SEO is one of the most important modern digital marketing techniques. It improves the overall quality of the website, brings in more organic traffic, and improves a brand’s visibility. Keywords have always been an integral aspect of search engine optimization.
However, developments in search engine algorithms, marketing strategies, and other factors have led people to doubt their relevance. They haven’t become obsolete, but the relationship between keywords and SEO, and their relationship with search engines has changed considerably over time.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a single word or a collection of words that drives traffic to a website. It’s also the primary form of communication between a user and a search engine and the search engine and a website. For example, when a user types or says a phrase, they tell the search engine what they want. When a website owner or marketer includes keywords in their content, they show the search engine what they have. These words help a website establish its identity and ensure the search engine algorithm categorizes it correctly.
Why is the importance and relevance of keywords in doubt?
A few years ago, Google launched the Hummingbird update. That changed the SEO structure which had a big impact on online search. The engine carries out semantic search instead of just looking for an exact user query match when compiling results. Semantic search doesn’t just find and match keywords, but it also digs deeper to understand intent and context before collating results. Hummingbird made the search engine smarter and more precise. This platform is only going to grow and evolve further with the help of machine learning, more information, and better algorithms.
But keywords and keyword research is still important
Search engines need keywords to understand intent and context. These words and phrases tell the search engine what to expect from your content and help establish relevance. A single key phrase can provide a lot of details regarding these aspects. For example, a search query “best birthday gifts for a 13-year-old boy” provides a significant amount of context. It can be inferred that:
- The query is probably not made by a parent
- The quality of the gift is more important than the cost
- The user will need multiple results
The search engine will analyze the entire search phrase word by word and use the keywords in your content to understand the context and intention of it. Without keywords, the searches wouldn’t be nearly as precise and accurate as they are, which is why these phrases are still relevant. You just need to ensure you research keywords well, understand the intent behind them, and use them sparingly.
The right words and a good implementation strategy will help you gain more visibility on search engines and attract more traffic to your website. It’s important to let the old habit of stuffing relevant keywords in text go and focus on incorporating the phrases strategically and use them to understand a prospect’s intent.