Google's John Mueller Gives Tips On Effective Keyword Placement
SEO keywords are crucial in content writing, but many SEO and website owners still don't have a good grasp on the correct way of using them. Google's John Mueller recently discussed how one should insert Google SEO keywords in extremely long pieces of content - particularly articles with word counts of around 20,000.
An SEO asked Mueller a question, wanting to know about Googlebot's viewport and how to place focus keywords throughout their content. According to the person, they have a long web page content of 20,000 words, and they put their focus keyword on the very bottom part of the web page. They asked Mueller how their keyword placement would affect their page's ranking.
Understanding Keywords And SEO
An SEO expert should know how the importance of keyword placement and its effect on SEO.
In SEO, one should optimise their web pages to achieve a higher ranking in the search results. When users type in their queries, the highest-ranking page will appear at the very top of Google's search results, compelling readers to click the link first. Using keywords is a part of the SEO process as these words and phrases describe the content's context.
Google uses these words and phrases to distinguish relevant content for a specific search query. Keywords also determine a page's ranking in the search results for a particular term.
Although keywords are not the main ranking factor, their role in links and content - which are among the most important ranking factors - helps Google with this process.
Ranking Longer Articles
It could be challenging to rank overly long articles, especially if there is tough competition for the keyphrase in question. A long piece of content may talk about several subtopics, with different sections of the website diverging from the main topic so much that they could actually each be considered their own separate article.
The person had a good reason for asking the question about keyword placement in long web pages. If the publisher only has one keyword or keyphrase to rank a long article, it would be harder to accomplish.
Placement Of Focus Keywords
Mueller listed a few crucial parts of a web page where keywords can help Google understand the context better. He said that if the SEO wanted to tell Google what the web page is about, they should make it as visible as possible.
If the content has 20,000 words and the publisher only mentions the focus keyword the most important keyword - once throughout the article, this would be the wrong approach.
Therefore, Mueller suggests mentioning the focus keyword in a web page content's title, headings, subheadings, and even in their image captions instead of only mentioning it once at the bottom of their article.
These things are necessary to ensure that Google's algorithm system and even the site visitors clearly understand the page's topic. He also added that the SEO shouldn't be worrying about Google's ability to understand a 20,000-word article.
Why Place Keyphrases In These Places?
- Page Titles. Optimising page titles is a part of technical SEO. The page title describes the topic of the web page. It is also the first to appear in the search results entry to help Google and readers know what the page is about. It is also good advice to place the target keyword at the start of the page title, so it will look more relevant than the other words. Moreover, it will not get cut off if the reader uses their mobile phones, which have smaller screens.
- Headings and subheadings. A web page's headings and subheadings help make the content scannable, so readers can easily find the answers they are looking for in a long piece of content. These also help site visitors decide if a specific part of the content is relevant to their needs.
- Images. Placing keywords in images might not be the first thing SEOs would do, but there are good reasons it is a good practice. Firstly, Google also indexes images, and it helps users find the content. Secondly, images help handle content accessibility, meaning they aid millions of searchers with disabilities.
It's worth noting that Mueller did not explicitly advise placing the keyphrase in every single HTML element on the page. Instead, he only listed all the places where one could put the focus keyword to better communicate what a web page is about.
How Google Understands The Context Of A Page
Mueller ended his response by encouraging businesses and content publishers to imagine themselves as site visitors when making their website content. As a reader, one would first make sure that they've found a page relevant to their query, and only then will they proceed to read the content. Therefore, the target audience should understand the article's topic clearly at first glance.
This is a good tip to keep in mind, but publishers must also consider the relevance of a keyword or keyphrase to the content they're making. If, for instance, the focus SEO keywords do not match the content and its images, it implies that the web page is not about the focus keyword after all. Therefore, one should not force the keyword in an article that actually talks about something else.
A content publisher should think like a site visitor and conceptualise SEO questions regarding how a reader would react to their web page. They must not worry too much about how Google would understand the whole article and should instead take on a reader's perspective. Often, this is how search engines understand web pages as well.
So, if a reader can find the answers that they are looking for on the web page, then it's likely that Google would be able to understand the context as well.
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