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Is Keyword Research Dead?

Optimizing your SEO and keyword research have historically gone hand in hand. In order to accomplish the former, the latter had to first be thoroughly conducted.

The landscape of SEO is shifting: since the inception of Google Hummingbird in 2013 keywords are becoming less important and may soon become extinct, at least as a necessary component of effective SEO strategy.

What does this mean for you and how do you keep your footing as the sands shift?

Be Informative

Approach content creation with the intent of providing relevant, actionable tools for your readers. Make sure the words you’re pumping out aren’t just words to get you ranked in a Google search:  craft pieces that will provide value for real people, not strings of words hobbled together in an effort to appease the Google gods.

This is where long-form content is your friend.  Use your keyword research time to instead convey large amounts of meaningful information to your target audience making yourself a valuable resource in their tool belt. When you make yourself the expert, they will come back when they need similar information again.

Say What You Mean

Don’t waste valuable time and effort trying to throw keywords at your digital wall in the hopes that they’ll stick. It’s messy and makes your website irrelevant to Google’s algorithms.  Instead, use your comprehensive content to target semantics.  Think about what your readers and consumers are looking for, and write about it.  Craft your pieces to realistically help them, and Google will reward you.

How does this work? The technology in the Hummingbird algorithm update allows the search engine to recognize semantics, natural language, and capitalize on user intent rather than honing in on specific keywords.  So while pumping your content full of keywords may seem like it should help your rank, it will realistically hurt you because of its inability to resonate with the needs of users.

Strategize Appropriately

Where does this leave you and your SEO plans? It firmly plants you in a place that rewards natural content creation rather than forced keyword placement.  Since keywords have yet to die, you should still be appropriately placing them in titles, tags, and a few times throughout the body of content.  Just make sure the bulk of your time goes into crafting a thoroughly helpful and informative piece of copy with clear intent and focus.

As semantic search rises to the surface of SEO importance, keyword relevance will continue to dwindle. Fashion your keyword research and content plan accordingly and contact the pros at Blindspot Advisors for assistance in the ever evolving world of SEO.