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Keyword Conundrums: The Difference Between SEO-Friendly and Just Plain Clumsy

We are all aware of the importance of SEO in regards to online exposure and product promotions. Users are constantly bombarded by terms such as “backlinks“, “bounce rate“, “alt tags” and “long-tail keywords”. In truth, these and other strategies will all produce powerful results if utilised in the appropriate manner. Search engine optimisation is still one of the most powerful marketing tools alongside quality content creation. Unfortunately, the latter is often sacrificed for the former due to a misplaced sense of what “modern SEO” really entails. Why are many business owners failing to understand what goes into finding the proper keywords for the topic at hand? Let's look at some probable causes before moving on to seeing why these can prove to be costly mistakes as well as what you can do to avoid clumsy content.

Not Necessarily the Fault of the Website Owner

One of the main issues with some SEO suggestions in relation to keywords is that they are much more complicated than necessary. In other words, too much information is not always a good thing. When so-called online marketing “gurus” become overly technical, the main point can be obscured of ablated entirely. Let’s look at a typical example of this tech talk:

“A keyword is a search term intended to highlight the content of a website so that it can enjoy higher click-through rates and better SERP rankings while appealing to the end-user.”

This is a common definition of what can only be called technical fluff. Now, let’s see how Textbroker defines a keyword:

“A keyword is a word or phrase of some significance, which is used as a search string to look for information.”

Keywords are meant to accomplish two primary goals. They help your website to gain prominence within search engine results while allowing the reader to understand the main takeaway points of an article. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, some website owners take the first definition to an extreme. Let’s look at an example in order to appreciate what not to do.

Thinking Too Much Like an Algorithm

For the sake of argument, let us look at the results for the keyword “SEO” that are provided by keywordtool.io. Some of the top terms such as “SEO marketing”, “SEO checker” and “SEO analysis” make perfect sense. However, we soon encounter other phrases including “SEO meaning” and “SEO audit free”. These are present due to the fact that algorithms will automatically group strings of words together which appear relevant to a specific search phrase. The main problem is that while such groups might make sense to an algorithm, they often appear quite clumsy when inserted naturally within a block of text. Consider this fictitious short paragraph in relation to the terms mentioned above:

“We boast a team of highly trained SEO marketing experts. Thanks to an embedded SEO checker and a thorough SEO analysis, you are in good hands. We also provide an SEO audit free upon request and please do not hesitate to speak with our team if you are looking for an SEO meaning in greater detail.”

While the first two sentences were perfectly fine, the last one fell on its syntactic face. So, it should be clear to appreciate why simply copying keywords provided from trusted portals such as Google Keyword Planner is a sure-fire way to thwart what could have otherwise been a successful marketing campaign. We also need to look past this rather obvious scenario in order to appreciate how such mistakes will impact the reader in question.

Disregarding the Reader as Well as the Author

We live in an online society that tends to be defined by increasingly stiff marketing competition. This is partially due to the fact that consumers are more demanding than ever before. Not only will they take into account the quality of a product or service, but they also gauge the trustworthiness of a website based off of its internal content. Clumsy and grammatically incorrect keywords will inevitably detract from the point that you are trying to make; potentially costing you what would have otherwise been a loyal client. Let’s also not fail to mention that voice searches are now becoming commonplace. As Yoast points out, poor readability due to incorrect keywords will impact the results of a customer enquiry. They might instead turn to one of your main competitors due to clearer content.

The other takeaway point involves the content curation specialists at Textbroker. While our authors are the best in the business, they are not miracle workers. Whether referring to the incorrect keyword density or phrases that make little sense to the human reader, it is exceedingly difficult to incorporate such requests into the requested content. Furthermore, the quality of the article itself will be sacrificed as a result. This is why it is critical to avoid clumsy syntax in favour of a well-written organic text. What steps can you take to ensure that you are on the right side of the digital “fence”?

Modern SEO Tactics for Readable Results

To be clear, tools such as Google Keyword Planner are still invaluable assets within an ongoing marketing strategy. They provide a plethora of information, and they are perfectly suited for those who possess little prior marketing experience. However, the fact of the matter is that these systems can only go so far. The role of AI has not yet developed to the point where it can truly think and respond like a human (the very same reason why modern “bots” are still limited in terms of the services that they can provide).It is therefore crucial to take a step back after the keywords have been found in order to see whether or not they make sense in the context of the topic. A bit of research will go a long way in this respect. Some recommendations to keep in mind include:

  • Consider each word in regards to the topic as well as the page relevance. Do the words make sense with what you intend to describe or promote?
  • Never forget to address the needs of the end-user. This will make the ultimate difference between an interested visitor and high bounce rates.
  • Try to choose words which are at the top of the semantic list, as these are associated with the highest conversion rates. In other words, they are the most popular terms that users employ on a regular basis.
  • Include other important metrics such as tonality, location and a specific time period (if relevant) in conjunction with the keywords.

It should likewise be highlighted that search engines such as Google are now able to appreciate semantics such as keyword variations and synonyms. To put it simply, the days of copying and pasting recommended phrases into a text have gone the way of the digital dinosaur. You are now provided with much more latitude in order to choose the best words possible for the article in question. There is no reason to stick to a rather rigid template associated with algorithmic recommendations alone.

A Quick Look at Keyword Density

We touched upon the concept of keyword density previously, and it is wise to highlight this point once again. While there is no doubt that clumsy and syntactically incorrect phrases will detract from the quality of your text, the same holds true when referring to correct words that are mentioned too frequently.

As an author myself, I have encountered clients who asked for a keyword (or long-tail keyword) to be repeated up to 20 times within a 300-word text. Not only is this awkward, but it represents marketing insanity if you hope to reverberate with the reader. So, what is the proper keyword density?

While many experts point out that keyword density will vary in relation to the topic, an average of between one and three per cent is generally recommended. Of course, this will also depend upon the number of keywords in question. As Google has repeatedly stated, the most important takeaway point is to create a text that is readable.

Never be Afraid to Ask

There can still be times when you are uncertain which keywords make the most sense when addressing a certain topic. This is when the writers at Textbroker are here to help. Simply ask an author. He or she will be more than happy to provide targeted suggestions. Not only will their job be made much easier, but the text will read naturally and resonate with the customer.

Keywords are intended to do much more than simply increasing your online rankings. They are ultimately meant to seamlessly and effectively present your services in the most agreeable manner possible. This is why even a handful of clumsy phrases can represent a marketing “anchor” that will prevent your digital ship from ever setting sail. The good news is that Textbroker is always here to help.

About our author

Ron first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.

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