The new year is now upon us. And with the new year comes a plethora of prognostications regarding the future of SEO copywriting. Some are saying that copywriting, as we have long known it, is now dead thanks to the evolution of Google. Others are saying things will drastically change in the coming year. It turns out that both sides are right. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The first thing to understand about 2015 is Google’s foray into something known as ‘semantic understanding’. Well-known SEO and online marketing consultant Samuel J Scott wrote about it extensively in a recently published blog post. According to Scott, semantic understanding is something Google is already working hard on. They will be developing the principal in the coming months and years.
What is semantic understanding? It is the artificial ability of indexing software to make associations between keywords and phrases in order to better understand intent. Scott used the example of tennis shoes and sneakers in his blog. When semantic understanding works as it should, Google is able to identify tennis shoes, sneakers, track shoes, and other similar products as being roughly the same thing. This suggests that keywords will need to be less sensitive to specific geographic regions where terminology is different.
Keyword Evolution in SEO
Semantic understanding is just one example of the changes in store for in the future. Yet at the same time, the need to pay attention to keywords and key phrases has not changed. As Business to Community’s Heather Lloyd-Martin puts it, key phrases and words are not dead for 2015. They are still alive and well.
According to Lloyd-Martin, the only change SEO copywriters need to pay attention to right now is how keywords and phrases are used. She agrees with Scott that less attention needs to be paid to specific keywords while more attention should be shifted toward building quality by using synonyms. The sneakers and tennis shoes example fits perfectly here. By using both terms within a piece of content, the SEO copywriter is helping Google understand intent.
Lloyd-Martin says that some of the basics of keyword usage still apply. For example, she recommends continuing the practice of including a keyword or phrase in the title, first and last paragraph, and a couple of times within the text. Then use synonyms and similar phraseology to build value throughout the content.
Evolution Is Slow
It is undeniable that the Internet is evolving as we move forward. However, it is also true that as things change, certain things also remain the same. It all comes down to the inevitably slow process of evolution. Very few things change drastically overnight, and that includes SEO copywriting.
We have given you just one example by comparing semantic understanding with the time-tested practice of using keywords and phrases. Nevertheless, the principle applies to nearly every aspect of online marketing. For example, the evolution of search algorithms is changing the way Google and other search engines view social media content. Nonetheless, the fact still remains that social media is an important part in a successful online marketing strategy.
At Connotations, we make it a point of staying abreast of industry changes as these occur. We believe doing so is necessary if we are to serve our clients with the same high quality they have come to expect. As we move into 2015 and beyond, we will continue striving to provide the best SEO copywriting possible. We would be happy to produce content for your website as well.