SEO is not simple. It’s a complex, ever-evolving beast with lots of limbs and a rampant hunger for good content.
The thing is, Google and other search engines don’t release the details of their algorithms so we never really know for sure what criteria they use to judge a website’s rankings. There are some authorities who get it very close, but ultimately everyone is making an educated guess based on trying and testing. Every agency seems to look at SEO – and SEO keywords – in a different light. What we do generally know is that the more you talk about what you know, the more search engines will consider you an authority on that subject and recommend you to searchers. As a general rule, this requires good quality content (website content and/or blog posts that people actually want to read) with relevant keywords throughout.
How are keywords integrated into content?
If your agency has provided me with a list of keywords, I’ll use these throughout your content in the most natural way possible. Sometimes this is simple, and sometimes quite difficult depending on the keywords. If we’re talking ‘Australian apples’, ‘apples from Australia’ and ‘apples in NSW’, they’re easy inclusions. If the keywords are ‘Australia apples’, ‘best apples Australia’ and ‘NSW apples tastiest’, these either need to be slightly adjusted to sound natural or they need to be written in a bit creatively.
Most of the time you won’t even notice SEO keywords, but chances are they’ll at least be in the title, the description and the first sentence. Depending on what your agency has instructed me to do, these keywords may be included several times throughout the content too (although keyword density has been pretty much ruled out as irrelevant these days). Variations on the keywords now hold value too.
Above all, great SEO content is just great content: information that answers a searcher’s question, leads them to the perfect product/service for them or teaches them something valuable about the subject they’re researching.
If you’re writing or getting these things from your copywriter, then chances are you’re feeding the SEO beast just what it wants!