Ask the experts – how important are keywords for SEO in 2022?

One of the most frustrating things about the struggle to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is that the rules change constantly and without warning. Google search is updated thousands of times a year, so you might find an approach that works, until suddenly you drop down the rankings because the algorithm has changed overnight.

Years ago, writers could game the system by filling blogs and web content with keywords — words or phrases that users enter in search engines to find information on a topic.

But spammy content stuffed with keywords has never been a good approach. Even if it has worked for SERP rankings in the past (and today it won’t), it repels visitors instead of engaging them. Readers (and search engine algorithms) can detect unnatural language immediately, and the oldest SEO spam tactic will just get you penalised.

So what does work? It depends. Matrix Internet SEO Specialists Patrick and Srdjan have spent years fine-tuning strategies that help clients reach the coveted top spots. Even the experts don’t always use the same tactics — but they both agree there’s no universal method.

Here, Srdjan and Patrick share their thoughts on keywords and the ever-evolving best approaches to staying at the top of the SERPs.

Should web content writers follow a strict formula for using keywords?

Patrick: I think this is an ancient way to use SEO. Usually, search engines evolve and constantly introduce thousands of algorithms to rank websites. Furthermore, in the last few years they are implementing both machine learning and artificial intelligence with the aim of providing better results. Approaching SEO like you would’ve done in 2001 isn’t the smartest way to optimise websites. Businesses need to anticipate trends instead of following them.

Srdjan: Keyword usage is much too complex to be analysed in this way. The first thing to do when you write content in an SEO-friendly way is to determine the purpose of each piece. Is it news? Is it an interesting article that should be shared on social media or an article with a clear intention to rank for a specific keyword?

When you determine the purpose then keywords can be researched and used in a natural way.

Mixing Indegridients

Should you always use a keyword in the title?

Srdjan: If the type of content requires using keywords at the very beginning — specifically density, title, or using long-tail keywords, then you should use them. But you should never forget that each article or page of content should be written in a natural way that incentivises the audience to read, comment and share.

Patrick: As long as a title is useful and descriptive for users, it doesn’t matter what the title is.


Are secondary keywords necessary? What about long-tail keywords and key phrases?

Patrick: I would recommend you avoid thinking too much about keywords. The SERPs are changing. Evolved search engines such as Google show different types of results on the SERPs — they are less related to keywords and more about what is present on a web page.

A good method for understanding whether you’ve written quality content is to read it aloud. If it sounds unnatural, repetitive, without sense and if you have to read a couple of paragraphs before reading the main concept of the article, maybe this article isn’t good for SEO.

Srdjan: Every good article uses keywords, long-tail keywords and secondary keywords in natural density, and that is most often a clue that they have researched the topic before writing.


The verdict — strike a balance

Good, well-optimised content is a craft. It’s not purely about finding the perfect keywords and using them at a precise density. But good web content is not just good writing. The best content pulls together excellent writing and sprinkles in effective keywords, both short and long-tailed ones, so they are a natural part of the text.

Most of all, it gives the reader something that matters — advice or information related to a problem they have.


Help with your SEO to rank better

If you’re running a business, you might not have the time or in-house skill set needed to create and optimise content that connects with your audience. From social media to your website and blog, digital marketing is a lot to tackle when you are running a lean company without a full marketing staff in-house.

If you’ve been searching for a team of experts that can boost your web presence and get you to the top of the rankings, get in touch with Matrix Internet today to see how we can help.

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