Why Are SEO Keywords Still So Important Today? 

Team Pepper
Posted on 24/12/216 min read
Why Are SEO Keywords Still So Important Today? 
SEO keywords are crucial to your content marketing strategy. Without them, you will not rank on any SERP and stand out among the competition. Read on to know more.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an indispensable part of your digital marketing strategy. SEO is a set of practices that improves your website ranking in search results, thus driving more traffic to your site. 

The most crucial role of SEO keywords is to help boost your ranking. Your company will naturally attract users by posting high-quality content on your website.


Most people rightly associate SEO with incorporating keywords in the content piece. Even though this notion is not entirely correct, SEO keyword importance cannot be neglected. Keywords are the most basic and foundational aspect of your SEO strategy. 

This article highlights everything you need to know about why SEO keywords are important in determining your search engine rankings. 


Before we talk about the importance of SEO keywords, we must highlight several aspects involved when working with keywords. One of the most important is knowing how to carry out SEO keyword research. The other is knowing what not to do when it comes to SEO. And finally, learn about the types of keywords. Armed with this, you can now proceed to learn why SEO keywords are essential and where you can use them effectively. 

Importance of Keywords in SEO

A few years ago, keywords were the only means of conveying to search engines what your website covered. So, the more often the keyword appeared in your content, the more relevant it seemed. This led to the malpractice of keyword stuffing to trick search engines into ranking your page. It ultimately showed low-quality and irrelevant websites as top searches to users.

Search engines soon realized this and updated their algorithms to crack down on irrelevant keyword usage. The updated and smarter algorithms can now easily differentiate high-quality and poor-quality content. 

Keywords still play a significant role in SEO but are now looked at as a part of the larger picture to understand the webpage content. Thus, proper research should go into using keywords that have an organic connection with the content and could make a difference to the search rankings.


There are several reasons for the importance of keywords in SEO. The major ones are listed below:

  • Keywords are like clues. They tell what the customers want. This allows the company to meet the customers’ needs better. Thus, keywords identify and speak the language of the customers.
  • Most importantly, keywords are an essential parameter to improve the search engine rankings by assisting Google in understanding what your content is about.
  • It communicates to Google that your website perfectly matches a user’s search query.
  • It helps to show up content before the right people at the right time.
  • It drives more qualified and organic traffic to relevant websites.
  • Keywords also increase users’ time on a website by driving more people to it.
  • It also increases conversion rate and revenue by helping customers find you before your competitors.
  • Keywords can offer a bullseye view of the market, which helps marketers direct their content to the target audience.

Keywords can, thus, optimize web pages to match a user’s search intent and answer their search queries. In fact, most page titles on Google’s first page contain keywords that are an exact or partial match of a user’s search query.

Keywords are customer-oriented since you have to describe your product how people want it. Before optimizing the importance of keywords in SEO, learn the language your target audience uses and the type of content they look for. This can be done by interviewing your customers, conducting market surveys, engaging on social media, and using tools available for SEO keyword research.

6 Places Where You Can Incorporate SEO Keywords

You can incorporate SEO keywords into existing content or create new content targeting those keywords. You can optimize the SEO keyword importance by placing them in strategic locations.

1. Page titles

While searching for any information, the first thing users read is the page title when it shows up in search results. If the keyword they’re looking for appears in the page title, it immediately catches their attention and drives them to your site. The users and search engines also pay attention to such page titles, showing them higher up in the searches. Thus, use keywords in the page titles for a higher ranking.

See the example below. 


2. Meta descriptions

A clear and concise meta description tells users more about an article and encourages them to visit your website. A higher click-through rate leads to a higher Google ranking. The importance of keywords in SEO is enhanced with a well-written meta description that can be your pitch to attract users to visit your page. Tell them why they should visit your site and include keywords.

The example below shows where the meta description is. 


3. URLs

URLs are highly visible and describe what the page is about. Try to keep the URLs short and use keywords to inform Google that your website contains the information people are searching for.


4. Content

Your content is the major attraction of your page. Relevant, engaging, and unique content will keep users hooked to your page. Why are keywords important? They help a user find your interesting content. 

Remember that the keywords flow naturally with the content, and you must place it among the first 100 words.


5. Internal links

Using keywords in the anchor text of links directing to your webpage shows Google what your page is about.


6. Image and video file names

Instead of using the name given to image or video files by default, provide them with a name that incorporates some relevant keywords. Placing keywords in images, video names, and URLs enhances the importance of SEO and increases your chances of ranking on search engines, as more people are likely to be exposed to your content. 

In the End

Some of you must have heard this a few times over, “Keywords are dead.” But this assertion is far from true because, if anything, keywords have only increased in importance in SEO. Earlier it was only about keyword density, which led to irrelevant and arbitrary keyword stuffing.

Now, quality takes precedence over quantity. The relevance of keywords has become far more important a factor for ranking than keyword density. Search engines are now better equipped to understand the user’s search intent and present before them only those web pages that match the intent. So, one can say that keywords have, in fact, become even more important. 

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of SEO keywords lies in helping your content rank on search engines. 
  • Keywords are mainly related to the search queries of people that they use to look for information in a search engine.
  • Using keywords in areas like page titles, meta description, URLs, internal links, image, and video file names and the main body of the content offers themaximum effect. 
  • Keywords act as a bridge between what users are searching for and the content websites are providing to fulfill that search. 
  • SEO keyword research is tedious. Be aware of the language and format people are using for their search queries. The seasonal trends, location, and your competitors also affect the keywords to be targeted.


1.  What are keywords?

Keywords are the words or phrases that give an idea of your content are the words that people search in search engines. If the search query matches the keywords in a webpage, Google shows the page in search results. The goal is to use keywords in your content that are relevant to what people are searching for. The impotence of keywords in SEO lies in making your content rank on search engines.

2. How many keywords should be used?

This depends on the length of your content and the number of pages on your website. Each page should have the primary keyword and subtly use other related keywords not to appear forced. Start with 5-10 keywords initially. Don’t over-optimize.

3. What are the features of a good SEO keyword?

High relevance, significant search volume, moderate competition, and a strong conversion rate are features of a good SEO keyword. The importance of SEO keywords lies in helping the search engines find your content and display it to the audience looking for it. Hence, you must always conduct keyword research and zone in on your target audience’s needs while picking keywords.

4. Are keywords still important for SEO?

Yes, they are still an essential part of SEO. They can still affect the way search engines rank your websites. The only difference from before is that now relevance and quality of keywords matter a lot more than keyword density.

5. What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are very useful for page optimization. They are more than three words in length and are more detailed and specific. This is why such keywords have more chances of matching users’ search intent. Long-tail keywords have a moderate search volume and higher conversion rate, making them very important for ranking on search engines.