First, there were keywords (usually one or two), then there were long-tail keywords, and now there are search engine optimization “themes” — which some SEO gurus say is just another way of saying quality long-tail keywords.
What does it all mean, and why should you care if you’re not in the SEO game? The reality is every person and every business with an online presence needs to know and care about SEO. It’s not optional.
SEO and local SEO (LSEO) are a set of best practices that dictate your ranking when someone searches for your keyword(s) or themes. For example, if you offer guitar lessons in Ashland, your potential clients are probably querying something like “Ashland guitar lessons." The quality of your SEO determines where you are on search results for that hit — and research shows few people will look beyond the first few results.
Themes are a potential game changer, and yet SEO gurus are digging in their heels. Here’s why it’s smart to embrace them early.
1. It Makes You More Competitive
Chances are you’re targeting a niche field, whether that includes geo-targeting or not. Few businesses are actually interested in tackling the big boys like Amazon, so you probably have a smattering of potential themes such as “luxury watch boxes” or “vegan bakery Dallas” in your bag of tricks. By focusing on themes rather than shorter keywords, you instantly become more competitive.
2. You’ll Better Match With Your Consumers
Always remember the purpose of SEO: It’s not to make life hard for you, but rather to ensure the best matches between people using search engines and the results they get. Google and other search engines simply want the most relevant, highest quality sites to show up first. If you embrace themes, you’re giving the SEO algorithms what they want and will have better matches with searchers.
3. It Pushes You Toward LSEO
Ironically, the blossoming of the digital era makes local geo-targeting more relevant. People like to support local, they’ll seek it out and they’ll even suffer more inconveniences and/or pay more to do so. Even if you don’t have a brick and mortar establishment, you probably have certain connections to regions, cities, states or even neighborhood. Themes encourage you to pepper in geo-targeting, which can bolster your traffic.
4. It Decreases The Pool
There are two ways to become more competitive: Actually get more competitive yourself, or you can head to a smaller pool. By fine tuning your search themes, you can enjoy big fish in a small pond syndrome. Maybe you’re the only cosmetic dentist in a certain region, and you need to make sure you’re at the top of search results. There’s nothing wrong with using this competitive edge to your advantage.
5. It’s Going To Happen Regardless Of Your Stubbornness
The need for more thorough and relevant keywords or themes (or whatever you call them) is only going to get stronger. The longer you hold out, the more complicated it will be to adapt. Plus, you’re (hopefully) working on SEO strategies on a regular basis anyway, so why not use this time to adapt and transition? Procrastination never solved anything.
Use Google’s Keyword Tools to get started on more complex keyword variants with themes. Don’t forget to watch your analytics while you transition, too — you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.