The Use of Keywords in 2022 (1)

The Use of Keywords in 2022

Online search is a fast-moving industry, so it’s perhaps not surprising that people often ask us about the continued relevance of keywords.

For longer than we’d care to remember, search specialists have considered keyword rankings to be one of the key metrics for assessing SEO’s worth. (These are, of course, the key phrases consumers type in to locate whatever they’re hunting for on the web. They can comprise one or more words.)

If asked to give a one-word reply, we’d say that keyword rankings absolutely do still matter. However, they have to earn their keep by driving business value in the shape of increased sales, conversions and traffic.

Equally, bear in mind that, because Google now has a far stronger grasp of user intent and its algorithms can assess meaning and context much better, it’s also crucial that keywords connect well with your content.

While keywords still matter to Google’s retrieval and indexing system, they’re no longer needed to provide a list of relevant files to meet an informational need.

Why keywords are still vital to SEO

There are various keyword types, including branded and non-branded, local and global, among others. Here’s how they can still support brands:

  • They offer a good indication of user intent
  • They help to pinpoint the correct target audience
  • They help drive traffic – especially if you can get on the front page of Google, where the first entry alone takes more than a quarter of all clicks

Do I still need to track keywords?

Definitely. Keep tabs on the terms bringing your business the most value in terms of income, conversions and traffic.

How do I find the right keywords for my website?

Think from the outset about your website’s purpose and the problems you’re going to help end users to solve. Think like an end user. Also, if you have historical paid search data, that allows you to assess which keywords led to sales and conversions. In turn, this helps you when you’re deciding what content to create.

When might keywords not be so helpful?

One thing to realise is that you absolutely shouldn’t stuff content with keywords in a bid to get higher rankings. Instead, your content should solve a problem and give end users precisely what they want.

Keyword meta tags also hold no ranking value. Equally, incorporating exact-match anchor text for every link you use may not be such a great idea. Google is, of course, pretty advanced these days. If you go overboard on keywords with exact-match anchor text links, your site could (at least potentially) be penalised.

In summary

Keywords bring value to brands when there is front-page ranking for high-volume terms. (Some 90% of clicks are from the front page.) Run ranking reports to identify opportunities for creating new content or expanding what you have already.

In conclusion, keywords aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They will remain useful signals indicating the type of content the searcher is trying to find, so they’re still very important from an organic search point of view.

Talk to us at Front Page about the best keywords for your own content, to help you rank as high as possible in the search engine results pages.