readability_trumps_search volumeIf you’re familiar with the process of how to find good keywords, you know that one of the most important factors in good keyword selection is the ratio between search volume and competition.

Unfortunately this revelation means that many new marketers focus too heavily on finding high volume keywords, and not enough on how those keywords actually relate to the content they’re writing about.

In this post I’m going to offer a slightly different perspective, outlining why the readability of a keyword phrase trumps search volume in keyword selection.

You Write for Your Readers

The first and most important reason to focus on the readability of a keyword phrase is that it will help you build your relationship with your readers.

Using the same example from a previous post, consider the following two sentences:

  1. “In order to make extra money, your spare time is something you should consider valuable.”
  2. “If you’re looking to make money in your spare time, you should…”

Can you isolate the keyword phrases targeted in these two sentences? Which of these two phrases flows more naturally?

Chances are, you can make a pretty good guess that the first sentence is targeting the phrase “make extra money your spare time” and trying to use an awkwardly phrased sentence to incorporate it into the post.

In the second phrase, the keyword “make money in your spare time” is barely noticeable as a keyword. This is a natural phrase to use and can be incorporated in dozens of different ways without interrupting the flow of the user.

If you try to fit specific phrases into your posts that don’t flow, your readers will begin to distrust your content. The phrases will sound like they’re written by someone without good command of the language, or may even come across as spammy.

Read more about how to make money in your spare time with affiliate marketing.

Exact Matches Aren’t Everything

The second reason you should focus on readability is that exact matches aren’t everything.

One of the main categories of awkward-sounding keywords are those that omit a key preposition or article from the phrase.

That’s because we search differently than we write or speak so ‘make money spare time’ comes out more naturally in a search bar than it does in any real sentence.

Here’s the catch: search engines are getting smarter, and are beginning to discount the exact phrase used in favor of the sentiment of that phrase. This is starting to become important in terms of discounting prepositions and articles in the exact phrase match, since these are easy words for the search bots to ‘spot’ and discount from the phrase.

I hope this gives you a better reason to focus on helping your readers rather than writing for search engines. If you’re looking to learn more tips and tricks, you might consider signing up for this free affiliate training.