As B2B content marketing has moved to the fore, driven by changes to search engine algorithms that have been tweaked to make content quality the primary metric for search engine success, many of the old SEO tactics have taken a battering. It’s not uncommon to see the idea that content marketing and SEO are incompatible.
Much of this is rooted in the excesses of early SEO, particularly as it related to the use of keywords, often stuffed into content in an attempt to drive up search engine ranks. While that practice is rapidly disappearing, it would a mistake to think that keywords have outlived their usefulness, a point made nicely by Amanda Clark in a recent post on the Business2Community website. Her point: not only do keywords continue to have SEO value; they can make content richer when used properly. She makes four points about how keywords can help content development:
Not all keyword use is helpful, of course; jamming them into text can make it clumsy and less readable. But keyword research, especially, can be useful in identifying the topics your audience is are searching. A useful tool in this is Google’s Keyword Planner.
Another ongoing consideration is the use of best practices, the set of rules that define how Google reads and indexes content. How you structure content on and off page should be done following these best practices. Google provides a useful document that should be required reading for anyone embarking down the path of SEO and digital content management.
For the time being, keywords continue to be a tool that can be an effective part of online strategy— something to remember as the drumbeat for B2B content marketing continues loudly.