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    Should SEOs still target keywords?


    Content has always been important for SEO but with an emphasis on writing content to target particular keywords, with the aim that people searching those keywords will be likely customers. It seems like the approach of some SEOs these days has changed and to not be so fussed with writing content around keywords but instead writing content that the website’s target market will respond to with the intent of increasing visitor numbers who fit the website’s target market.

    I’m thinking both strategies could be used so content creation strategy comes first in the planning stage and is based solely on what the website’s target market would respond to and ultimately help the transition from reader to buyer.

    Secondly, tactically targeting keywords that are relevant to an article.

    Thirdly, constructing a site architecture that groups articles with similar themes into categories, with each category page targeting tactical keywords that are relevant to the theme of the category.

    Do you agree with this being a sensible move? How do you plan an SEO campaign?
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    SEO should always start with keyword research and on-page SEO. ALWAYS target keywords and ALWAYS have the terms you'd like to rank for on your websites' content pages, even if it's only once, it has to be there.
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    Thanks for this, but since panda and Penguin it sounds like a modern approach of thinking is about creating a content strategy first designed around what your audience will engage with, then keyword strategy, then site architecture.

    You could build a content strategy around the keywords you’ve chosen but chances are the compellingness of the content won’t be as high as if you had planned your content around what your audience would engage with first and then brought in your targeted keywords to fit the content you’ve designed.

    KW first example: A fishing hook website might want to target fishing flys if they were using the KW first route, they would compile a list of high traffic keywords and then write content that targets those KWs. The issue with this is that the ‘Mayfly’ might be a popular search but the ‘Blue Bottle’ might not so you wouldn’t create an article around the ‘Blue Bottle’ fly. You might think this isn’t such an issue but you wouldn’t be adding maximum value as a resource as a full resource would have information about all flys and would be extremely valuable to someone wanting to learn about that subject. If you create a full resource i.e. covering all flys people will be more likely to link to your category page as well as individual articles as there is more value to the end user.

    Content first example: A logical route with the content first strategy would be to create a section which had an article for each fly in a category section devoted to all types of fishing fly. You would then look at each article and choose keywords to fit in with those articles. You would then have content that the audience would engage with and could use as a full resource, if it’s a full resource then people are more likely to link to the category page as this would be helpful for people wanting wide knowledge of flys.

    The benefit of building content strategies first is you can research your audience and find out what themes of content they would find valuable.

    You may be thinking with this strategy you won’t have as much control over targeting high traffic keywords but all I’m saying is plan content strategies first and fit keywords around the articles and category pages instead of the other way round. You will be able to fit those high traffic keywords into articles and category pages as your content will fit themes that are highly relevant.
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    I agree with all written above and can say that every project must be started with keyword research. All content should look normally both for search engines and for site visitors, though it's a rather complicated task.
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    Originally Posted by phatmike10
    Thanks for this, but since panda and Penguin it sounds like a modern approach of thinking is about creating a content strategy first designed around what your audience will engage with, then keyword strategy, then site architecture.

    You could build a content strategy around the keywords you’ve chosen but chances are the compellingness of the content won’t be as high as if you had planned your content around what your audience would engage with first and then brought in your targeted keywords to fit the content you’ve designed.

    KW first example: A fishing hook website might want to target fishing flys if they were using the KW first route, they would compile a list of high traffic keywords and then write content that targets those KWs. The issue with this is that the ‘Mayfly’ might be a popular search but the ‘Blue Bottle’ might not so you wouldn’t create an article around the ‘Blue Bottle’ fly. You might think this isn’t such an issue but you wouldn’t be adding maximum value as a resource as a full resource would have information about all flys and would be extremely valuable to someone wanting to learn about that subject. If you create a full resource i.e. covering all flys people will be more likely to link to your category page as well as individual articles as there is more value to the end user.

    Content first example: A logical route with the content first strategy would be to create a section which had an article for each fly in a category section devoted to all types of fishing fly. You would then look at each article and choose keywords to fit in with those articles. You would then have content that the audience would engage with and could use as a full resource, if it’s a full resource then people are more likely to link to the category page as this would be helpful for people wanting wide knowledge of flys.

    The benefit of building content strategies first is you can research your audience and find out what themes of content they would find valuable.

    You may be thinking with this strategy you won’t have as much control over targeting high traffic keywords but all I’m saying is plan content strategies first and fit keywords around the articles and category pages instead of the other way round. You will be able to fit those high traffic keywords into articles and category pages as your content will fit themes that are highly relevant.
    Hii phatmike10,

    I completely agree with your concept of first design content strategy. After all content is the main part of a website because website visitors want a good, updated and fully knowledgeable content. Therefore, we should target content first instead of targeting keywords. In this way we can target a large audience who will be benefitted by our theme based content.
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    You can go with both the things. Try to write content that compliments your keywords in one way or the other and this is because it would allow you to engage your audience and would also help you to get your desired rankings. Most importantly don't overstuff the content with keywords, and this is because as per the new Penguin update it also comes under the category of spamming. So in short write content that is more user friendly along with SEO friendly, as delivering such type of content is really not an issue these days.
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    Originally Posted by phatmike10
    KW first example: A fishing hook website might want to target fishing flys if they were using the KW first route, they would compile a list of high traffic keywords and then write content that targets those KWs. The issue with this is that the ‘Mayfly’ might be a popular search but the ‘Blue Bottle’ might not so you wouldn’t create an article around the ‘Blue Bottle’ fly. You might think this isn’t such an issue but you wouldn’t be adding maximum value as a resource as a full resource would have information about all flys and would be extremely valuable to someone wanting to learn about that subject. If you create a full resource i.e. covering all flys people will be more likely to link to your category page as well as individual articles as there is more value to the end user.
    I think you're sort of on the right lines but you don't quite realise it. When compiling a list of KW to target they do not have to be high traffic keywords. Many of my sites work because they rank for hundreds of low traffic keywords. So yes, you might well create an article around the 'blue bottle' fly when using the KW first approach.

    To put it another way - 10 pages that rank number one and bring you 100 visitors per month (because they are low traffic and uncompetitive keywords) are better than 10 pages that rank number 200 and bring you no visitors per month (because they are high traffic and competitive keywords)

    Now you are correct that the more complete and comprehensive your site is the more people will link to it so your "Content First" approach is also valid.

    Put the two things together and you should have quality and original content that targets both high and low traffic keywords. The low traffic keywords will help get you rolling and start bringing in the visitors and as your site gains more links it will start to compete better for the high traffic keywords.

    The key is to make sure each page is written with up to a dozen keywords in mind and that you choose the majority of your keywords for the whole site first. Trying to insert them later is messy and time consuming.
    Learn SEO and Online Marketing with Doodleddoes or follow me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+TimHillDoodled/

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