Are keywords still important to SEO? 

In the early days of Google Search, keywords were everything. To rank well on Google, you had to be using the right keywords. At the time, Google didn’t have the complex algorithms that it uses today to determine how each site should be ranked. This means that keywords were essentially the only way to get ranked on Google Search. As you may have already guessed, this left room for a lot of manipulation by the websites that were attempting to reach that elusive #1 spot on Google. Many shady keyword strategies were developed during this era. One of the most popular methods of this era is now referred to as keyword stuffing. As the name not-so-subtly implies, keyword stuffing occurs when you cram as many keywords as possible onto your site. To maximize the number of keywords that they stuffed onto each page, many sites would often add thousands of invisible keywords to each page. This was actually a very effective strategy because Google’s crawlers (i.e. bots that Google uses to search and rank your website) would be able to recognize the words, but they were completely hidden from the viewer, making it a true win-win scenario. As I briefly mentioned earlier, this strategy no longer works on Google. In fact, using strategies such as keyword stuffing can get you de-indexed by Google, and considering that 92% of internet users use Google as their primary search engine, this can be absolutely catastrophic to your website traffic.

So with all that in mind, are keywords still important to ranking well on Google Search? The answer is a resounding yes. 

Ultimately, given that web searchers still need to use keywords/keyphrases to search Google, it only makes sense that they would still play an important role in a website’s SEO strategy. The only difference is you have to be more particular about the keywords you choose and how you use them. Google’s main goal as a search engine is to provide its users with the best content possible. So, it is imperative that the words you use be relevant to your website. Well, how do you know what keywords or keyphrases to use? Truthfully, just using a bit of common sense to come up with some relevant words is a great place to start. If you are a florist, you might want to pick keywords such as “flowers, soil, seeds” for example. From here, you would want to add some modifiers that are also relevant to your business. For instance, using the name of the city where your business is located or listing specific types of flowers on your site would be some good ways to modify your existing keywords. With that said, simple keywords such as these won’t really get your website ranked highly as much as they will help you show Google what your business is. To truly receive better rankings you need to know what keywords and key-phrases are trending or have only a few other sites ranking for them so you can have a good shot at getting that #1 spot. Luckily for you, here at About You Web Design, we have a suite of SEO keyword tools and proprietary strategies to get you climbing up those rankings. If you would like to know more, please contact us today so we can schedule a consultation.