How Does Keyword Order Impact Your SEO?
If Google is saying that keyword order matters then it’s best to keep that top of mind in your SEO efforts.
Everyone on the Internet is chasing that elusive first page on Google. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned SEO veteran, you probably know that’s easier said than done.
Creating content for your website is a complicated and multi-faceted beast.
You want to inform, inspire, and provide value, all while furthering your business objectives and boosting your SEO rankings. That’s a lot to achieve with one blog post.
If you’ve created content before, then you probably know a little about how to implement keywords. Using the right keywords helps users find your content.
But did you know that the order in which you place your keywords matters too?
In this post we’ll talk about keyword order and go over some keyword best practices including how you should order your keywords and what other factors impact your keyword placement in SEO.
It isn’t as intimidating as it sounds.
What Are Keywords and Why Are They Important
Keywords are words and phrases central to your content’s subject and theme. These target words are the ones users type into search engines when looking for information on a topic.
Keywords work to:
- Direct potential customers to your website or blog when they search for topics related to your business.
- Assist search engines in indexing and ranking your website.
- Measure success and track the ROI of your SEO efforts.
Suffice it to say that keywords and keyword order are essential to your content strategy and vital to getting the most out of your content creation efforts.
If you want to learn more about selecting keywords, we have a whole article on choosing the right keywords for your blog post.
Alright, you’re on board. You’ve spent the time and gone through the effort of researching the best keywords for your post. But how do you order them for maximum impact?
Finding the Right Keyword Order
Ordering your keywords is just as important as selecting them. While it may not sound like a big deal, the order in which you place your keywords can provide drastically different results in the search engines.
Just google “blue sky” and “sky blue,” for example. Go ahead. We’ll wait.
As you can see from the differing search results, keyword order impacts how search engines find and present content. That’s because a different word order can indicate different search intent.
Searching “blue sky” brings up brands, businesses, songs, and movies because it sounds like the name of something. Searching “sky blue” is much closer to a query like “why is the sky blue,” so you’ll get results explaining the scientific phenomenon and pictures of the sky. It could also mean the color “sky blue.”
So, what else should you know about ordering your keywords?
Here is what Google has to say:
- Every word matters
- Word order matters
- Capitalization does not matter
- Punctuation often does not matter
- Spelling matters (but Google will help you out)
Remember that search engines are designed to provide users with the best possible answer to their queries.
The good news is that you don’t have to labor over capitalization and punctuation (breathe a sigh of relief), but the fact remains that every word and how they’re placed together is important – and it all comes back to search intent.
Keyword Order By Importance
If you want your content to be the best possible answer to a user’s question, you need to order your keywords as they would. The easiest way to think of this is to list the keywords in order of importance.
For example, “electric lawnmower” over “lawnmower electric.” Sure, if you Google those two phrases, you’ll see a few electric lawnmowers either way.
But the differentiating factor that the user is searching for is “electric,” so that’s the word that should go first as it will prevent too many results showing conventional gas powered lawnmowers – which is not what they’re after.
Keyword Order By Search Volume
Another consideration should be which variation of the keyword phrase gets the most search traffic.
If “electric lawn mower” gets 50 searches per day while “lawn mower electric” gets only 5, choosing the variation that gets more searches is a good decision. Granted, both examples probably get way more daily searches, but you get the idea we’re trying to illustrate.
Use Google Suggest
Don’t you love it when Google completes your sentences? So do a lot of people. That’s why it’s worth using Google Suggest to research variations of your keyword.
Go to Google and start typing the phrase to see the list of options that appear. Searchers will often click on one of the suggested queries rather than finish typing their original thought. Use those suggested phrases in the order that they appear as a part of your keyword phrase strategy.
Keyword Best Practices
Keywords are a handy tool, but the best tools won’t make up for poor craftsmanship. The quality of your content should always come first.
Once you have a solid piece of content to work with, you can place your keywords throughout the titles, headers, and body of your content. But don’t overdo it. Choose quality over quantity and watch your website reap the SEO benefits.
Here are a few more tips for utilizing keywords in your SEO content.
Think Like Your Audience
Describe how your customers think of your product or service category, but don’t go overboard in trying to anticipate every possible search query. You want to strike a happy balance between being specific but broad enough that users will still find you.
Use Relevant Keyword Phrases
You should be targeting phrases that are specific and descriptive to your topic and business. Don’t try to play the system by roping in keywords about unrelated topics or those that only give partial information.
Don’t Keyword Stuff (Overstuff)
Once again, hacks or quick fixes do not provide long-term results. Google is known to penalize keyword stuffing, so it’s not worth risking your rankings or the readability of your content. Focus on quality content containing relevant keywords. Your audience and your ranking will thank you.
The algorithms and searcher behaviour are always changing. The only way to stay on top of it is to remain as nimble and creative as possible. Be flexible by trying out different keyword orders and keep track to see which give you the best results.
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on creating a sustainable long-term strategy to stay ahead of the curve and watch your rankings pay dividends for years to come.
Need A Little Keyword Help?
Still have questions about keyword order or optimization? Our team of SEO experts is here and at your service!
We’ll work with you to enhance your keyword strategy, boost your website’s SEO, and send your rankings sky-high.