Years ago, there was a lot of talk about the keyword system being replaced with something else in the nearest future. While there’s nothing wrong with keywords themselves, there were some people who used various mischievous techniques to rank better. For instance, at one point in time, keyword cramming was a legitimate SEO strategy; because it was efficient at what it did and gave quick and reliable results. Because of this, digital marketers had no valid reason to avoid this strategy. This made search engines adjust in order to make this type of “cheating” more difficult to pull off. However, abolishing all keywords for this simple misuse was a ludicrous notion.
Keywords will always remain an integral part of SEO simply because it’s a natural way people use search engines. When they want to know something about pet food in their neighbourhood, they’ll type in the words ‘pet’, ‘food’, ‘name of their neighbourhood. In order to change this, search engines would have to alter more than just their algorithm. They would have to change the way in which billions of people around the globe use the internet. Over these last two decades, the relationship between search engines and keywords might have changed but keywords are still important for SEO.
Here are a couple of reasons why this is the case and how this fits your overall search engine optimization strategy.
They’re no longer provided so easily
In the past, all the keyword data was provided to users across the globe on a platter. This is no longer the case. This means that digital marketers need to invest more effort in order to figure out what works. This means that they have to employ their creativity a lot more than they did in the past and spend more hours doing their keyword research. It doesn’t, however, mean that keywords are no longer relevant or that they are impossible to obtain. This is also one of the best examples of the resilience of digital marketing trends. Something as big has changed so drastically, yet, the relevance of keywords remains unchanged.
People still use keywords and figuring out top-ranked keywords is really not that difficult. In their inquiries, people are trying to be as descriptive and intuitive as possible. The biggest problem is the fact that Google conducts regular updates and that the methodology behind ranking changes, as well. Throughout the history of this search engine, there were numerous major updates (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Rankbrain, etc.). Each of them completely changed the landscape. The keywords, on the other hand, still fill the same niche and serve the same purpose.
Wrap up: While the availability of data may have changed, people still use keywords in the same way. In fact, they use the exact same keywords because they are the most logical. This, nonetheless, makes them more competitive, as well.
AI won’t make keywords obsolete
With the introduction of AI-driven ranking factors into the mix, a lot of people started questioning whether keywords will soon become obsolete. However, even this AI needed contextual signs in a form of a keyword in order to interpret the search. This is incredibly important because it gives some function to those less competitive keywords. In the past, they were, for the most part, functionally irrelevant. Now, with language recognition, GPS location to give it a wider context and more, it is much more efficient with providing suitable results.
In fact, due to all of this, it would be safe to say that AI-driven tools made keywords even more important. Just think about it, a lot of people still don’t know how to use Google, regardless of how intuitive it is. Moreover, there are a lot of people who don’t know how to make a good longtail keyword or get them what they need. All that these AI-tools do is provide users with a chance to get what they were looking for even if their search box entries aren’t that great. Of course, for the world of SEO, this meant a long list of potentially competitive keywords.
Wrap up: The only difference we saw with the introduction of these AI tools was Google’s ability to interpret user inquiries. The key points in user inquire, however, were still keywords.
Two types of audience
As a website, you really have two types of audience – human and crawler audience. The truth is that both of these audiences use keywords in order to find and interpret you. There are some phrases that will help crawlers understand exactly what industry your website belongs to. This is just one of the ways to facilitate the process of your website is indexed. In a case where your SEO audit is already completed and you still have a problem getting indexed, it might be the best idea to look for a free SEO audit. This will help you make some quick fixes to the problem.
One of the main reasons why you might need an SEO audit, to begin with, is because you might have chosen poorly when selecting your keywords. This means that you might have picked keywords that have a low search volume or that their usage is incorrect. Overall, this is a problem that can easily be rectified with a professional audit of your website. Moreover, accurate and specific keywords will attract the right type of audience – qualified leads. These people are your target audience and are much more susceptible to your message.
As a result, your bounce rate will drop and your audience retention rate will skyrocket. Because both are ranking factors, this will lead to an increase in your rank.
Wrap up: Improper use of chosen keywords may drastically reduce your organic reach. With the use of a professional SEO audit, you should be able to rectify this quite effortlessly.
Voice search won’t make keywords obsolete
Another fear was the idea that the voice search would somehow make traditional keywords obsolete. However, this is really not the case. Keep in mind that in 2021, your voice search optimization might also affect your e-commerce sales. More and more people are using voice search, some are even using voice search in order to find the items that they plan to buy. This is why voice search optimization may directly affect your bottom line. Even more importantly, you need to keep in mind that your digital marketing budget depends on your average annual revenue. In other words, these things are connected in more ways than you would expect.
A big change that voice search has introduced is the form and format of these keywords. This is especially true for longtail keywords. You see, people are more likely to use a proper grammatical form of a voice-spoken search. Written keywords often omit determiners, prepositions, number of even cases of the word. This is due to the fact that it takes more effort to type than to say a proper grammatical form of the word. This is something that those optimizing for voice search SEO will have to adjust.
Wrap up: Keywords are still not disappearing but the form in which they are used can be. This is because the nature of people’s use of the internet is changing.
Keywords are data-driven
Looking at people’s interests through numbers is incredibly high. How do you quantify people’s interests? Well, how about you try with “X people each month type a phrase Y into the search box”. You can also say that “The phrase Y gets googled Z times every hour”. This is just one of the ways to quantify these interests and try to get a better understanding of how people actually use the internet. For any of this to work, you need to have keywords and keyword data. Without keyword data, digital marketers would have no idea what they’re doing but guess what, neither would people developing the algorithm.
The reason for the use of these keywords is natural and organic. Keywords are affected by trends and events but they can’t be manipulated in any obvious way. Sure, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there’s an increase in the public interest for terms like face masks, disinfectants, etc. The reason why we pointed out these two terms is that, unlike COVID-19, they existed even before 2019/2020, yet searches containing them didn’t have nearly as much volume.
Wrap up: Keywords contain pivotal information that is essential for both digital marketers and technicians improving search engine algorithm.
The most important thing you need to understand, and a thing to put your mind at ease, is the fact that keywords won’t disappear because they are the backbone of a user’s experience online. Sure, search engines are constantly evolving but they are doing so with one purpose in mind – to become more user-friendly. Their main aim, their main objective, is to provide their users with the ultimate search engine experience. Not only are keywords not in the way of this perfect user experience; they’re essential for it. Sure, their use and implementation may further evolve but keywords, as such, are not going anywhere.