Publishing outstanding content is the surest way to get search engines to notice your site and put it on the path to showing up at the top of their results page. We will continue to hammer this point because it essential to understanding SEO and improving your site. Search engines want to lead their users to sites that offer information that will best solve their search query. Once the knowledge and information that business owners have on their industry is published on their site, then search engines will see this information and rate its usefulness pertaining to search queries. Writing original content is the first step towards optimizing a website. To make sure that your site fully optimized to rank at the top of search results, business owners should understand how Google and other search engines understand keywords and synonyms.
Google has put the days where its entire ranking algorithm revolved around counting keyword occurrences and links pointing into a website; Google is much better at understanding both keyword phrases and synonyms to the term that was used in the search query. Google’s goal has progressed to trying to understand a user’s intent and collecting results that will answer the users question rather than just assembling results that mention the search’s keyword the most times. When a user enters a long phrase into the search box, search algorithms not only pick apart the individual words of a phrase but also include synonyms to the keywords in the keyword phrase. Google has learned what synonyms and results are important to users by tracking and analyzing the search results that people click. While this can occasionally lead to some less than stellar matches, Google is constantly working to update its search algorithm and fix the kinks in its system to make sure that search is providing the results that most match the intent at the heart of the query that the user entered.
This all means that when writing content for a website, don’t try to repeatedly force one term into your text. Be sure to include your targeted keywords or keyword phrases in full, but also look for synonyms and variations of these phrases and keywords. As you write, consider your audience—the users you are trying to convert to clients and customers. Text stuffed with the same phrase will seem stuffy and unnatural. Using synonyms of your targeted keywords and phrases will not only help the copy on your site read naturally, it will also improve your optimization for long tail keywords that you might miss if you commit to one word or phrase. It will also help your site avoid being hit with an “over –optimization” penalty that is meant to keep spam off of the search results page.
– Andrew Wise
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