With the rise of semantic search in recent years, which is basically Google’s AI getting better at figuring out what good content is, rather than just searching for how often a specific keyword or phrase shows up on a page, the world of keyword research has changed significantly. We no longer focus on a keyword or phrase, but on all of the important concepts that are important in supporting that phrase with your content. Though we have been using TF-IDF tools for quite some time here at You Can Be Found, Search Engine Land’s recent article made it less of a secret to the world. Though we all know how to tag and target for the target keyword, many haven’t figured out how to tweak and build their content for the supporting terms.
TF-IDF Keyword Research
TF-IDF stands for “Term Frequency – Inverse Document Frequency”, which sounds confusing, but the basics are that it is just researching what other words and phrases Google looks for in content that ranks for your target keyword phrase. This is becoming more and more important and has become a key part of our process, becoming even more important than the core keyword, as the targeting for those has become fairly basic. TF-IDF helps you separate yourself from the competition by analyzing what Google rewards and tweaking your content to make sure you offer the key points.
I typically tell clients to start by writing for the user and we can always tweak or add based on TF-IDF. Often, if you write nice, thorough content on a subject, you may surprise yourself in that you do address a lot of what comes up in a TF-IDF analysis, but usually we can improve things with some minor tweaks from the research. Some clients prefer to run the TF-IDF first, to get them a structure and ideas to write to. Either work fine. I just remind people to write for humans and not for search engines. Don’t just stuff a phrase in because it should be there. Write about it and incorporate it into the content.
For example, to give you an idea of how this can help, below are phrases that should be included in any content trying to rank for “SEO Consultant”. Research will look at what pages are currently ranking and return both phrases and individual terms that should be used, and how often they show up, on average. This is highly valuable for structuring your content.
With recent algorithms forcing many to renew and update their content, this type of keyword research has become critical, and we are happy to help you out too, if you need to tweak and update your content to better target your most important search terms. Give us a call.