SEO keywords are a fact of life. Although research can be tedious, choosing the right keywords can be the difference between being passed by and boosting your web traffic, influence, and revenue.
On a good day, and with the right mindset, choosing the right keywords for your website, blog, or webpage can feel exciting, like a science experiment. But when the stakes are on your business’s visibility on search engines, it can feel more like a pressure cooker than a great discovery.
SEO is also changing fast. As search engines constantly update their metrics, what worked last year, or even last month, won’t work today. And while some things change, best practices can remain the same. Here’s what’s changing about SEO keyword research and what’s the same in 2022.
Different: Core Web Vitals
We’ve already covered how Google is changing their web vitals to depend more on engagement, loading speed, and other user experience elements. Meaning, even if your keywords are on point, if your site takes too long to load or is an eyesore to look at (text is too big, headings don’t make sense, etc.), Google will lower it in its rankings.
That’s why it’s critical to look at the big picture when designing your website because only concentrating on your written content isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Same: Long form, relevant content
That said, it’s still critical to create pages that are full of relevant content. After all, humans are reading your website, not just search engine algorithms. The purpose of search engine’s algorithm is to promote the most relevant content that matches a site user’s queries. Having content that matches, that’s engaging to read, and relevant to your business is crucial to boost your web traffic.
You may have an ecommerce site where you don’t think you need a lot of written content. However, do you have an “about us,” “mission and vision,” or a “core values” page? What about specific pages that are tailored to nearby towns where your customers live? How about the obvious, product descriptions that are creative, engaging, and tailored to your brand?
In order to maximize this content, it still needs to be relevant to your customers’ queries. Keywords should still be used, but remember, a human is reading this. It should be enjoyable, on-brand, and drive engagement. Thus, the basics of writing are still in play: inform your customer, use tone, voice, and language that’s consistent with your brand, and create clear calls to action with the content leading up to it.
Did you know that one of the most visited pages on your website is the “about us” page? It goes into depth about who you are and what your company’s core values and mission is. It’s a piece of keyword-rich content that you definitely don’t want to neglect!
Different: Mobile SEO
Smart phones are here to stay, so ensuring your website is mobile friendly is a must if you haven’t done so already. You probably already know about responsive design, building your business’s website to be readable and engaging on multiple devices. But did you know you also need to factor in loading times and pop-ups to have great SEO?
The good news is that you may already have a mobile-friendly or a responsive site. Google has a free tracker that you can try here.
Same: Back links and best practices
Best practices aren’t going to change that much. Remember, you’re writing for humans. Although you’re selecting the best SEO keywords to beat the algorithm, the days of chocking content full of keywords to game a search engine are long over.
And still, robots aren’t reading your content. People are. Bringing us back to choosing the best keywords for your page: ask yourself, what are people searching for when they’re looking for your business? You should absolutely run your chosen keywords through a keyword analyzer before posting your content to your site. You should also plug the keywords into the search engine of your choice and see if the content that pops up is the same or different.
Same: Tools and rankings
One thing won’t go away: tools and rankings. After all, SEO is all about where your page ranks in search engine results pages, or SERPs. There are ways to see how well your keywords will rank on your site, blog, or webpage. Plus, there are ways to test which keywords will do better, like A/B or split testing.
Even though SEO is changing as search engines become more sophisticated, the basics stay the same: create content on your site that your customers want to read, make your website visually appealing and easy to navigate, and make sure your keywords match up with what your customers and prospects are looking for.