As the algorithm evolved, Google became more and more sophisticated and more perceptive. The old keyword-only SEO strategy has become less and less effective. The rule of quality and relevance above all has never been more true. Keyword optimization remains an essential part of any successful SEO strategy, however, it has just been nuanced. Putting lots of keywords in your content will not work in your favor, but will work against you. With that in mind, let’s find out the keyword optimization techniques that will dominate the industry in 2018 …
Voice search makes long tail keywords more important than ever
Switching to long tail keywords will be even more essential to the success of your SEO strategy in 2018. Why? Through voice search.
Voice assistants like Siri, Google and Alexa dominated the market in 2017. Just about everyone has one of these programs or voice search capability at home, on their phone or even on their computer.
Mobile users, in particular, have turned to voice search rather than having fun scrubbing for several seconds.
So you have to adapt your keyword strategy to these new types of researchers.
Queries made while speaking are completely different from those typed by hand.
For example, during a written research, you could type something like “keyword optimization best practices”. Speaking of it, we will say something more like “Google, what are the best keyword optimization techniques that I should use?”.
These two requests have the same purpose, but are not at all constituted in the same way.
So there is a real SEO strategy for voice search to implement.
So long tail keywords that reflect this conversational tone will become more useful and better match the intent of the user with the right piece of content.
Most internet users today do their voice searches on Google. However, you can work your long tail on alternative search engines. This is very consistent, especially given the competition on these search engines.
Discover the long trains of researchers
Fortunately, there are many tools available to generate lists of long tail questions people are asking.
In fact, there may be too many, which makes it sometimes difficult to find the sentences with the most queries.
Here are 4 tools allowing you to identify these long tail requests:
In most cases, the results obtained during voice searches are positions 0. Indeed, Google for example reads positions 0 to answer a question asked. When a 0 position has not been created for a particular topic, Google will not be able to provide an oral response.
You can therefore rely on SERPs with positions 0 to target your long tail keywords in your niche.
The use of keywords still has its place in 2018
Are you still convinced that if you don’t put your keyword in H1, you won’t appear in SERPs? If so, you may be a little late.
Nowadays, there is no need to put a keyword in the title, the first subtitle, etc. Google will understand the context of your article even without a keyword. That said, keyword placement is still important when it comes to On-page SEO.
So where should the keywords ideally appear on the page? Keep these guidelines in mind when creating content for your site.
1. The title
2. The subtitles
If you can insert your targeted keyword into one of the subtitles on your page, that’s great. But again, it should be a natural fit, and it doesn’t have to appear in the very first subtitle either. Putting your keyword in a lower subtitle will have the same SEO value.
3. The opening paragraph
Some SEO specialists force themselves to place as many keywords as possible in the first 100 words of each article. While it’s certainly always considered good practice to have your main keyword appear early in the content, don’t be overly pushy.
The important thing to remember is that your content should go straight to the point, and not have a long introduction. Keeping this in mind, it is imperative that your keyword is mentioned early in the content to ensure that you get to the heart of the matter quickly.
4. The URL
Your URLs should be kept short, concise and best describe the content. With that in mind, it’s obviously important to put your keyword in there. Google will value you much more.
The images that appear in a blog post are additional opportunities to inject keywords on your site.
In particular, keywords should appear in the file name (name to avoid: unsplash42034830.jpg) and the alt text of the image, if possible. This is a fairly easy optimization and one that can bring in interesting traffic.
Content quality takes precedence over keywords
If there is a trend of SEO keywords to keep in mind, it is that the SEO rules of the past are no longer as inflexible.
Is it a good practice to place targeted keywords in particular places in your content? Absolutely.
But don’t be dependent on these optimizations.
Ultimately, the best content will win.
There is no magic formula for keyword density. So don’t focus too much on this SEO goal.
If the content is well written, offers relevant and useful information and is pleasant to read, people will find it interesting and so will search engines.
Keep these guidelines in mind, create great content and you will do very well in 2018.