There was a time when it was standard practice to obsessively optimize content for the search engines. Before writing an article or other piece of online content, keyword research was performed. The goal was to find the best keywords that matched the article. Everything changed after Google implemented several major algorithm updates that favored natural writing.
The theory is, if you write a focused piece of content about a certain subject, keywords will be naturally worked in without us even realizing it. The end result is that the content reads in a much more natural way. But does this mean that keyword research is no longer valuable and shouldn’t be done?
Understanding How People Search Online
It is hard to know what makes Google and other search engines decide to update their algorithms. However, we can gain a few insights by taking a look at their mission statement, which can be summed up with this quote from their page. Their goal is to
Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available
For the most part, it seems as if Google does this because they’re constantly observing and analyzing how people search online. They are devoted to creating the best ways to return results that delivers the searcher the information they expect.
As content creators, we don’t need to spend too much time analyzing how people search online. However, some care should be taken to think about the market we are operating in and determine what types of content the people want to see in relation to that.
Learn How to Create Expert Content
The best, most reliable way to write natural content that performs well in the search engines is to make sure you understand the topic on an expert level. It doesn’t matter if the content is written in-house or by professional writers. The goal is that whomever is writing the content needs to understand it on an intimate level.
This increases the likelihood that the right information will be present in the writing for the search engines to pick up. They’ll be able to write in a way that will naturally work in the information that search engines will pick up on to deliver results.
No Keyword Research Needed
When writing expert level content, no keyword research is needed in the first place since the information search engines need to deliver results will already be within the content. In fact, In fact, keyword research can result in content that has the opposite effect. The writing will seem forced and unnatural as you try to work in lists of keywords. Google could actually penalize content that feels stiff and forced, especially since they’ll know if you were trying too hard to work into keywords.
Professional writers know how to research a topic and get their knowledge up to the standards needed to churn out expert level content. However, anyone who is an expert in a field can learn how to write pleasing and effective content.