Are keywords really important for your business?

Netmatters Ltd
Posted by Netmatters Ltd
25th September 2015

What do keywords really do for my business?

Google’s search algorithms have matured massively over recent years and at one stage anyone could rank highly in the organic results by stuffing various keywords throughout a site. Today, these “black-hat” techniques would get you nowhere as Google takes much more into account that just keywords. Today, you have to have a fresh, mobile friendly website, fresh content, a fast website and the list goes on. That said, keywords still play a sizable role in your search marketing strategy, and ultimately if your website has a total lack of relevant keywords, even if it is well optimised website you still will not rank.

Keywords are a huge measurement of relevance over anything else and you need to do some research in your industry to find out what your target audience are searching for and what your competitors are doing to get the most out of their content. At the most basic level of any search/content marketing strategy you need relevant keywords in your content, and you should focus on all of the pages across your website and put a few keywords in each of them, making sure that they fit in naturally and are also relevant to the content on the page, as keyword stuffing can affect the quality of the content on your page.

Keywords are an integral part of your businesses success and learning how to use them is crucial if you want to be found online by consumers. Use longer tailed keywords, so for example instead of focusing solely on “car rental in Norwich” you could also focus on “Ford Focus rentals in Norwich”. These longer tailed keywords are a lot easier to rank highly for, as less people will be searching for them and there will be less competition searching for them, however as you can rank higher more easily you will still get a lot of traffic from them.

What do I need to think about when creating content in terms of keyword placement?

When you create content for your website you shouldn’t actually be creating your content with keywords in mind, you should be creating content with your consumers in mind. Google has become a lot better at assessing the quality of content, so ultimately if you create your content completely forgetting about Google, then your organic search results will reward you for this. Focus your efforts on individual pages, and only put a handful of relevant keywords in each page to ensure your content remains high quality.

That said however, if you create content and naturally keywords fit in there then it is important to remember that most industry specific keywords are interchangeable with other words, so before you write an article you should research what your industries consumers are searching. Also the location of any keywords is important, and using keywords in titles, headlines and primary content sections is valuable as this can be shown directly on the search pages on Google, making your site seem more relevant to consumers. Using keywords in the right place can drive huge amounts of traffic to a website.

Also think about region based keywords, as this works in a similar way to longer tailed keywords. If you are a business that provides legal services in Norwich and nowhere else then optimising for keyword terms like “cheap law firms”, “legal advice” and “cheap lawyers” will not be as effective as localising your target keywords. In this situation think about regional keywords, for example you could have “cheap lawyers in Norwich”, “law advice in Norfolk”, or “will disputes in Norwich” which would all be more valuable as you will have less competition, and it increases your relevance in the search results to Google for people based around your area.

Keywords DO still matter!

Keywords do not only have their uses as a search marketing tool, and doing keyword research can be a vital step towards understanding your audience. Knowing what your audience want will allow you to improve the quality of all the content around your site. Success in today’s marketing industry is based more on understanding your consumers than anything else and as long as you achieve this then all the other aspects of your marketing campaign should fall into place.

You may be confused that many in the industry are claiming that keywords are dead, useless and outdated but this is simply incorrect. Keywords do matter, and if they are done right then they can drive up your SERP rankings and traffic immensely. Keywords are what allow your consumers to find you online, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. If you can marry your content marketing with your search marketing strategy you will be doing a huge amount for your website's SEO and your conversion rates, and who doesn’t like traffic and sales?

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