Keyword research has been a vital part of the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) process since the fundamentals of digital marketing were first defined more than 10 years ago.
Understanding what your customers are searching for online and then creating content that is relevant to those searches remains a core component of any SEO/Inbound Marketing strategy, but the keywords themselves are beginning to take a back seat to user intent
Do keywords still matter?
Yes, but their impact is not what it once was.
Google is constantly refining the way it determines the relevance/ranking of content in relation to user searches and user intent is becoming a more important search factor than keywords alone.
Keywords still have an obvious role to play in helping Google understand page content, but defining the user’s intent behind the use of keywords (what did the searcher intend finding when they typed in the keywords?) will ensure your content strategy delivers relevance and gets shared.
How to use keywords going forward
Don’t overdo it ! – The modern day Google doesn’t need you to use the keyword 20 or 30 times on a page. Keyword density used to be an important metric (with a little sacrifice to readability and UX), but no longer. Best practice – use your keyword/s in:
- your URL
- your page Title
- your meta description
- a few image alt tags
- the first paragraph of your content
- the body of page content (a few times IF it works naturally in the page content).
Avoid keyword stuffing
Keep in mind
Google strives to deliver an incredible user experience and search results that are as relevant as possible. Google doesn’t care whether you rank or not. Google cares about great content that their users will find relevant and helpful. A searcher is a Google customer first – your potential customer, second.
- Focus on creating remarkable content that will meet the needs of searchers, giving them what they expect.
- Customer firsts, rankings second – if you adopt this approach to your SEO content, you’ll climb the rankings.
- Be patient though, it won’t happen overnight.