Everyone (and by everyone I mean anyone reading this right now) most likely already understands the basic concepts of keyword optimization: Take your keywords and use them throughout the content. Voila! Optimized!
Close, but no.
Optimization today is less about using keywords than it is about writing authoritatively about the topic. Of course you’re going to use “keywords” when you write about any topic, especially if you’re trying to have the content be as robust as possible. But that doesn’t mean that you take every available opportunity to use your keyword when you don’t need to.
Remember how irritating it used to be when a record would skip and repeat the same part of the song over and over? Or for those who don’t remember records (Ugh!), remember when this happened when you got a scratch in your CD? Irritating, right? The same thing happens when you repeat the same keyword phrase over and over in the hopes that it will get you higher search engine rankings. Search engines (and readers too!) want more than keyword repetition. They want content that does a great job of educating the reader on the topic. Which means the writer must have a firm understanding of it. In short, the writer must be the expert.
And experts don’t write for keywords. They write for readability and reader understanding. If you want to write an authoritative piece on ski boots, you’ll do more than continue repeating the words “ski boots” in the content text. The words “ski” and “boots” will obviously be used , as will “ski boots,” but so will “snow,” “latch,” “comfort,” “fit,” etc. Without those, you’re really not giving your readers much value.
Don’t be a broken record. It’s time to stop looking at keywords to be optimized into content and look at content to be written to provide value to the reader. There is nothing wrong with considering keywords, especially “related” words, when optimizing content, but the true focus needs to be on the information provided. Keywords are secondary, reader education and understanding comes first.