How important are keywords in SEO

How important are keywords in SEO


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How important are keywords in SEO

What are SEO keywords?

Keywords in SEO are single words or short phrases representing the search queries people use in a search engine. They are used to inform website content to increase relevant organic search traffic.

When effectively researched and optimized, keywords act as a conduit to connect your target audience with your website.

Elements of Keyword Research

There are three main elements to pay attention to when conducting keyword research.

1. Relevance

Google ranks content for relevance. This is where the concept of search intent comes in. Your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the searchers’ needs. In addition, your content must be the best resource out there for the query. After all, why would Google rank your content higher if it provides less value than other content that exists on the web?

2. Authority

Keywords are the cornerstone of a successful SEO campaign

Google will provide more weight to sources it deems authoritative. That means you must do all you can to become an authoritative source by enriching your site with helpful information content and promoting that content to earn social signals and backlinks. If you’re not seen as authoritative in the space, or if a keyword’s SERPs are loaded with heavy sources you can’t compete with (like Forbes or The Mayo Clinic), you have a lower chance of ranking unless your content is exceptional.

3. Volume

You may end up ranking on the first page for a specific keyword, but if no one ever searches for it, it will not result in traffic to your site. Kind of like setting up shop in a ghost town.

Volume is measured by MSV (monthly search volume), which means the number of times you search for a keyword per month across all audiences.

Mapping for SEO includes a solid keyword research plan

Importance of keywords to SEO and marketers

Keywords matter to Google and SEO professionals because they help you as a website owner to:

  • Identify the target market
  • Create useful content for your target audience
  • Improve search engine rankings by assisting Google in understanding what the webpage content is about
  • Get content out to the right audience at the right time
  • Drive more qualified organic traffic to your web pages
  • Increase conversions by helping consumers find you rather than your competitors

Keyword research helps you understand how your target audience might describe and look for your products or services. It also shows how people ask for more information on your topics when using a search engine.

With these words and phrases, you can come up with ideas for new content. You can also optimize your web pages to match a searcher’s intent and answer a searcher’s questions.

Keyword research and optimization can improve your chances of showing up on the first page of the search results. Data from 2020 shows that most title tags on Google’s first page contained keywords that exactly or partially matched that search query.

Keywords Are Clues

The importance of keywords in SEO is partly due to their importance outside of it. Forget about keywords, rankings, traffic, or even your website for a minute. How would you operate your business differently if you knew your customers’ true feelings? How influential would those insights be to your marketing strategy?

In his book, “Everybody Lies,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz shares his findings on what search behavior tells about human psychology.

When in a focus group, taking a survey, or responding to something on Twitter, we all tend to let our answers be impacted by how others may perceive them.

What about when we’re searching?

The combination of anonymity and immediate access to a wealth of information paves the way for a sober look into what we truly want. It’s Data-Driven Truth Serum

At its core, keyword research is a robust market research tool that can be leveraged in many different ways, not just informing website content.

To get the most out of keywords, you must look beyond the direct, literal translation and also pick up on the implicit clues to gain the true intent of each keyword.

Keywords are what drive traffic to specific URLs.

In SEO terms, keywords are the words businesses will specifically “target.” You may have also heard the term “target keywords.” Keywords ranking in Google Search will determine which words and phrases are searched frequently. This will help when it comes time to optimize your content.

So now that we’ve covered the basics of keywords, let’s cover their importance to search engine optimization.

Search engine algorithms are pretty intelligent. They can now auto-detect keywords and rank pages automatically based on keyword optimization. The more keywords you sprinkle throughout your web content and blogs, the more likely people will find your site via search engines.

This means that when a website is optimized, it “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base.

Marketing Trend Insight

Effective keyword research can provide insights into current marketing trends and help you center your content on relevant topics and keywords your audience is searching for.

Traffic Growth

When you identify the best relevant keywords for the content you publish, the higher you will rank in search engine results — the more traffic you’ll attract to your website.

Customer Acquisition

If your business has content that other business professionals are looking for, you can meet their needs and provide them with a call to action that will lead them into the buyer journey from the awareness stage to the point of purchase.

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can tackle the questions to which most people in your audience want answers.

Keywords and Conversions

one of the great myths of SEO is that using keywords creates spammy website content that turns off visitors. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Using relevant keywords, your website content uses the same language as users when looking for your products and services. In fact, keyword research often provides great insight to marketers by revealing that users describe products, services and applications with certain terms that do not appear in the website content. By focussing on user language, websites create content that resonates with them, making the content easier for them to understand and giving them the confidence to inquire further or place an online order.

Keywords vs. Topics

SEO has evolved over the last 10 years, and keywords have become unimportant to our ability to rank well for the daily searches people make. Google has been taking steps since 2010 to remove keyword data from analytics data.

Although this is true, in the eyes of an SEO professional, it’s a different approach. Rather, it’s the intent behind that keyword and whether or not a piece of content solves for that intent.

But that doesn’t mean keyword research is an outdated process.

Keyword research tells you what topics people care about and, assuming you use the right SEO tool, how popular those topics are among your audience. The operative term here is topics — by researching keywords that are getting a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and sort your content into topics on which you want to create content. Then, you can use these topics to dictate which keywords you look for and target.

Final note

When optimizing your content, keep in mind that the relevance of the keywords is far more important than the density of the keywords: Quality over quantity, people.

A common mistake is for people to get a little keyword happy, but the key is to be strategic about it.

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