What’s the Word On Keyword Research?

What’s the Word On Keyword Research?

Search Engine Optimization has essentially been around since the advent of search engines. And it is constantly evolving as Google continues to optimize their algorithms.

As of late, keyword research (which as always been a big component of SEO) has become less relevant to SEO’s success. The main reason for this is Google no longer looks at search queries in terms of keywords, matching certain keywords up with certain websites. Instead it uses semantics, and looks at search queries in terms of perceived user intent. Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom Jayson DeMars describes it well: “Google’s algorithm has grown sophisticated enough to understand what users are searching for based on their input, and then look for appropriate sources that provide that desired end result.”

Some SEO experts still feel that keyword research will help a website rank higher. My opinion: if you have the time (and the money), then you may still see some positive effects from extensive keyword research, but why spend so much time on something that is becoming obsolete when there are more important SEO components? Speaking of which, here a couple best practices that I think are very important to pay attention to:

  1. Use Good Content: This coincides with semantics. Google’s algorithm is looking for websites that contain quality and relevant content that match a user’s intent, not necessarily certain keywords.
  2. Websites Must Be ResponsiveGoogle themselves stated that, “Starting April 21 (2015), we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” This was a smart move by Google, seeing that mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop.
  3. Make Sure Your Website Is Technically Sound : Factors such as site speed, clean code, length and wording of URL and image descriptions cannot be overlooked. Because Google will notice whether or not they are in good shape.

In general, I think that SEO has been moving, and will continue to move toward a much more organic, simplistic method. One which focuses on creating a relevant, user-friendly, well-working site. And our every-increasingly intuitive search engines will take care of the rest.