Why You Still Need Keywords for SEO

Last updated on Apr.2, 2014

I don’t believe keywords are deprecated. I think they are critical for SEO, only better used.

“I want to know how to apply SEO to my site as an Editor”, I asked an engineer three years ago. I was having a hard time connecting journalism to high technology and I thought SEO could be it. “First, you need to work on a list of keywords that define your content. The keywords you choose should match those your audience will choose when looking for the content you provide”.

That was something new in the writing process: I was used to think about what my audience liked and needed to know but not how they wrote it.

These past three years I read about SEO, tested keywords and links, learned the tools to value keywords and track SEO performance. I have witnessed how Google has been improving its ranking system, trying to read keywords in their context. And we have improved our keywords list too, from one word to short sentences with the goal of providing more targeted and relevant-to-the- content keywords. This cannot be done by the tech guys in my company. Or can it.

I have seen Ubersuggest becoming very popular as a keyword idea tool. To the point that the topic for a piece of content is not decided during an editorial meeting anymore but from machines like Ubersuggest.

The reason why is very simple: Content marketing. Maybe now we don´t need to keep filling a special part of the template with keywords for search engines (maybe) but keywords are still key for SEO, and online content providers.

1. We still need to see which keywords are user’s faves and how they build their queries.
2. Keywords are still needed inside the content as embedded links, title, url. So you better know your keywords.
3. Google your keywords and you will have a good picture of your competitors.
4. Google your keywords and Google will tell you which keyword sentences are the most searched for.
5. Think “hashtags”. You will need to know what is trending and make sure those popular keywords that become hashtags are in your content.
6. Use Google Adwords to decide how popular is a keyword and also how many companies are competing for those keywords.
7.Use Ubersuggest for ideas on which sentences readers use to search a particular keyword.
8. If you work for a big market where different countries use the same language in different ways, like Spanish, you will need to know which keywords work better and where when you decide your title, for instance.
This part of the job can only be done by those who work with the content directly and know their audience.

photo credit: queercatkitten via photopin cc

Clarisse Céspedes

Journalist and Content Strategist. SEO, sponsorships and video. Follow me on Facebook and @ClarisseCespede.

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