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Keywords still count when it comes to successful content marketing

Last year, Google made a significant change to the way it ranks search results. The Penguin 2.0 release of its search algorithm favours websites packed with reputable, quality content, and is also  designed to punitively target websites promoted through dubious activities – such as spamming directories with hundreds of links.

The change has spurred the content marketing industry to place a fresh emphasis on rich and authoritative on-site content, and to move away from more aggressive link promotion. However, in all the excitement about this change of direction, it can be only too easy to forget the basics. This is especially the case regarding keyword selection and optimisation.

Choosing just the right keywords for your content can still be a make-or-break task when it comes to promoting your business online. In this regard, here are some quick tips for keyword planning and placement.

Be specific, but not obtuse

Keyword planning is all about striking a balance. You don’t want to be too general, but you don’t want to lose potential custom by flooding your content with jargon that only a few people would understand. For example, a rare bookseller operating primarily online might include a combination of general and more specialist keywords – rare books, second-hand books, antiquarian books.

Use the available tools

There are a number of tools online to help you choose the most appropriate keywords, one of the best being the Google keyword planner. This comes free with a Google AdWords account (itself free initially). As these tools use real-world keywords, straight from search logs, you can’t go wrong with them.

Finally, don’t flood your content with your preferred keywords; use them judiciously, but certainly in blog titles where possible. The golden rule is to make sure that the subject of your content purposefully matches the few chosen keywords you have strategically deployed.

Steven Morris

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