Many people say the keyword is dead, but this is not true. Keywords aren’t dead, and neither is SEO. The thing is that the game has changed quite a bit over the last few years and search engines have gained intelligent knowledge. Keyword density is still important but not nearly as crucial as it used to be. Gone are the days of keyword focused search engine optimization as it has been known. The entire thing has evolved into something a bit more complex and right out in the open. Those who blinked or put their content on autopilot are now playing catch-up and trying to figure out the new game. If you are in that group, it is important to understand the difference between SEO and content optimization to see how to get from one to the other.
This is an acronym for search engine optimization, which comes as no surprise to most. There are plenty of tools available on the internet to help with this, both paid and free. SEO primarily centers around keywords, such as primary keywords, secondary keyword strings, keyword density and keyword rich content. Of course, other things are considered as well. The length of the content is important as well as authoritative links, both outbound and inbound. Links to content that is considered credible in the industry are vital and ensuring that the keywords or keyword strings flow naturally within the content are important. Everything from responsive page templates that display well across screens to mobile-friendly pages all count. The search engine giants have developed algorithms to search for each of these things and index pages. The combination of all things SEO determines a page’s rank in the SERPs.
Content optimization is a little more complicated but not over the top. It does require thought, research, and effort. The search engines have gained intelligence and are putting it to good use. They now utilize the semantic search to return more relevant search results. This just means the search engines attempt to understand the searcher’s intent and the contextual meanings of the search terms to generate more valuable search results. Thus, content optimization is optimizing for this semantic search with elaborate content that includes subheadings and details. Create authority on the topic with the use of keywords and topic clustering. Your content needs to be all-encompassing and authoritative. You still need those great links and keyword strings but now you also need to consider user interface and user design. As with search engine optimization, the scope can get pretty deep, but you get the drift.
Hence, the evolution continues, and it won’t stop here. As the search engines continue to gain intelligence they will create more difficult algorithms that demand more of the content. The goal is to provide the end user with a smooth and valuable experience from any screen or device they happen to be on. Keyword density and search engine optimization is no longer enough. Those who only concentrate on those things will begin to fall in the SERPs as the search engines prioritize optimized content over theirs. Yes, SEO is still important, but it is no longer the end-all-be-all. Pillar content that links to more specific in-depth articles, or skyscrapers if you will, is what the internet is beginning to demand. Creating this type of content will boost rankings and help establish authority in your niche, which just so happens to be the end goal. In the meantime, watch the evolution continue and try to keep up.