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Insights:How key are keywords for SEO?

June 29, 2018

There was a time when having lots of keywords was of paramount importance if you wanted your website to be found. A decade ago people would fill their web pages with keywords (called key word stuffing) to ensure they came out near the top of the list on search engines like Google. This practice resulted in some extremely poorly written sites that offered the visitor very little.

But the Internet is a constantly changing beast and Google’s algorithms just keep getting smarter. Today Google uses artificial intelligence to vet sites and makes 500 to 600 search changes annually in attempt to live up to their mission to “satisfy users intent.”

Keywords aren’t dead and they are still an important part of search engine ranking, they’re just not as important as they once were.

A recent study on what really impacts search results showed that keywords came 12th on the list.

According to this ranking factors study the top drivers were:

1. Direct website visits
2. Time on site
3. Pages per session
4. Bounce rate

12. Keyword anchors

After looking at this list, you probably have good idea of what it’s saying. Well-written and well-designed sites encourage users to visit more often, spend more time, look at more pages and not leave quickly. Keywords are still high on the list of hundreds (thousands?) of factors that go into good SEO, but having a site that provides value to the user is what search engines are looking for, what users are looking for and should be what website owners are looking for. After all, having a million people visit your site and not converting any of them is no way to run a business.

Another thought to keep in mind is that search engine ranking algorithms are always changing, so the only thing you can be absolutely certain will help your search engine optimization is a site that delivers value to the users.

If you’re ready to upgrade your site or create a new one to truly get the most from your digital investment, give us a call at 605-275-0011 and we’ll put Insight Marketing Design’s digital team on it. One of whom just happens to be a former Google employee. (Never hurts to have some inside intel on the biggest player in the search marketing field ; )

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