I have been dreading this post. Until I took a closer look and found this dainty morse - ”keywords are almost obsolete as an element of SEO. Onsite optimization includes far more than just keyword optimization, and even keyword interpretation relies more on Google’s sophisticated understanding of human language than it does on your specific word choices. Give your users a great experience, publish accurate and relevant content, and you should have no trouble climbing the rankings quickly.” (Search Engine Watch, Jayson DeMers, 1/20/15)
Squarespace, my platform of preference, underlines this analysis by saying this: “Keywords are pretty much irrelevant and are not even used by most major search engines, including Google. Adding them to your site or leaving them out should have virtually zero impact on your SEO. They had much more impact years ago, when search engines weren't as complex as they are today. More importantly, you should give your site an accurate title and meta description, as well as most of the pages on your site.”
My day has suddenly improved. So many shadows on the deck at first glance. Then, a closer look and I see some hopeful and appealing light.
Though we are not talking about babies and bathwater here I am not eager to throw out one with the other. There is a lesson to the short history of KEYWORDS, and an even closer look one must take.
Placement of your keywords does matter as you organize your pages, page titles, content, Alt tags, etc.. Start with this question, “What query does my business answer?” Now you are in the world of “Long-Tail-KeyWords” and more in synch with the conversational approach Google and other search engines are taking (think Siri if you are an iPhone user).
Imagine your typical customer trying to find you via a Google search. What question might they type? There is your LTKW. The marketing industry keeps reinventing itself, keeping us on our toes and giving me more to write about.
Many thanks to Jayson DeMers (and I will be following him and his easily absorbed insights here), and to a lovely deck in Westport, CT.