Are Keywords Still Important?

It wasn’t long ago when search engine optimization was mainly focused on keyword relevancy. For your website to rank well, you had to utilize keywords that your prospective customers were using. If you owned a bakery in Muncie, Indiana, you made sure that your content contained that search term multiple times. This tactic worked for a while, but it wasn’t long until site owners resorted to spammy behavior, like keyword stuffing.

Keywords Are Still Important

The relationship between SEO and keywords isn’t as simple as it used to be. Google is becoming more and more sophisticated in the way it collects data. Keyword relevancy is just the tip of the iceberg.

That isn’t to say that keywords are no longer important. Google still uses keywords to determine the services your business offers and who you’re offering these services to, but it’s now using semantic search to draw its own conclusions about whether you’re reliable.

What is Semantic Search?

Semantic search came into play in 2013 as part of the Hummingbird algorithm update. The main point of this update was to provide more relevant results for users using voice search technology. Thus, content became more conversational in tone and aimed to answer questions that started with who, what, where, when, and, how.

Before this update, Google determined what your company offered based on the keywords. If a searcher was looking for affordable cakes in Muncie, they may have been showed websites that contained any of those keywords, such as a cheap cake recipe blog, and not necessarily bakeries. With semantic search, Google understands the intention behind the search query and knows that someone who is looking for affordable cakes in Muncie is looking for an inexpensive bakery or cake shop. Consequently, searchers are met with relevant and useful results.

Finding the Right Keywords

Whether you are adding new pages to your site, implementing landing pages, or posting blogs regularly, you need to be using the right keywords. There are a variety of tools available that will help you determine which keywords will help you with your ranking, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Wordstream’s Keyword Tool, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, and Answer The Public.

Keeping with the example, a bakery owner in Muncie, Indiana could see that wedding cakes, birthday cupcakes, and baked goods are good keywords to use in their online marketing campaign using Keyword Planner.

Finding the right keyword is only have the battle, you need to make sure that your keywords are supported by surrounding content. The easiest way to do that is to create content entirely devoted to one topic.


Anyone can churn out a post on a social media channel or blog, but never everyone can write quality content. When it comes to your content marketing efforts, it pays to go with someone who has experience. Not only will it help your site assume a superior position, it will help build trust with your readers.


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