Keyword Rankings: Do They Really Matter This 2021?

by Corey Philip
February 25, 2021

Some site owners have been asking us if keyword rankings still contribute to search engine optimization. The obvious answer to that is, definitely.

The common misconception is that keywords are supposed to be dead. However, this misunderstanding all started in 2010 when Google made an initiative to remove keyword data visibility. That is why for a while, users lost track of its significance as Google eliminated its presence. In actuality, they were never gone, to begin with. The only thing that Google changed was the fact that users could no longer easily track or access its data on the internet. With the presence and significance of keywords to SEO optimization and Google, here are some ways they can positively affect your website. 

How keyword rankings contribute to your site

Keywords can vary in the form of individual words to longer and more complicated phrases.  They hold multiple benefits that you can take advantage of as a website owner.

First of all, the purpose of keywords is to emphasize the content found on your website to bring in more organic and relevant search traffic. The visibility of long-tail keywords in your URL, title, subheaders, meta descriptions, and more is still incredibly vital for your webpage. These keywords are what web users use to find things that relate to your brand. They can serve as a bridge for you and your potential clients and visitors if this is properly and accurately optimized.

And once users get to your website, we can use keywords to turn them into customers. Here’s how: the most common and significant contribution keywords provide is that they can give you an idea of what kind of users are looking for your services and how you can better meet their needs.

With keywords, you could identify an audience you didn’t know you should target that you can focus your content on. These serve as clues on improving and enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. Once you identify the appropriate direction to take to secure your audience, you can then improve the value your website (or brand) provides. Thus, you create a more effective marketing strategy that can boost your sales and profit. 

How to optimize keyword rankings

Primarily, the first thing you can do to optimize your rankings is to create a master list for your keywords. This can easily be done with SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool. This tool not only gives you a more convenient and organized way to formulate keyword master lists, but it also allows a deeper analysis for your keywords. You can explore and discover multiple groups and subgroups that are related to your content while sorting through your keywords by number or volume. It is easier to eliminate groups that are not relevant to your content by setting up advanced filters. 

Step 1: Enter a keyword your audience might be searching for.

Step 2: Learn about how much traffic it could drive to your website, if it's currently trending, and more.

Step 3: Find other relevant keywords listed out for your convenience.

It is also crucial to go through your keywords and sort them according to how high they can rank. After making your master list, it would be wrong to assume that every single keyword you've listed will be able to rank favorably. It is best to choose appropriate and relevant keywords that can benefit you the most. Evaluating the success of each keyword may be a tedious and lengthy task. Fortunately, SEMrush's Overview Difficulty Tool can help you conveniently judge whether outranking a competitor's keyword can be possible or not. Having the information provided by this tool can let you know what specific keywords are worth investing your time and efforts on. 

Step 1: Type the keywords you identified earlier.

Step 2: Check their keyword difficulty to see how hard it would be to rank for them. 1 is the easiest, 100 is the hardest.

You should also consider where to position your keywords on your webpage. Placing your keywords in URLs can be strategic as it is favorably visible and is not always replaced. Also, Google acknowledges this and gives value to whatever is in your URLs. Title tags can also be a great place where you can put your keywords in, as they are also highly influential when it comes to rankings and click-through-rates. Similarly, meta description tags can also help increase CTR, although they do not influence Google rankings. Besides that, keywords can also be strategically placed into internal links, visible content, image file names and attributes, video file names and captions, ARIA tags, and schema markups.

Furthermore, it is best to ensure that your keywords stay relevant and appropriate for your site. Some site owners might choose to target keywords that are not usually searched for by the masses. That is why it is essential to research what keywords would work well on your site and put in the ones that can help you gain more traffic. With the help of SEMrush's Ad History Report, you can now locate advertising trends and assess whether or not the keyword was utilized for paid search. On top of that, you can also access the amount of ad traffic, price, and quantity of ads for that specific keyword. The Keyword Overview Tool can also help analyze and evaluate your keyword's value and how it can affect your site's traffic. 

Step 1: Type in the keywords you want to check the advertising trends for.

Step 2: See the websites targeting those keywords, how much traffic their ads are getting, and what their actual ads are!

Keeping track of your keyword rankings can also be a great way to optimize their presence. In order to monitor your rankings on a day to day basis, SEMrush lets you do this through its Position Tracking tool. All you have to do is input the URL of the site that you want to monitor, and it will manually let you see the keyword rankings of that specific page. What's more, with the Organic Traffic Insights, you can now assess your site's organic search performance. SEMrush can integrate three data sources such as SEMrush data, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics so that you can acquire the most effective and accurate keyword data for your website.

You can see what landing pages are ranking, what keywords they ranking for, their position, and if they've improved or declined.

The Bottomline

It's extremely important to think about the impact keywords have on your website traffic. If you haven’t done anything keyword-related on your site just yet, it’s time to start. Re-evaluate how you should be presenting your content and how you can incorporate keywords to your site that can bring in more visitors and sales. Some sites may be able to rank well due to the high-volume keywords they put in their content. However, sometimes these sites don't get the full benefits from these simple words and phrases. Using the tips and tools mentioned above can help with effectively integrating pertinent keywords for the growth of your site and brand. In the long run, you’ll be able to bring in more visits and conversions to your website. 


About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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