Keywords still matter in the modern SEO landscape and here’s why
You might have heard rumblings from within certain spheres that keywords are obsolete or are no longer as important within today’s modern SEO landscape as they once were. This simply isn’t the case.
A brief overview of SEO keywords
Encompassing singular words, compound phrases and everything in between, SEO keywords are placed within web copy with the intention to draw pertinent organic search traffic. This basic description, however, fails to emphasise just how important SEO keywords are to the processes of boosting a range of key business metrics, informing the entire content creation process, and fully satisfying the intent of individuals conducting specific searches.
Optimised keywords can provide vital clues
All businesses should be consistently looking for vital clues that can be leveraged to inform future business decisions, from the planning of comprehensive content calendars to the construction of complex marketing campaigns. Understanding the search behaviours of your target audience requires comprehensive keyword research and analysis but, as these data sets essentially contain digital gold, the time and resource investment is always worthwhile.
These important clues emerge because knowledge gained from the analysis of search behaviours provides a unique insight into the human psychology. When we are engaging with something on a public platform, such as Twitter, we tend to offer more measured or considered perspectives, because we are conscious of how other people might perceive and interpret our words.
When we are conducting online searches, however, the immediate access to information combined with the level of anonymity offered within this process brings out a degree of frankness that we often aren’t comfortable expressing anywhere else. This means that, for businesses, the potential for understanding audiences in different ways, specifically ways that arguably can never be fully captured via focus groups or surveys, through keyword research, is vast.
Viewing keywords as personas
Developing a keen focus is an intrinsic component of success precisely because businesses attempting to appeal to everyone generally end up appealing to no-one. Just as building clear customer personas helps businesses to refine strategies and successfully target specific demographics, keywords uncovered through search query analysis often act as signposts to avenues which lead to perspectives and directions with an ability to engage specific subsections of audiences from within a range of related searches.
Advice for successful keyword assimilation
Although this might sound like an over-zealous caution, it is absolutely possible to over-optimise your web copy. As well as running the risk of search engine penalties, over-optimisation can also negatively impact your user experience and drive away the very audience you are trying to engage. Over exploiting the potential of keywords should always be avoided because measured approaches are far more likely to lead to success.
It is important not to approach the optimisation of each web page as though it exists solely within a vacuum. Looking at your website as a whole will ensure you don’t lose sight of the context you need to consider to avoid making common errors, like keyword cannibalisation and glaring oversights.
So, will keywords always matter?
Although it is impossible to say for certain, as keywords have been consistently significant for more than two decades, it is almost impossible to imagine a digital landscape where they are no longer relevant.