One of the recurring difficulties we web content producers face is how to use the keywords in the text and how to optimize content for Google.
Some doubts arise as:
- Is it really mandatory to put KW on H1?
- And the intertitles?
- Who knows in the first and last paragraph?
- Or is it just good practice?
- Do we really need to use the keyword exactly as it was suggested in the guideline?
- Or can we rely on Google’s semantic understanding?
These are some of the questions that we will answer in this post. Check out!
And if you want to learn even more about writing for SEO and keywords, we did a webinar that featured the participation of Leticia Nonato, chief editor of Content Marketing. Just fill out the form below to watch!
The era of keyword stuffing has passed
The Google algorithm is constantly updated. Prior to the 2000s, everything was keyword-based, and the search results pages, SERPs, were dominated by real spam.
So, in case you wanted to rank for the term “keyword”, you simply wrote a text talking excessively about a keyword, mentioning the characteristics and types of keywords. Or if you wanted to extrapolate, you could use snippets like “keyword, keyword, keyword” and that would work.
But such content is extremely poor and does not engage the reader. That is, the rejection rate is very high.
Fortunately, in the 2000s, Googlebot has been enhanced to focus more on quality, as well as checking only keywords. And in 2013, the Humming Bird update was launched, with a strong focus on semantics and user experience analysis in Google’s algorithm.
But what impact does this have on web writing?
Google is already a specialist in semantics
It is not necessary to always use the same embedded version of the keyword to rank well.
If you search for “eiffel tower height” or “eiffel tower size”, Google provides the same answer: 300 m. That’s because he can understand exactly what you’re looking for, even using different words!
Another even more impressive example we have recently discovered is from Chicken Little Chicken. Note the SERP for “ticoliro chicken”:
If Google is even able to decipher this, you can rest assured that it will understand the synonyms of your keywords. And the non-repetition of your KW will actually help you rank better.
But how to deal with eccentric keywords?
Some guidelines are defined based only on search volume. And a custom of the vast majority of users is to shorten to the maximum what he types to search.
Thus, a common situation is that several terms without conjunction, articles, and other components of sentences appear with a higher search volume than with these elements.
“Paris tourism” has almost twice the volume of research for “tourism in Paris”. But that does not mean that we need to embed that keyword in our embedded content. Not even in the title.
As proof of this, see the first SERP results for “Paris tourism”.
So if you are a pattern planner, do not make it difficult for the copywriter to live and avoid using key words. But if you are writing a task with a KW like this, try to include it in as few sentences as possible or contact the person in charge and explain it to him.
To make life easier for reviewers, on content production platforms and in text editors, it is common for a minimum of keywords to be required in the content. It is therefore important to place the exact match of the word, but it is not a rule for every time you refer to the subject of the text.
The main teaching we want to pass here is this:
- Write to people, optimize for search engines
Your content will be consumed by users. And while it’s perfectly optimized for SEO, it will not do any good if your visitor has a poor experience.
So to answer the introduction questions:
Is it mandatory to use the keyword in the title and intertitles?
They are not required, but are considered good practice. Especially in H1 and SEO Title, to make it easier for users to view and identify their content.
In the intertitles can also be interesting to facilitate the scannability and can still be a support for conquering snippets.
But include KW if it is natural. Do not try to break your head to insert it into one of the headings – or afterwards your reader may need to break their heads to understand the need for it there. And that sucks for the user experience on your page!
And in the first and last paragraphs?
It’s exactly the same as for intertitles. If the keyword fits well in the introduction and conclusion, perfect!
But do not force the bar, or you’ll fall into the same problem. And understand that:
- Not all content is meant to rank well on Google
- That’s it! Some posts are produced to answer questions from customers, or even from writers.
- And we also have the content produced with the objective of having a good result in the dissemination in social networks.
Does this mean that the post has problems?
Not! For two reasons:
- we do not use the keyword specifically, but we use similar terms;
- This post was made with a focus on social networking!
Despite the “problems” pointed out by the plugin, we had 637 clicks on it on Facebook and more than 100 shares. Which brings us to the next topic:
How to use Yoast properly?
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins. And it works basically like a Google simulator to check if your content is optimized for search engines.
Here we will focus on keyword analysis, but we have a complete post on Yoast if you want to learn more.
When you enter KW in the “Keyword in focus” field, the tool will check the exact use of the entered term.
For Yoast, strict usage is considered better. But for Google, definitely not!
So do not get too attached to the plugin’s indicators. It indicates what can be improved! Use it as a consultant for you to analyze your suggestions and define what you are going to follow (or not).
Remember: use your keywords in a natural way without trying to force them into your text. Focus on producing quality content first, then optimize for SEO. And if you want to learn even more about content production, check out our Definitive Guide to Content Production.