We all know that keywords were extremely important in previous years. But are keywords still important for SEO today? Well, this is one question that keeps pondering in everyone’s mind. Hence, here we are writing this post to let others know the keyword relevance in the present SEO scenario.
As a short answer, keywords and relevance of keywords are absolutely important for Google!
To gain more clarity on the same, continue reading this post.
Keyword Relevance in SEO:
Keywords in SEO or Search Engine Optimization can be a single word or complex phrases and are useful in website content to attract organic, relevant search traffic.
When adequately leveraged, SEO keywords can help to inspire the content of all pages in order to satisfy the intent of searchers.
From the point of view of a searcher, keywords are terms spoken or entered into the search engine. When efficiently researched and properly optimized, keywords function as a channel for the target audience to search the most relevant content on a website.
So, keyword relevance is all about how relevantly you are using certain keywords or phrases on your website content. Search engines like google use keyword relevancy to determine what your article or web page is all about and in turn, decide what all keywords you will get ranked for when users are performing their search in google.
Are Keywords Obsolete?
You must have heard this few times already that keywords are dead and have become obsolete.
So, whether it is true or not, let us confirm the same by reading below.
There have been multiple developments that occurred in SEO and here are the major ones.
1. Not Offered or Provided:
For those who are totally new to SEO would be amazed to know organic keywords were once conveniently accessible in Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics, or another analytics platform.
This was really amazing. But things changed in the year 2012 when Google took some major steps to remove keyword related data from web analytics. In late 2011, the following year, keyword related data was being eliminated in a huge way.
Once the keyword data was last, most of the experts started writing the obituary for keywords. However, there was a major difference.
People or searchers were still looking the same and Google had not altered how it was analyzing the content. We only had less visibility.
It clearly states keywords are not dead. Only the way that they are tracked by Google has altered.
2. RankBrain and Hummingbird Update from Google:
Another major change from Google that generated a huge impact on the relevance of the keywords in SEO was the introduction of the new algorithm in Google in 2013. It was the Hummingbird update from Google, which was precise and fast and helped Google better understand the search intent, specifically with conversational and complex searches.
In the year 2015, Google introduced another algorithm, which was driven by AI. It was the RankBrain update that was introduced to further enhance the query interpretation ability of Google. Before beginning a search for a specific term, Google would send off hunting out for content that exactly matches the searched or entered terms.
Now, Google utilizes the keywords as contextual signals for learning what we really wish and often rewrites the query behind the scenes.
Often, Google rewrites the search queries, which may appear useful. But actually, Google is just trying to interpret better and smarter with what we have offered.
This can be seen from another perspective. You must be aware of the statistic that just 7% of communication is done through the words alone. It was obtained from a specific study in the late 1960s and is mainly used to increase the stature of non-verbal communion, reducing that which is verbal.
Hence, it is clear that keywords are still alive. The only change is how Google interprets them.
3. Voice Search:
Voice search is being increasingly practiced and is preferred by all. Voice search is now being increasingly used and has become staple in the search behavior. And undoubtedly, voice search creates a huge impact on keywords.
- People Have Become Long-Winded
Over time, the searchers online have become highly conversational and practice detailed searches.
In the conventional time, if we wished to know who the first wife of Brad Pitt was, we would convert our thoughts into a search-friendly query such as wives of Brad Pitt. Now, we simply inform Google, what we wish. This is one of the major reasons why 15% of the searches are not heard before by Google every single day.
So, this is a great win for searchers, it posed challenges to SEO experts. For instance, it is difficult to identify which keyword to consider on it is a significant chunk of traffic is driven by those that had rarely been searched before.
- We Delete Vital Keywords
Another thing about voice search is that the first album was released from a query that does not include her name or the album name.
Google comprehends the context mattes, not only within a specific search but between strings of them.
So, do keywords actually matter if you can leave out critical bits and still get what you desire? This just forces us to step back and consider the bigger picture, rather than assess each individual search in a vacuum.
Keywords are not dead, the only way is to type correctly to search them.
4. Google Planner for Pair of Keyword Volumes:
Beginning in 2014 and shifting things two years later, the keyword planner tool from Google started grouping volumes for terms that were similar. Rather than disclosing keywords that were searched 100 times in a month and keywords that get searched 50 times in a month, Google said the reason for this is to ensure you don’t miss out on potential clients and to maximize the potential for your advertisements to appear on relevant searches.
It simply means searcher intent does not differ much between closely associated terms.
This move tends to reinforce the notion which topics, keywords, the SEO professionals must take into consideration. But, this not gives a reason why Google search often drastically shakes up the keyword results, which Google Keyword Planner seems similar enough to link together.
Eventually, the Keyword Planner from Google is a PPC tool. Hence, keywords are not dead. Only keyword metrics may keep on changing.
Why Keyword Relevance is Important?
