Google Algorithm, Keywords and Search Engine Optimization

Posted by Alicia Mayle

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Mar 8, 2018 2:21:25 PM

We get a lot of questions about keywords. Questions including if keywords are still relevant, why did Hubspot get rid of the keyword function tab and many more.

We’re here to answer these questions and to explain a few things.


What are Keywords?

Keywords are ideas or topics that define what your piece of content is about.

Normally, it’s a string of the simplest phrases that an individual would be searching for on a search engine.

There are two types of keywords you can utilize.

  • Long-Tail Keywords (Primary): These keywords can be a longer phrase describing your content. For example, marketing strategy for healthcare systems is a long tail keyword.
  • Short-Tail Keywords (Secondary): These keywords are one or two words describing your piece of content. For example, marketing is a short tail keyword.

Don’t be mistaken, you can use both; however, the longer phrase is not going to have a lot of competition, and, arguably, it will bring in more relevant customers.


Using Keywords in Content

From writing website copy to blogs to ebooks and stretching all the way over to social media--keywords are important.

  • Website: We use keywords in our meta descriptions, image ALT attributes, H1 (Header Text), title tags, URLS and  when we're writing website copy.  
  • Blogs: When our content developers write blogs, we look at what our users are talking or asking about, and try to write content from that.
  • Social Media: Keywords STILL matter here. From photo captions to social media posts, and even videos--we insert keywords we think our audience will be searching for.

The Google Algorithm & Ranking

By no means should anyone think that the first day they utilize keywords, their content should shoot up to the number one space on Google. It’s not possible (unless you are paying for it).

We take a more organic approach than simply buying spaces on Google.

The approach works like this:

  1. Find a topic to write about.
  2. Write about this topic, and publish it to your website (as a blog).
  3. Post the content to your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  4. Promote the content (Facebook Ads Manager)

By taking this approach, you are driving people to this piece of content. Your page views go up, people are getting valuable and relevant content, and Google is seeing this.

This can push you up in spaces.

If you want to rank, avoid these techniques

  • Automatically generated content
  • Developing pages with no original content
  • Developing pages with irrelevant content
  • Utilizing scraped content (content from another site and basically scraped of information)

It’s not just enough to push out loosely based content and call it a day. Now, you have to think about what goes into it such as:


Keyword Semantics

When keyword semantics come in, questions of keyword relevancy comes out. We get it.

This is because Google can infer.

For example, imagine you’re a homebuilder. You can provide affordable homes to first time homebuyers. Our keyword is home builders west virginia, but a person types in affordable home builders west virginia. If we have listed out prices on our web page, and have enough visitors, Google will pick up on if we are the cheaper option to our competitors and still rank us (even though we don’t have that specific keyword on the page.)

Keyword relevancy comes up because if Google can infer what’s on the page, why should you have to work toward ranking for specific keywords, right?

We have to own our web pages. If we start leaving keywords off, Google really isn’t going to know what our company is about.

So, when someone is searching affordable home builders west virginia and we haven’t even put on our website that we’re a home builder, do you think we’ll rank?


Hubspot Keyword Tab: Where Did it Go?

If your site is housed on Hubspot, you’ve probably noticed that it’s going through some slight changes.

Things are getting changed around, no one is really sure where things went, and man--where the heck did the keyword tab go??

Hubspot did not kill keywords. They just want us to use them in a different way called content strategy.

A year ago, if you looked at where your traffic was being driven from (through organic traffic), Hubspot would have listed keywords as unknown.

Hubspot is not about this. They want users to be able to plan, validate, execute and measure.

Content strategy allows users to generate qualified traffic with actual keywords that you add in.


Hubspot Keyword tab
What are you seeing?

  • Middle section: This is the primary keyword (west virginia marketing firm)
  • Outer sections: These are topic clusters that pertain to the primary keyword. All the things that have to do with what we would provide.
  • The middle section to outer section connections: These are relevant pieces of content that we’ve written, validating that we’re using these keywords and if we have links going back to pages with our initial keyword.

After you’ve determined these topic clusters, you can watch where traffic is coming from based on the pages you’ve linked and keywords that you’ve used.


How to Determine Business Keywords

We get asked a lot, and it is one of the services we provide, how can you determine keywords to use?

Well, if you’re not using Hubspot to house your website (not having the ability to use the content clusters), start by searching whatever your industry is.

For example: You are an orthopedic practice that caters to sports injury patients. A sample of keywords that you could use are:

  • Orthopedic practice (location)
  • Sports injuries treatment (location)
  • Sports injuries (location)
  • ACL tear (location)

Next, you should start writing content based on what you’re getting questions about such as “Common Sports Injuries in (Location).”

Use this keyword on a web page specific to sport injuries.

Then, publish, post and promote!


InnerAction Media | Content Strategy for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Alright, this was a brief explanation of keywords and how it can benefit the content strategy for your business.

At InnerAction Media, we execute keyword research every month to project our client’s marketing strategy.

If you’d like to talk with us about what you could be doing to get found, give us a call.

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Alicia Mayle

Written by Alicia Mayle

Alicia, a graduate of West Virginia University, received her degree in journalism, specializing in public relations and advertising. Alicia is responsible for coordinating and developing content for our clients, as well as managing their social media strategy and promotion. Throughout the month, you can find her looking at client campaign analytics, researching relevant awareness months and building out audience profiles to understand clients' target audiences. When Alicia is not developing, promoting or analyzing content, you can find her at the grocery store gathering supplies for the the latest dinner idea, playing chess and talking about the perfect cup of coffee or just trying to learn something new.

Topics: Google, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Ranking