2 minute read

You Must Move Away From The Keyword Paradigm

Written by Mike Finn

Ever since I have been involved in Search Marketing (some 15 years now!), the keyword has been the central focus of everything we do.

Often driven by vanity;  MD’s, CEOs and marketers alike have insisted on ranking for particular phrases without the knowledge or facts to back up why they want to hold the Number 1 spot for their killer term.

My learned chums, those days are gone. Google has been challenging this ethos for years, and frustrating moves like removing organic keywords from being reported in analytics amongst other tactics are, I believe, designed to stop us fixating on them. This coupled with personalised search has made this very old hat and quite frankly we all need to move on!


I hope I shouted that loud enough. If we are being taught anything by Google, it is that the Searcher comes first. Everything they do is to keep the user happy.

Obviously it is not for our sake they are doing this, but if they give their users a torrid time then they may not come back, and their shareholders get all grumpy and profits slump de da de da de da.

Penguin, Panda, Mobile and other algorithm changes are all designed to improve the searcher experience, not yours or my business. Our role in this is to ensure that we offer the best content and best user experience possible.

So what do we need to start thinking about?

  • User Experience – create content that is for the right user at the right time.
  • User Engagement – keep the users on site
  • Focus on topics of content based around your user personas that answer their needs
  • Keep your content current
  • Make sure your site renders on all devices
  • Make sure your site loads quickly
  • Own your locations

Over the coming months my aim is to focus on these areas, to provide you with more information on how to move away from focusing on keyphrases, how to measure improvement in search without rankings and how to engage with your users and give them a better on-site experience.

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Orginally published on Tuesday 24 May, 2016 | Last updated Friday 7 June, 2019

Tags: For Marketeers