3 Good Reasons Keywords Still Matter in the SEO Business

SEO marketing keywords SERP

Every day, Google and other major search engines refine their search algorithms a bit, meaning the rules for SEO services like ours are always changing. There are hundreds of bloggers and journalists out there offering their own opinions on what each change means—it’s enough to make a small business owner’s head spin.

But for SEO professionals, it’s all very exciting, and we always try to look at changes as opportunities, not just challenges. It’s also important to note that people writing about the SEO industry can often overstate big changes, and get themselves or the businesses they work for into some hot water.

For example, within the past few years Google has tweaked its algorithm to focus not just on keywords (the words that Google users actually type into Google), but on sites as “entities.” Many bloggers in the SEO world took this as meaning those keywords would no longer be important in the effort to get businesses better Google search engine results.

Here we are near the end of 2016, though, and keywords matter as much as ever. Here are 3 reasons they’re still one of the most important assets available to get a small business to Page 1 of Google.

1. They’re the most direct link with the customer.

Keywords are still a big factor in what site gets to the top of a Google search engine result page and what sits get left in the dust, because Google knows internet users are typing those specific words for a reason.

Google’s whole mission is to direct its users to content that answers their questions and matters to them. Our mission as an SEO marketing company is to create content that fits those criteria and directs customers to you and your products.

2. Even with Voice Search, keywords are a major factor.

While no one knows exactly how every piece of Google’s algorithm works, SEO professionals can figure out many of the factors that go into search results, simply because we work with those results all the time.

While relatively new Google features like Voice Search and Reverse Image Search are a little harder for even the best SEO marketers to figure out, it’s obvious to professionals that words are still a factor. As these new types of searches continue to become more and more popular, professionals will need to continue to utilize search keywords to keep bringing users to sites.

3. Keywords have always been and always will be one tool in the box.

Much of the overreaction from bloggers to Google’s changes in their algorithm probably stems from the fact that many SEO marketers relied on keywords alone too much, and didn’t look at long-term factors like site construction and backlinks—so any small reduction in the importance of keywords seems like a huge deal.

The thing about keywords, though, is that they have always been one of many factors. A good SEO marketer will never rely on keywords alone, or completely exclude keywords from their approach. What separates the page 1 Google results from those on page 50 is not keywords, links, or any other factor alone—it’s all of those factors taken together.