Words mean things.
This was the mantra of my journalism professor and mentor who spent a career in newsroom trenches before deciding to “retire” and teach journalism at the small, liberal arts college where I received my degree.
Almost 30 years later (man, I’m old), this simple three-word sentence still rings true.
The phrase is specifically germane to my current profession of search engine marketing.
Keywords Are Still King
In the past, I’ve written advice that steers search engine marketing professionals to embrace optimizing for topics over keywords.
I still believe that for many of us, this is sage advice.
The algorithms of modern search engines don’t merely look at the words on the page.
Today’s search engines look for the meaning of the page beyond the simple keywords and keyword phrases.
But the simple fact is that in most cases if you don’t have a specific word on a web page, you probably won’t rank for that word in the search engine’s results.
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Don’t Get Stuffed
It’s a given that you need to use the keywords you want to show up for in the copy you write.
But if you use too many keywords, or use them in the wrong place, you run the risk of sounding strange and non-authoritative to your audience.
Worse, your copy could look like it’s stuffed with keywords to both your users and the search engines.
Search engines don’t like keyword-stuffed copy.
Users don’t buy from sites that stuff keywords into their copy.
So the question becomes, how do I