. This means telling the full story in order for the word to be relevant. Context and semantics are important. Google, in particular, is paying far more attention to this now, and has even played on this in their more recent algorithm updates. Keeping this in mind means you are putting more focus on what the user is actually looking for, rather than putting words together that only focus on specific keywords. Google favours websites that focus on attention and detail to that places the user front and centre.

What’s the most important thing to focus on when keyword optimising SEO content?

What I’ve noticed in the past few months is a focus on content ‘quality’ more so than ‘quantity’. The content’s freshness and level of expertise needed are critical. Everyone needs to up their game more than ever. There’s no place for poor quality content if you want to do well. 

Understand the users’ intent. Things to consider:

  • Why must this website’s page exist? 
  • What purpose does this page need to fulfil? 
  • How can I make this page more useful and engaging than competitors’ equivalent website pages?

The trend of people looking for more seamless and natural ways to interact with information and digital technology has become more integral in our daily lives. 

For example, Voice-powered search should be considered necessary for your content. I had an idea, which led to an award-winning voice-powered search marketing campaign in 2015 for McDonald’s. Now, more than ever, we need to better integrate with smart ecosystems, such as the Google Assistant on your phone and Google Home. Your content should be easily accessible and top of mind.

Written in collaboration with the Red & Yellow team.

Author: Stephen Sandmann, owner of his own consulting company, and Vodacom powerhouse. Stephen has a keen interest in innovative, digital marketing-lead advertising and search marketing (SEO and paid search) and social media marketing, which he’s developed through his award-winning agency and corporate career at Ogilvy, Quirk (now Mirum), Vodacom and now as a consultant. He’s also a knowledge partner with Red & Yellow and helped us build our online SEO short course.