In a survey from August 2019, 2/3rds of over 1,500 SEO professionals reported that the weight of the ranking factors varies depending on the query made in the search engine. Among the ranking factors and their importance, the exact match keyword use is at 6th place. If you want to know what that means for your SEO or digital marketing agency, stay here. This article will be looking into using exact match keywords and how you can tailor your content so it is both meaningful and helps you rank higher. So before you hire writers, get up to speed with what researchers say about Google Ranking factors in 2019.
In earlier publications on our blog, we have talked about the difference between search queries and keywords. So, I won’t go into much detail, but the basics are these: queries are questions that people type into Google such as “how to repair drywall” and keywords are shorter combinations of words searched by the people like “drywall repair services” for example. In the past, the exact use of keywords used to have a bigger weight as a ranking factor than it does nowadays.
Are exact matches still that important?
Ranking with 7.12/10 (with 10 being heavily weighted factors), simply put they are quite important. It is one of the decisive elements that determine whether your page will be between those first 10 links Google shows the user. What’s more, keywords are an aspect, you can gain control over by finding them, choosing them, and using them.
How do you find effective (beneficial) keywords for your business or industry?
There are plenty of tools you can use. Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer is among the most popular and user-friendly ones, but there are many others on the market. Such tools offer a deep analytical look at different keywords, search volumes, number of search visits, etc.
What matters is what you do once you have your KWs
Say you are an SEO expert and your client has a website for luxury home rentals in San Antonio, TX. You will do your keyword research and it might end up giving you something like “luxury homes san antonio”. This combination might appear frequently in the queries and have a large number of searches, according to your tool. Now, you go ahead and you hire freelance writers to create good website content and include it in it.
And here comes trouble.
Because you know that exact match keyword use is an important factor for ranking, you ask them to keep it as it is but their job is also to deliver a meaningful piece of content with no grammar mistakes. Which is hard to do with a keyword like this one.
This brings me to my next point:
Exact Match ≠ a Lack of Sense
Let’s not forget that what remains as the most important factor for ranking is the overall page content relevance. This should always be at the forefront of SEO strategy. The quality of your content should not be compromised because of a query that makes little sense and can hardly be weaved into a text as an exact match. However, using a variation of it in a way that makes sense (luxury homes in San Antonio) won’t put a wrench in your ranking efforts.
Semantics and relevance are how you will be playing it safe. When in doubt, prioritize those and you won’t go wrong, according to the survey.
What About Odd Keywords?
As SEO content writers, we are used to working with all types of keywords. Overcoming extreme cases of odd keywords is not unfamiliar ground for us. A strange and mind-boggling combination of words might have a really strong search volume. Here comes your choice: are you going to work with it as it is and try to target it, while tiptoeing around it in you content OR you will choose to work with close matches better suited to be in a text. If you choose the latter, your content writing agency will thank you for that.
This survey has given us some interesting insight. While this piece was focused on keywords and their use in the text, many other of its findings and trends deserve to be examined too. Stay tuned!