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Do Keywords Matter Anymore?

Before the emergence of Google as the major search engine, keywords, meta tags and descriptions were the primary determinants of a website’s rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Stuffing a lot of keywords into web pages and blog posts was a common practice as websites battled for the top pages in search engine rankings.

However, Google and other search engines have changed their search ranking algorithms, and as a result, single keywords are not as crucial to search engine optimization (SEO) as they were before. This does not mean that keywords have become irrelevant, however. Used correctly, they are still an easy and cost-effective means to drive more traffic to your site. With today’s search engine algorithms, though, new keyword strategies must be employed. Here are four strategies that will help your SEO campaigns.

Optimize complete sentences and keyword phrases

Voice search is becoming increasingly common as more people access the internet via mobile devices. When people search by verbalizing their questions, they speak in specific phrases or complete sentences. In fact, direct verbalized questions to Google’s search engine account for 19.5% of all search engine results today which is up from 4% in previous years. Optimizing for keyword phrases instead of just one keyword can help boost ranking in the search results pages. How can you find out which keyword phrases are best to optimize? You can spend time with customers and ask what they search for, research Google’s predictive search feature and adjust your website’s online analytics to track which phrases brought the visitors to your site. Google’s analytics package will allow you to do that.

Pay attention to keyword placement

How the keywords are placed is as important as which keywords are used. Keywords and keyword phrases should not be “spammed”, meaning, loaded all over the web page. But they should be strategically placed. First, make sure the keywords are in the meta description, the URL and image descriptions.

Research industry sites for keyword phrases

Industry sites such as online media, forums and expert analysis sites are all attempting to draw in people who will be interested in your products. Researching their sites for keywords will

Use Google’s Keyword Planner

Google has refined their AdWords Keyword Planning tool to help advertisers create keyword phrases that will yield the best results for their ads. Keying in first-draft keywords will produce a listing of words and phrases as well as the search volume projections and other information that is relevant to helping you select effective keywords and phrases for maximum results.

So, to answer the question “do keywords matter anymore?” the answer is Yes! Keywords are still important to search engine optimization. To get best results, though, keyword phrases are better as well as using them in context. Before you stuff your web pages with keywords, consider a more strategic approach and tailor keyword optimization to the needs of the current search engines.

Is your keyword strategy up to current standards? KEO Marketing’s SEO experts will be happy to provide you with a free marketing evaluation. To get a free marketing audit contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.

 

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.