Using keyword synonyms is not often mentioned when it comes to SEO and getting high rankings in Google.
Of course, when writing or optimizing content for your website, it’s always a good idea to assess your work from the perspective of a search engine. You probably realize how Google works and what type of tools it uses to make sense of a website.
But to improve your copy in terms of SEO, you need to help Google understand what your pages are about and to which search terms they should correspond.
This is where synonyms come in. They’re basically words or phrases that mean exactly or nearly the same as other words or phrases. Using keyword synonyms is one sure way to make your content unique and avoid being penalized by Google for duplicate content.
And trust me, Google cares a lot about it – in this video, Matt Cutts, who used to be the Head of Google Web Spam, suggested that using keyword synonyms is basically a great idea to deal with Google’s strict content policies.
Here are 4 tips to help you make the most from keyword synonyms for your copy and improve the SEO of your web content, ensuring that users can easily find your brand on the web:
1. How to make the most from keywords for your content
You might think that the more times you include a keyword on a page, the higher it will rank for that keyword. This is simply not true.
By focusing on a single exact match version of your keyword, you’ll end up writing copy that just doesn’t feel natural. You just can’t expect it to engage and convert.
It’s much smarter to rely on the synonyms of your keywords. Next time you’re creating or optimizing content for your website, use the exact match version of your keywords, as well as similar or related keywords.
2. Discover word synonyms
Your next step is finding word synonyms. One good resource is Google itself – it’s enough to type in your keyword with the ~ tilde sign directly in front of it.
You’ll see a selection of bold words in the results – these are the synonyms that Google believes are related to your keyword.
As you can imagine, this is very valuable knowledge.
Another resource is Thesaurus.com. Set its search engine to synonym search and type your keyword. You’ll get a complete list of synonyms ordered according to the semantic proximity to your keyword.
You can filter the results by length and complexity. Ticking the common box, the tool will highlight the most popular options available for this keyword.
3. Always focus on the user
At the end of the day, you’re creating content for users, not search engines. While it’s important to publish content which is free from low-quality signals, you should ensure that the quality of your writing matches your engagement in SEO.
These days, visitors are able to easily tell whether your copy just serves SEO or you’re really trying to get a point across.
Eventually, low-quality content will make your brand suffer – not only by making a bad first impression on visitors, but also in terms of SEO.
4. Optimize keyword synonyms with user intent in mind
Writing SEO-friendly copy is quite challenging, but what helps to navigate the complexities of choosing appropriate keyword synonyms is an analysis of user intent.
To put it simply, when deciding which keywords to use for your web content, you should first think about what users will type into Google when looking for your product or service.
Google likes to provide its users with results of the highest quality which are most relevant to the search term. Sure, it might have once relied on finding the exact or near match keywords, but those days are long gone.
Google is constantly evolving and today, thanks to the amazing Google Hummingbird search algorithm, the search engine is able to understand the context and intent of user behavior like never before.
That’s why sometimes it rewrites user query to present users with high-quality results that best reflect their search term and their context: who they are, how they searched before and where they’re located.
Start optimizing and writing your copy using various synonyms of your most important keywords.
If you’re worried that your writing is suffering under SEO pressure, try to read your text aloud and if it doesn’t sound natural, correct it by playing with different keyword synonyms.
Smart copy optimization should never result in an artificially-sounding article. But rather, smooth and well-written text that is full of keywords and their synonyms.
In this way, you’ll be presenting your topic in an engaging way and converting visitors to customers.
Do you know other strategies for making the most from keyword synonyms when writing copy? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section down below!
About the Author
Susanne Loxton writes passionately for several niches including internet marketing and modern technology, to name just a couple. Susanne works on a daily basis for Aubiz, an online resource of knowledge about companies in her native Australia.
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