How Good SEO Means Much More Than Just Keywords

These days, anyone who creates online content will have at least heard of search engine optimization (SEO). Whether those people fully understand SEO or not is another matter entirely. And even those using a content strategy for years may need an updated model.

All the betting sites employ content strategists and SEO specialists to ensure that they get the most visitors possible. So, it is fair to assume that those sportsbooks also know that SEO is not just about keyword stuffing these days.

There used to be a time when filling content with as many recognized keywords as possible would rank a site higher up the Google (or other search engine) search results. But now SEO is far more nuanced, leaving some content creators behind. We will look at what kind of things you should be thinking of – and why you shouldn’t forget completely about keywords just yet.

SEO is Evolving

When we talk about search engines, we refer to Google. With over a 90% market share, it is by far the most important thing all content strategists consider when creating content. So, it is crucial to take notice of Google algorithm updates.

The last two updates have dispensed with the old keyword-first idea and reflect the search engine’s move to a more person-first way of working. They were designed to avoid AI spam results and reduce unoriginal and unhelpful content. Interestingly, as a result of these changes, many sites have reported a drop-off in visits.

Keywords DO Matter

Before we get into what content strategists should concentrate on to ensure that those visits remain high, if not grow, we should say that keywords have disappeared partially. The difference is that keywords only play a part in the search results that are received now.

Relevance, expertise of sources, and even location play just as equal a part in search results now. In short, searches become more focused on what the user needs. Google updates attempt to decipher what the user really requires, but that obviously still needs to take keywords into account.

Consider User Experience

So, if you want to be at the top of the search results, what must you keep in mind? Some good keywords remain important, but content creators must consider their audience and how they use the site. A sense of user-friendliness now has to be included in the content creation process.

This change in priorities can even include ensuring a site’s page speed is at an optimum level. Perhaps even more important is ensuring that Google knows a site can be accessed on a range of devices and platforms. Users will use mobiles and tablets just as much—if not more—than desktops, for example.

Prioritize Security

This is not a new element of SEO to consider—and it really should be something that any site with content continually thinks of anyway. But the site’s security is vitally important. Google is far more likely to trust a site—and include it in its search results—if it considers it to be secure for visitors.

In short, all sites should have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. You can easily check this by seeing if there is a padlock in the URL bar. It is also important to make sure that all plug-ins used on a site are completely up-to-date, as security can be compromised here, too.

Quality of Content

This is not intended as a criticism of any website, but the simple fact is that Google looks more favorably on well-designed and high-quality ones. A more amateur site will just not be trusted as a reliable source in the same way as one that is professionally designed.

Bringing in independent professional designers is a good idea if that is outside your skill set. SEO must be at the forefront of all the decisions on how the site will look and what kind of content will be uploaded. It would help if you wanted your site to be as high quality as possible anyway, so this should not be something to disregard.

User Intent

It is still strange to think that some people do not notice the most important people when designing and populating a website with content. Those people, of course, are the users – or customers in many instances. How a visitor intends to use the site should inform all SEO.

How this task is carried out will depend on the type of site. Searches tend to be investigational, informational, commercial, or transactional, so once you have figured out what kind is more prevalent for yours, you can then work on getting the SEO right to meet your visitors’ needs.

Think About AI

We have already mentioned that Google is very aware of AI-produced content. But that doesn’t mean it – or any other search engine – is against using AI. Google doesn’t penalize the use of AI, so there is no need to forget about finding the benefit in the plethora of programs and apps that help with content creation.

But AI should not be used unthinkingly. An absence of human interaction will negatively impact search results. Regularly updated content is a good sign, as far as Google is concerned, but it is looking for that content to be helpful—and wholly AI-produced content does not fit that remit.