Keyword optimization is the practice of researching and selecting the best keyword terms to use within your website’s traffic.
These notes from Google’s SEO Office Hours sessions compile key SEO tips relating to keyword optimization. Learn more about SEO best practices for website content in Lumar’s Website Intelligence Academy.
Sometimes, hyphens in keywords do matter (but, as always, it depends…)
Adding hyphens to keywords can, theoretically, change the meaning of that word or phrase. This is more common in some languages than others. Therefore, adding and removing hyphens can lead to things being seen as different words in the eyes of Google (although it depends on the circumstances). Try to match what the majority of your audience seems to be using as a priority.
Bolding important text in a paragraph does help SEO
This point came up from a recent discussion about whether using bold text in a paragraph can help SEO. John confirmed that, essentially, this is true (and mentioned that Matt Cutts made a video about this back in 2012). Google tries to understand the content on a web page and, as part of that effort, tries to understand what is being emphasized through elements such as headings or emphasized text elements on a page.
Bold text has a little bit more value than plain text because it’s a clear sign that you think this word or paragraph is key for the page’s topic. But the bold text included on pages normally aligns with what Google finds out from the content itself anyway, so ultimately it likely doesn’t have a big impact. When using bold text, you are essentially marking out important points of the page and using semantic HTML to give more meaning to certain words by using the proper markup. While it may not have a major impact, John says yes, using bold text can help SEO insofar as it helps Google to better understand that paragraph or that page.
Useful Text on Category Pages Helps Google
Some useful and topical text on category page is useful as it helps Google to understand them a little better, but make sure that Google can still recognise the page’s intent as a shopping page, not an informational page.
Adding Keywords to a Category Page May be Seen as Keyword Stuffing
Adding arbitrary text to a product listing page on an eCommerce site to include additional keywords won’t help and may trigger Google’s keywords stuffing algorithms.
Keywords Are Still Important Despite Search Engines Focusing More on Intent
It’s still important to include certain keywords or terms on pages to help users understand what a page is about, so keyword research will still play a part in SEO despite search engine algorithms becoming more sophisticated and being able to better understand intent.
Keyword Repetition Doesn’t Help
Repeating the same keywords doesn’t help.