If your organization hosts a website, you probably already know the importance of seeding key search terms on your site. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the method used to improve a website’s position on the results page of a search engine. The more relevant your site to the search term, the better positioning you’ll get in organic search results. The challenge is to stay true to your brand while leveraging those keyword terms.
Recently, a client rejected some copy I’d written for a new piece of fulfillment content because it did not reflect their brand voice. When I pointed out that it closely mimicked something I had found deep in their website, the reply was something like “Oh that was just for SEO. We would never actually talk about our brand that way.”
With the bulk of leads being driven by digital channels, keywords have become the backbone of every digital marketing initiative.
- H1 tags (the header words you use to title your content) and meta descriptions (the copy that appears underneath the search result headline) should absolutely reflect key words. But if you’ve ever conducted search and read the meta descriptions they often appear to simply have the search word “inserted” into the middle of the sentence, and as a result, the sentence makes very little sense.
- Permalinks (the name of each URL page in your website) need to leverage keywords. For example, if your business is Joe’s Plumbing and consumers regularly search for the term “rusty pipes,” it would be optimal for you to have a page with a permalink such as http://www.joesplumbing.com/rusty-pipes.
- Keyword density is the number of times a keyword appears on your website, but many websites go overboard trying to “please” Google search engines. FYI, Google will also consider the use of synonymous keywords, so you don’t need to bog every page down with the word “rusty pipes” in order to boost your rankings.
Clearly it’s not possible to have every keyword embedded multiple times on your website. And, it’s a lot of work to have duplicate Web pages tweaked to ensure the permalink replicates the keyword term and they are keyword-dense.
In our fight to get our brand to the top of the organic results, are we compromising our brand values and brand voice? Are we simply crafting content so we can ensure Google knows we’re constantly updating our pages to optimize search engine results? Are we busy building relationships with bloggers and news outlets in order to ensure we optimize the number of backlinks?
Somehow it all feels like we’ve lost control of our brand and our marketing integrity as we bow to the Google algorithm gods.