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Keywords are one of the most crucial elements of SEO. In fact, keywords are so critical that they are often cited as the #1 reason you want to hire a professional SEO company rather than trying to do your own digital marketing. Keywords are quite literally the keys that search engine algorithms search for that unlock your place in the rankings. Here are five ways that keywords impact your rankings — for good or for ill.
The practice of “keyword stuffing” was once an almost guaranteed way of reaching the top of search engine rankings. Algorithms have come a long way since then, however, and will drop sites in rankings that use keywords too often. Finding the exact right keyword density to get noticed by algorithms but not docked for the overuse of keywords is of critical importance.
Keywords are the way in which search engine algorithms match up your business, product or service with the right search results. If you use the wrong keywords, you could end up high in the rankings of the wrong search. So people not looking for you will find you while people looking for you will not.
While keywords are of critical importance, what is of even more concern is providing great content. While keywords will help search engine algorithms find and list your site correctly, they are not going to keep people on your site. High-quality content will. Keywords will get people to your site, but once they are there, you need to provide them a reason to stay.
Having too many different keywords can also make it difficult for search engines to categorize your site. Remember, they are trying to match up your product or service with the people who are looking for it. If your site seems to cover too many bases, the algorithms can’t concretely match up your site with a narrowly defined search.
Over time your target demographic is going to change. Sometimes, you will introduce a new product or service, while other times you may offer a specific type of discount to draw in a new market segment. Any time you make changes to your marketing, you also need to make changes to your keywords to help connect your new product, service or unique to the market segment it is designed to reach.
Finding the right keywords to use in just the right places and with the right frequency is something of an art and science in and of itself. Much of it is trial and error, and that is where good analytics come into play. Analytics can tell you exactly how your keywords, ad campaigns, and marketing strategies are performing so you can tweak and hone to perfection.
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