Initially, many were concerned with losing valuable keyword data with Googles recent algorithm change. The idea of the change is to help better understand the context of search queries and content; how people are using language, the meanings of words and phrases, and how they are used. The difference now is that we need to change our focus from getting traffic from keywords to getting traffic to pages. This may sound like a lot, but take a breath, because classic SEO and content strategy rules still largely apply. This means you can still have an actionable SEO strategy without the specific keyword data that was once provided.
Start with good planning:
Planning out your content is key in successfully engaging your audience. Make sure your content satisfies the targeted phrase behind it. Here's what to do:
- Make sure your main point (targeted phrase) is totally apparent
- Write for your target audience and personas
- Be clear on the actions and thoughts you want readers to make and feel
Content marketers can still use other keyword research tools for inspiration. Paid search ads are an option since those keywords are still provided. Reports in Google Webmaster tools will provide some measurement for keyword visibility. Continue to plan content based on the experiences of your customers and the factors that drive your business.
Have a webmaster account
Having a Webmasters Tools account will provide you with valuable information for ongoing SEO strategies. Access to your search queries, crawl errors, malware infections, as well as a list of sites that linked to your site. You won't be able to see anything beyond 90 days, however it will give you an idea of your website's current keyword rankings and clicks in Google Search.
Get technical and be creative
Since you have lost visibility to the keywords that are driving traffic to your site, technical SEO research is critical.
- Look at the other search engines. While Google holds a large percentage of search market share, you can still review keywords for the other searches forming from Bing and Yahoo.
- Focus on other business objectives and results. Focus on lead generation, increasing conversions, and creating authentic content.
- Track URL performance. You can see which pages of your site are performing and create content around those topics.
Optimize for mobile
Google recommends optimizing sites for mobile. Sites that are mobile-optimized will do better on search results than non-optimized sites. It's common knowledge that fast sites provide the best user experience. As stated by Google, "Faster sites make for a better user experience, and mobile sites are no exception..there are many pages out there that still don't perform well on mobile." As more people access sites from their mobile devices it is critical your site performs to the highest standards. Your site will do better in SERPs if it is optimized for mobile.
Good SEO goes beyond the reliance of keyword data. You need to really think about your audience and provide the content that is important to them. Being unable to ascertain keyword data will not and more importantly should not cripple your SEO strategy. You can still have an actionable strategy without keywords if you plan, prioritize, and optimize.