There is a lot of talk about how keywords are dead to today’s algorithms. I disagree. While we still want to create topically authoritative content, keywords still matter in creating content that is sufficiently focused on a narrow topical aspect.
If you are creating content about flow meters, for example, do you think that you can create a single, topically focused page that will rank highly for just about every flow meter keyword? Probably not, and you likely don’t want to try. This is where both keyword research and keyword organization comes in.
Do keyword research for flow meter and you will find that there are quite a few specific topics that you can write about. Maybe someone is looking for an air flow meter, or an ultrasonic flow meter, or perhaps a vortex flow meter. These variables matter, but you need to do your keywords research to see how much they matter.
Dig a little deeper into your keyword research and you’ll find that not only are people looking for ultrasonic flow meters, but some are looking for portable ultrasonic flow meters, others are looking for clamp on ultrasonic flow meters and still others are looking for ultrasonic flow meters specific for gas or water.
Creating and optimizing just one page for all of these variations is possible, but it’s often not going to give you the best focus. Maybe a single piece of content can cover everything in a very authoritative way, but my guess is each of these are deserving of their own pages. This allows you to build a high-authority page and a narrower topic.
If you were Google, would you be more likely to send a searcher looking for “ultrasonic water flow meter” to a high topical authority page on flow meters in general or a topical authority page on ultrasonic water flow meters?
I vote for the latter.
And as luck would have it, we found 5-10 legitimate variations of keywords using “ultrasonic”, “flow meter” and “water” or “liquid.” While we don’t have to work in every single phrase variation of that keyword into the page, we do know that an authority page focused on that topic will tend to rank well for all the variations because each are highly relevant to the page’s topic. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to make sure each of the words in quotes above ends up on the page too.
Bottom line: Keyword research is still important. But don’t just look for keywords. Look for a small group of highly related keywords that can help you narrow down your topic. Don’t try to write a single authority page covering everything. Instead, write many authority pages covering smaller niches of topics within the primary topic you focus on. This gives you more opportunity for better (and more) search engine rankings.