In 2018, keywords are essentially useless. Certainly in regards to the way we have chosen and optimised websites for them in the past. For better or worse, keyword rankings have been the sole measurement of SEO success for over a decade. In the days of more rudimentary search engine technology, this made sense. Anyone who typed in your optimised phrase would find your site on the first few pages.
This isn’t true anymore
SEO is less static and developments such as the personalisation of results have made it harder than ever to predict on whose screen your site will rank. In a dynamic marketing landscape it is important to approach SEO with an eye on the different disciplines. A number of elements affect what an individual user will see when they submit a search query. Their browsing history, location, and even search intent, all play a part in the results they receive. This means that optimising for head keywords isn’t considered time well spent anymore. It is better to invest in high-quality content and write in-depth articles in micro-niches.
A micro-niche is a very specific part of your wider market. Websites such as Wikipedia rank for virtually every phrase a person could search for by virtue of having articles about nearly everything. This means that it is a repository of in depth knowledge for users to explore, but also means they have many long-tail search phrases being used within the site. These aren’t the traditional style keywords that are rated on the amount of traffic they bring in, instead they simply occur because of the comprehensive nature of the site. They will generally only attract a few search queries a month, but because they have thousands, if not millions of them, they add up to a significant increase in traffic.
You can replicate this on your own site
These long tail keywords can often be difficult to plan for specifically, but you can create the environment needed for them to exist. For example, if your business sells audio equipment you could spend your time writing about the industry in the broad sense. This will give your website some good content, but it won’t necessarily make your site an authority among any audience, bar the very novice. Instead, to develop your brand’s influence you should write about smaller topics within the larger one. Write about Bluetooth technology, the difference and merits of certain speaker types over others, or about very particular uses for audio equipment.
Another way to build your catalogue of micro-niche based content is through collating user reviews, or writing your own. This enables you to create content that uses the specific brands and models that people will be searching for. This is a tactic that helps Amazon and other large online retailers rank highly for almost every product people search for.
Worth the time and the effort
Naturally, this new approach to keywords and optimisation is time-consuming, as all good content is, but it is well spent. It will provide long-term results, rather than the quick fixes of keyword stuffing. If you are serious about creating a website that users return to and find when exploring your industry, then long-tail laden, micro niche content is essential.
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