How Do Keywords Affect SEO

By Sarah Giometti | Google

Aug 26

Whenever people hear about search engine optimization or SEO they immediately think of keywords. And, they are right to some extent. Search engines need keywords to understand what a page is about, but it’s a bit more complicated than just that.

Let us elaborate and explain how keywords affect SEO and if they are still relevant today.

So, What Are Keywords?

A simple definition would be that keywords are terms that people use to search for information that interests them on search engines like Google or Bing. Then, crawlers look for websites that have those terms featured and determine if they are relevant to the search. If they are, then the site will be listed on the search engine page result (SERP.)

By that definition, it would mean that you would need to stuff your content with as many keywords as possible if you want to rank high. That’s far from the truth.

SEO nowadays means more than just counting keywords and putting them in the right place. Search engines have evolved and they are now able to understand synonyms or the real meaning behind a search term. RankBrain, which is Google’s machine learning system, can even understand the true intent behind a search and provide users with results that fit their needs with great accuracy.

So, SEO nowadays is more about putting the user and their needs at the core of your strategy rather than focusing on keywords alone.

So, Should We Just Ignore Keywords Altogether?

While keywords have lost some of their importance, it doesn’t mean that you can render them useless. They still play an important part in your SEO strategy. As smart as search engines are getting, they are still machines that need a bit of guidance. They aren’t able yet to understand all the subtleties of the language and read between the lines to determine what a blog post is truly about. You need to provide them with bits of information that give details about the content. But, you need to be smart about how you’re doing it. Here’s what we mean by that.

Include Keywords in Meta Descriptions

This strategy won’t necessarily help with ranking, but it will aid prospects to determine quickly if a page contains the information they need.

Don’t Beat Around the Bush

Don’t take too long to get to the point as readers will get bored and bounce. Offer them an answer to their problem and then elaborate.

You Need to Constantly Adapt Your Strategy

Although the importance of keywords has changed over the years, they still play a vital role. That’s the thing with SEO: you need to be on the lookout and adapt your strategy as needed. And, that can be difficult when you are a small business owner.

At Provaro, no client is too big or small. We will work hard to understand your business and its audience and create a SEO strategy that will bring the best results.

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