Keywords are alive and most probably they would continue to stay so. But why they are so vital to SEO? Let us read and know!
1. Keywords Function Like Clues:
The significance of keywords in SEO is because they are extremely important to the searchers.
Forget about rankings, traffic, keywords, and your website.
If you clearly understand the feelings of customers, you would definitely be able to operate the business in a different manner. It is because you have these valuable insights with you.
When humans are searching for something, they are looking for immediate access and anonymous information and look for unfiltered information that they truly desire.
It is a data-driven truth.
Keyword research is an important tool for market research, which can be used in multiple distinct ways, and not just to inform the website content. To fetch the maximum volume of information out of keywords, it is vital to look beyond the literal meaning and pick up the implicit clues for gaining the actual intent of each keyword.
2. Keywords Function like Personas:
Having clear personas in mind lets sell products, services, or offerings easily. This is not that we are aiming for, we are establishing ourselves for success.
For keywords, having a quick glance into the Google Search Console’s search query data can let you know it is never regarding one keyword. But, holding a primary keyword target for one page will offer you the correct perspective and direction to gather the right audience from a couple of relevant searches.
Ways to Select Keywords Relevant to Your Content:
1. Avoid focusing on the keywords from the beginning:
Before wearing the SEO hat or marketing hat, it is better to be human. First, you must learn about new customers from existing customers.
Before utilizing tools and creating spreadsheets, you must gain real empathy and understand that the customers you serve as well as gain knowledge about their perspective.
2. Create a Seed List:
With the information you availed in the first step, like having an understanding of your customer’s preferences and needs, it is best to brainstorm and create an initial list of phrases and words, which efficiently describe the core offerings.
3. Collect Present Keyword Data for Website Already Existing:
Create a list of what is presently driving traffic to your website using the Google Search Console feature of click data and ranking for data you have.
4. Expand Your List by Integrating Numerous Keyword Tools:
Next, expand the list you have created from the above steps by looking for novel keyword groups, common modifiers, long-tail permutations, and alternate phrases. You can use a keyword research tool in this context as it is highly useful.
5. Pair Terms on the Basis of Search Intent:
Pair up keywords in a way so that it is easier for you and others to understand them. It can be done by grouping keywords considering the type of audience, funnel phase, or other ways that make sense.
6. Perform Keyword Mapping:
Select 1-4 primary keywords to target each page on the basis of a careful balance between keyword relevance, search volume, and difficulty. This must be practiced keeping the organic SERP visibility into consideration.
Once it is determined, look out for semantically related and long-tail modifying terms to support the primary keywords.
7. Repeat the Process Again:
After implementing your keyword strategy, Google holds enough time to reach and you can use this time to gather enough data, filter, and repeat. They don’t consider search engine optimization.
Different Kinds of SEO Keywords:
1. Unbranded vs. Branded:
Branded keywords contain the brand name in the query. If the official brand name is not included, it could contain misspellings, branded campaign names, parent companies, branded acronyms, and more.
Unbranded keywords are terms that describe the problem of customers or offerings of your business.
2. Page-Specific vs. Seed Keywords:
Seed keywords the one mentioned in the initial words list you begin within the process of keyword research. They function like seeds on which the entire content depends. Mostly, seed words are relevant to the website.
Alternatively, page-specific keywords are those that are usually mentioned later in the process of keyword research. These keywords are applicable to only one page or a set of pages.
3. Head Terms vs. Long-Tail Keywords:
Head terms are the keywords with the highest demand in the search. They have a high search volume, great ranking competition, low traffic conversion, numerous search intents, and ideal for top pages.
Alternatively, keywords with low demand or less competition are long-tail keywords. These keywords have low search volume, high traffic conversion rate, numerous words, and are perfect for pages at the lower level.
4. Secondary vs. Primary Keywords:
Primary keywords are also called as focus or targeted keywords. They are used to describe the most vital keywords. Such terms are useful in the content of the entire website or a single page.
Also called as supporting or tertiary keywords, secondary keywords cover other keywords you target or incorporate. Secondary keywords are those that are loosely optimized for and are not considered a high priority.
5. Global vs. Local Keywords:
Based on usability, a local keyword can imply that the searcher is either looking out for something that is located nearby, or the searcher holds a great probability of being in a particular area.
Global keywords are usually generic and are not bound by a specific location.
6. Topical vs. Evergreen Keywords:
Topical keywords are consistent or seasonal. Alternatively, evergreen keywords hold steady search volume possessing little variance over time.
It is possible to use a few evergreen keywords as topical.
To Sum Up:
The keyword relevance is still high even today. The only thing that has changed is how searchers enter it and the way Google interprets the search queries. Hence, it is essential to properly select keywords, which are relevant and exact matches to searcher’s intent for your content. Most importantly, SEO optimize your content for those keywords.