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.

What Are SEO Keywords?
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:

  1. Describe your content
  2. Promote your website
  3. Drive traffic to your internet presence

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 & Unbranded
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.

Head or Short-Tail, Middle-Tail & Long-Tail Keywords


Head or Short-Tail
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
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.

Stage or Phase-Based
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 & Topical
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.



1) Keywords Provide User Insight
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.

One of the most important aspects of keywords though lies outside of the digital realm altogether: it gives you insight into what your customer or client wants. Exploring keyword research–finding the keywords and phrases your ideal customers are using to discover your products or services is critical.

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.

2) Keywords Identify and Attract the Right Audience
In most digital marketing strategies SEO plays a vital role and interacts with many components to establish a strong digital presence.

Less is more while using keywords to improve your SEO. If you try to attract everyone without a specific focus, you’ll likely end up attracting no one. Conversely, if you cater your keywords to your target audience, you’ll attract the people who want what you offer. Download our Free Ideal Client Worksheets to help understand the hearts and minds of your target audience.

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.

3) Keywords Drive Traffic
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.
Once you’ve done your keyword research, you’ll know which of your keywords get thaInstead, focus on making your high-volume keywords more valuable to encourage a higher click-through rate by answering end-user queries and including holistic content. Traffic will follow these communication corridors which encourages the internet’s web to do its job.e highest search volume. Remember that having a high position with a low volume keywords won’t help increase your revenue.

4) Keyword Research Helps Optimize Content
Once you’ve put together your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to measure your results. If you find that you’re not ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) even with your targeted keyword(s), it could be a sign that your website has a content gap, meaning people aren’t finding what they’re coming for.


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.

Want to learn more about how to use keywords to increase leads and sales? Get in touch with Spring Creative. We’d love to help you take your brand from where it is, to where it needs to be.


Spring Creative Inc. is an award-winning agency specializing in marketing, design, and digital services. We empower brands to communicate effectively and confidently. Based in Nelson, BC, Canada. Reach out to learn more!

If you need help with your brand or would like to learn more about our services Book a Meeting today. Fern Sabo Founder/CEO | Spring Creative Inc.

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