Why is it more important to focus on synonyms and alternative sentences than the exact keyword? What is Google doing to make sure relevant content gets rewarded and repetitive, promotional content gets punished?
Understanding Keyword Relevancy
When Google bots scan a website, one of the things they look for is keyword relevancy - keywords related to your topic/industry. For example, a homepage that uses "auto repair shop" on one page can also use "car repair specialists" and "vehicle repair facilities" on other pages. Google is able to determine what category your website is in based on relevant keywords.
Google knows what industry you're in as you submit the category of your website in directory listings and Google My Business. Google bots also recognise the industry related keywords that the website uses throughout the websites pages and blog posts.
The practice of spamming "auto repair shop" on every page has been banned now. If a website does so in the hopes of ranking page 1, they will only be penalised in doing so.
Continuing this illegal practice will get their website blacklisted. Not only is it a smarter strategy to look for relevant keywords in your industry, Google is encouraging it.
How Google Looks For Meaning, Not Phrases
When Google bots scan your website for information, it no longer pulls out the keyword phrases it thinks are relevant. Keyword phrases help, but shouldn't be relied on to push you up the search engine.
Instead, Google interprets the data on your website and forms its own conclusion of who you are, what you do and what you deliver.
So therefore it's more important to optimise your website for a specific meaning rather than a specific phrase.
This is why businesses are focusing more on writing blog content that's related to their industry than they are optimising pages for a specific keyword.
If the auto repair shop company decides to only write about why you should consider an auto repair, the best place to go for auto repairs and what makes a great auto repair, if they're not focusing on topics related to auto repairs, then they're limiting the number of visitors and potential leads they can attract.
The term sub-niche means you're focusing on just one area within your niche, however, many businesses do more than one service and for more than 2 or 3 types of people.
What Is Semantic Search?
Semantic search was released in a Google SEO updates in 2013. It was designed to derive meaning from user searches, just as Google derives meaning from the words on your pages and blog posts.
A basic example of this is if you did a search for “cheap pizza in Southend”, Google will translate the meaning of this search term into “inexpensive pizza in southend”, “inexpensive pizza around southend” etc.
That’s just the beginning. Google can also recognise the synonyms of the keyword and is actually becoming less dependent on exact keyword matches.
As mentioned at earlier, the tactic of having your posts and pages same words over and over again is a tactic that’s forbidden in the online world. It is considered a black hat tactic. Websites engaging in black hat tactics will be penalised by Google, dropping them from the search engine for weeks and months at a time.
Varying your keywords and keyterms not only pleases Google but also increases your chances of getting visitors who use other search queries.
Reasons Why Relevant Content Matters
A company that produces relevant content in their field is considered a trusted advisor. A competitor who doesn’t create blog posts and provide informative content for their visitors has a harder time of generating trust with their visitors.
When visitors see a brand that’s actively engaging in their visitors interests, it helps begin to build a connection between the visitor and the brand as the company seems to know and understand who their visitors are.
This connection then leads to brand fans, people who promote your content via social media, email or word of mouth. The key is to be authentic and trustworthy with their agenda in mind.
As more and more businesses engage in content marketing by writing blog posts regularly every week, customers are acclimatising to this new trend and have now raised their expectations when looking at the products and services they’re interested in.
Relevant content also helps Google understand what your website is about. If you’re a clothes shop and start writing everything under the sun about fashion, clothes, fashion tours and anything related to fashion but all of the sudden begin writing about the football results and giving your verdict, this will confuse Google.
With your blog posts, you can go as far away from clothing as possible so long as you stay within the niche. There are many types of people who buy a product or service and they come from many backgrounds. This is why blog posts shouldn’t be limited to just 3 or 4 types of people who are most likely to visit your business.
So to conclude, companies who write blog posts in and around their niche, who take into account every type of potential visitor under the sun and provide fresh, informative content that is interesting and amusing to read will benefit more so than the company’s who use their websites as sales pitches.