In the wake of the Penguin update, SEOs everywhere have spiralled into a panic. In an attempt to stay in Google’s good books and stop sites from appearing over-optimised, many have gone in the other direction and have altered their websites so heavily that they’re barely optimised at all. Keywords have often been the first to go, but failing to capitalise on keywords can be just as damaging as overdoing them—it’s all about balance, because in the world of SEO keywords still count.
Keywords are vital to ensure effective optimisation. At the most basic level they tell search engines what your site is all about, and if you don’t include keywords in your content how are they meant to rank you? Effective use of keywords can solidify your website in the industry, and that hasn’t changed despite the Penguin. The key, of course, is to keep it natural—don’t keyword stuff but instead try to naturally incorporate your keywords as you write, and make sure to bear in mind the importance of title and image tags too. Keywords are still important in your title tags but make sure to include your brand name too, and make sure to only name images as your keyword if the picture is actually related to it.
Another thing you might want to try is branching out and focusing on different keywords. Of course, you always need to target the keywords that can bring maximum benefit to your business, but sometimes it’s worth looking at the slightly more obscure terms as well as the ultra-competitive ones—spend the time to identify related keywords or perhaps those that are important to your competitors, and in doing so you could find numerous possibilities for enhanced optimisation through the simple act of branching out.
So, don’t forget the importance of keywords in your SEO strategy. They still count despite the recent Penguin update, and if you do it well you can keep Google happy and reap the rewards.
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