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Why Keywords (Aren’t The Only Thing That) Matter

Writing with Authority

There are two primary factors in an on-page optimization process. The first is site architecture, which focuses on the coding aspects of the web page and the site as a whole. The other is keyword optimization of the content.

However, there is a third, often overlooked area of optimization that can matter as much as the other two. That is the idea of ensuring the page is optimized not just for search or structural performance, but optimized for the user experience.

But without going into all the details of UX (user experience) optimization, I just want to touch on the content aspect, which, coincidentally also has a lot to do with keywords.

What Writing For Your Audience Means

Traditionally, web marketers used keywords for search optimization and in order to create content that ranks for what their audience is searching for. That’s certainly part of it, but there is also the part where the keywords need to align with the searcher’s intent and needs.

There is a lot of talk among web marketers about optimizing for topics over keywords. It’s good advice, but optimizing for the topic doesn’t mean you have to thoroughly exhaust every aspect of a topic on a single page. In fact, one topic should produce a lot of pages of content, all built around various aspects of that content.

For example, let’s say you want to sell snow skis. You could write a blog post that discusses various types and styles of skis in great detail. But that doesn’t necessarily meet the need of anyone who might be interested in your products. So, you write another post about ski performance, another about ski destinations, another about the ski brands and yet another about various ski gear.

If you tried to get all of this information into a single piece of content, it would be incredible… and incredibly overwhelming for the average reader. Even though pieces of that of content would be relevant to a wider audience, it’s less likely to be of interest because the bulk of it is not relevant to your any particular searcher.The idea of writing content for user experience is about giving the visitor exactly the content they need. Topical optimization tells us to write authoritative content. But that doesn’t mean it has to be on one page.

What Writing With Authority Means

The goal of writing content for user experience is to write authoritative content that covers very specific ground. It’s all about giving the visitor what they want, and not forcing them to read what they don’t want just so you can demonstrate that you know your stuff.

In fact, producing more pieces of content, each with a narrow focus often provides greater value to your audience. It allows them to find the most relevant content without having to sort through piles of irrelevant words on the page that may be topically relevant but not relevant for their immediate concerns.

When it comes to writing as an authority, by all means, show your knowledge and skills, but be sure to give your visitors what they want. Use keyword research to narrow into a particular sub-topic and write an authority piece covering that area in great detail. Then move on to the next. Before you know it you’ll have a lot of content that covers the bulk of a topic, but keyword focused enough to be able to rank for the searchers looking for it.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to Why Keywords (Aren’t The Only Thing That) Matter

  1. Claudia Hill says:

    Thanks for this post! It reminds me that I always need to write from the perspective of the reader not to get my keywords out on the web. I like the idea of breaking the subject matter into multiple posts. Makes sense.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney G deGeyter says:

    Thanks Claudia. This is a strategy that we’ve been using for years. It’s only since the Hummingbird update have many other web marketers started doing the same.