The power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has always been an important tool for digital marketers. However, as online search algorithms place increasing importance on the quality of written content behind a brand’s digital presence, one wonders is SEO still important?
In the expanding digital marketing world, keywords–the building blocks of SEO–are crucial.
If you’ve ever researched SEO, then you will have seen keywords. SEO keywords can be single words or complex phrases; they are the words your audience types into their search bar to find answers to their questions.
When keywords match the words used in the content of your website, blogs and social media posts, your target audience (TA) can find you on the internet.
Keywords do the following three things:
Using well-researched and optimized keywords creates a bridge between your target audience, those people most interested in what your organization offers, and its products or services. Keywords are therefore an essential aspect of SEO strategy.
Keywords can be categorized and utilized in a variety of ways, depending on what best suits your needs. The chart below illustrates this.
Branded keywords contain a brand name in the search query. Anything that is interpreted by the search engine to have branded search intent, such as acronyms, parent companies, taglines, and even misspelling, counts.
As the name suggests, unbranded keywords are all other keywords used in a search. Unbranded keywords usually describe something related to your product or service or a common question or problem a customer might have.
Keywords with the highest search volume are called either head keywords or short-tail keywords as they contain fewer words than their long-tail counterparts and are broader in scope.
Long-tail keywords or phrases, though used less often, are more specific in their search intent. The user is looking for something in particular. Because most search queries use long-tail keywords and 15% of Google searches qualify as original every day, long-tail keywords convert more traffic.
For example, “simple ways for individuals to reduce their impact on global warming,” is a long-tail keyphrase that contains a more specific question, than “global warming,” which uses short-tail keywords and initiates a broader overlook.
Middle-Tail Keywords (a blend of both Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords) can be a great option. Middle-Tail or Medium-Tail Keywords don’t have as much competition because though they are only somewhat specific, they can still gain decent traction with search volume.
Ranking well with Middle-Tail Keywords takes work though. Your content needs to be well written and relevant to your target audience. Using inbound links, ones directed back to related information on your website, also helps search engines pay attention.
Optimizing keywords based on where a client is in the customer journey—the roadmap for understanding your website visitors, how they behave while visiting your website, and what you can do to enhance their trip so they keep coming back—is a large aspect of SEO.
This makes sure that you’re targeting customers at every potential customer touchpoint (wherever they come in contact with your brand). The goal is to increase your chances of converting those website visitors into clients.
This means that some of your keywords will focus around awareness, others around conversion, still more around retention.
Evergreen keywords don’t change very much over time and usually have a steady search volume. In contrast, topical keywords are usually focused on a moment in time. Examples include searches for festivals, events, internet memes, celebrities, and anything else with cultural or digital relevance.
Evergreen keywords are more of a long-term game, while topical keywords have immediate value, but also as shorter shelf life.
Keywords are important for SEO ranking, driving traffic to your business, visibility on the web, and converting people from considering your business to purchasing from it.
Imagine a treasure map with no paths marked on it. Without those, the searcher wastes time trying to get to their goal. Keyword research provides you with the information you need to help your customer find the online treasure/your business that they seek.
Once you’ve gained the user insight necessary to know who your audience is, you can tailor your keywords to target those specific demographics. It’s an interesting paradox—the fewer people you advertise to, the more conversions you’ll get. Contrary but effective.
Topics on the first page of Google searches receive the most clicks from searchers. The top search listing results in 25.8% of all clicks for that type of search. Therefore content gaining high visibility on the first page of Google search results will drive a considerable amount of traffic to your website.
The trick is to retain that ranking.
Once you’ve done your keyword research, you’ll know which of your keywords get the highest search volume. Remember that having a high position with a low volume keywords won’t help increase your revenue.
Performing a competitive keyword analysis can help show where your content is lacking, and exactly how you can fix it.
“Are Keywords Still Important for SEO?” A resounding YES! Keywords work synergistically with good content to entice people to your website and the answers they are seeking.