Keywords were crucial in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO). Many search engines, including Google, based their results on matching terms and phrases in a user’s search query with actual web pages. If someone searched for “digital marketing company,” Google’s algorithm would reward domains and pages that contained the precise phrase “digital marketing company” disproportionately.
As a result, keyword research and keyword-centric SEO tactics have grown in popularity. It used to be that writing content and generating links that included the phrase “digital marketing company” would almost ensure you a top position for the phrase — but that’s no longer the case.
Hummingbird, a Google algorithm update released in 2013, added semantic search features. Google began scanning content for context rather than specific keywords, necessitating a shift in SEO and content marketing techniques away from a keyword-density concentration.
Google didn’t negate the importance of keywords. Now you have to create content that’s seen and valued in your particular area.
A keyword is a search-engine-friendly word or phrase that a search engine can use to determine relevance in your online content. A “head keyword” is a short, topical keyword or phrase in modern usage; for example, “digital marketing agency” maybe a head keyword.
A “long-tail keyword” or “long-tail phrase,” on the other hand, is a longer, often more conversational string of words; for example, “what’s the best digital marketing agency in Sri Lanka” is much longer and, predictably, less prevalent.
New keyword options have been added. If you’re not sure what users are looking for, or if you want to find new ways to create content, keyword research can help you come up with a list of fresh words and phrases.
The number of searches for a certain keyword. You’ll also need to look up each term and phrase’s search volume. The quantity of persons searching for this term over some time is referred to as volume.
The battle for keywords is fierce. You’ll also be able to assess each keyword term’s competitiveness. As you may be aware, SEO is a fiercely competitive field, so if you want to rank well in search results, you’ll have to outperform several competitors.
You can then choose from a variety of effective keywords for your sector.
The main content on the website: The majority of search engine optimizers use keywords primarily in their site’s core content. Their most essential keywords are used in the title tags and meta descriptions of their main pages, as well as irregularly throughout the site’s body content.
Onsite blog post similar to what we do at HypeX & HypeX360: Optimizers frequently include keywords as part of their content marketing strategy. They take keywords and phrases and use them to create new entries. If you want to target the word “digital marketing company,” for example, you could title your piece “The Best Digital Marketing Company in Colombo” and use the term in H1 headers and naturally throughout the text.
Inbound links and anchor text: Anchor text and inbound links You may also use anchor text that contains your goal keywords and phrases to develop inbound links. Although it’s critical to add relevant anchor text when growing your site’s authority, the precise match anchor text may no longer be as effective as it once was.
We’ll use Google as our main example and a stand-in for other algorithms because it has always been the dominating competitor in the search engine market, and most other search engines copy its capabilities.
The majority of the time, keywords are employed to establish relevance. If your website contains numerous instances of the word “digital marketing company” as well as a lot of information regarding digital marketing company-related terms, it will most likely be judged relevant for a user search on the topic. No matter how reliable and authoritative a tech blog is, it will not be regarded as acceptable.
But, for the time being, let’s ignore the “authority” portion of the equation and concentrate just on the “relevance” part. Will using the ideal keywords ensure that your site is properly indexed by Google?
The inner workings of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm remain a mystery, but its utility is obvious. Rather than taking a user’s query and searching the web for exact matches, Google Search now tries to decipher the overall meaning and intent of the query. This may appear to be a little distinction, yet it has significant consequences.
Take, for example, the query “digital marketing company.” Rather than searching the entire web for this same term, Google will deduce that the user is seeking digital marketing company that is likely close. It may make some assumptions and take into account topic-related keywords, such as synonyms.
Even if the semantic search is available, keyword research and inclusion might help to increase the exposure of your plan. However, you should be aware that utilizing keywords excessively or carelessly can work against you.
What can make your position weaker, or possibly get you a manual penalty, include,
Keyword stuffing: Including a keyword, in a given context too many times will raise a red flag with Google. It will appear suspicious if the phrase “best digital marketing agency” occurs 25 times in the body of an article.
Keywords that are irrelevant or strange: In the context of your article, keywords should flow organically. It’s not worth it to go to great lengths to ensure an identical match; not only will it provide no direct profit, but you’ll also risk incurring a penalty.
Poor anchor text usage: In the SEO sector, anchor text is a contentious topic. While it’s necessary to have some relevant text to house your links, it’ll be considered a red signal if you utilize artificial wording or the same term in several links.
If your SEO strategy includes a list of target keywords, you must avoid these traps. It’s simply not worth taking the chance.
Because of the rising sophistication of semantic search and Google’s capabilities in general, the power of keyword-centric SEO techniques has waned over time. But make no mistake: keywords and keyword research continue to play an important role in SEO.