Keywords are important, intent match indispensable
Summary – Write for the intent, not keywords. If you play with keywords too much, your traffic will increase but so will your bounce rates and the dreadful pogo-sticking sessions.
Imagine you are searching for finance investment advice. It’s already been 2 years since you got this awesome job and now you have saved enough to start your own investments.
So like everyone else, you start your research on Google with best investment strategies for 2016 and then drilling down the deep web, a process which scientists call berrypicking.
But pretty soon you will start to see a pattern. A lot of webpages offer something else than what you read in the headline that you clicked on. A headline may read 10 investment strategies followed by Warren Buffett but you only find some cliche advice coupled with a thousand dollar finance software.
This is a classical example of SEO professionals trying to game the system. This way they can increase websites visits in the short term so that they can show it to the client. But what the client won’t notice is how this traffic spike relates to actual conversion.
After all, how useful is all that traffic if it’s not helping increase business sales?
In Google’s internal document which eventually got leaked and then published, Google put the most emphasis on matching the search intent (page 18). If the user got the information he or she was looking for on your page, Google will notice this and move your page up relative to your competitors.
Now this might seem contrary to the common SEO wisdom but this is actually an important concept to understand. Matching search intent should be the priority, not matching keywords.
Moz’s 2015 search engine ranking factors also suggest more preference to intent fulfillment than keyword matching.
Intent matching is to keyword matching what conversion rate optimization is to search engine optimization. SEO brings you people, CRO helps you convert them. SEO and CRO work hand in hand in a successful marketing strategy.
Same with keyword match and intent match. Both should work hand in hand.
Intent matching takes us back to the most fundamentals principles of marketing – talking to people in their language.
So, an intelligent keyword strategy boils down to these three key concepts:
1. Pick a keyword and then write for the intent, not the keyword/keywords. If you are talking about the best tourist location in India, you should only talk about a single specific location with a description of your choosing methodology.
2. Don’t go nuts over keywords. Google’s emphasis on machine learning has already made a lot of keyword best practices obsolete and in future we will see more of it.
3. Use microdata whenever possible. Google is now focusing on giving user information right on the Google homepage or within the Google app itself with the help of microdata and Rich Cards.
With that we wish you a happy digital marketing process and see you in next article.