You ask, “Are SEO keywords still important in 2020?”

I ask, “Is money important to running a business? Do monkeys love bananas? Is the earth round?”

The answer to all these questions is yes! Of course. The only difference is that no one is seriously asking the last three. Yet, it seems that for every essential presence in our lives, there is always some wannabe-Nostradamus out there eager to tell you that it’s going away.

Anyone who doubts the enduring primacy of keywords in SEO marketing must also contend that search engines aren’t relevant to marketing or that search engines no longer depend on keywords or both. In reality, neither contention is true.

Search Engines Are Still an Enormously Powerful Marketing Channel

The list of benefits that a keyword-based search engine marketing strategy offers to both large and small companies corresponds exactly with a list of the types of added value that any company desires in a marketing strategy, including:

  1. A dependable tool to increase revenue: Not only does strategically keyword-optimized and targeted online advertising dependably bring in more revenue than the cost of the campaign, but those results are also transparently tracked, which allows advertisers to micro-adjust their campaigns to maximize profits.
  2. A conversion-oriented platform: In addition to generating sales, online advertising is highly effective at lead generation for subscriptions, association memberships, newsletters, and other user-contact formats, especially when ad clicks lead to conversion-oriented webpages.
  3. A vehicle to increase brand awareness: Strategically chosen keywords in optimized website copy or search ads measurably increase the awareness of the advertiser among potential customers, whether they are clicked on or not.
  4. A generator of qualified leads: Effective keyword optimization will not merely drive traffic to a site but rather drives qualified traffic. Since shoppers have been directed to that site as the result of a search, they become visitors looking to buy.
  5.  An easily scalable resource for large or small businesses: While the majority of small businesses cannot afford to hire an ad agency for even the most modest campaign, an online ad campaign can be started for as little as five dollars and can reap outsized benefits.

Search Engines Depend on Keywords Now More Than Ever

Those prognosticators who predict the demise of keywords as the central component of the search engine function often point to the evolution of Google algorithms and the changing ways that users execute searches on the web. And it’s certainly true that changes are occurring in search patterns and practices, but that is not news. It is said that the only constant is change. Square that sentiment and you have the nature of reality on the web where innovation proceeds at warp speed. Voice searches are becoming more common, and users are typing longer, more specific search terms into browsers, now often in complete sentences.

However, that doesn’t mean that everything is up for grabs. Technological advancements in Google’s oversight merely demand that keyword strategies become more sophisticated as well. At the same time, analytics will become more advanced in their ability to guide keyword selection. In addition, well-written content and creative elements, such as videos and infographics, will continue to improve page ranking.

When we wonder what the future of search engine marketing looks like, we may find we are already living it. The central virtues of relevancy and trustworthiness will continue to hold the day. Keywords will remain relevant.

Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She often covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate and finance, and also work with digital companies like Coalition Technologies.

Coalition Technologies is a Google certified partner company based in Los Angeles. With an international clientele, we partner with companies of all sizes to create SEO and PPC strategies that bring results. Our SEO expertise helped 1Ink grow revenue from organic search results from $525k to $918k in just twelve months. If you need help with your digital marketing, contact us for assistance.

SEO stock photo by EtiAmmos/Shutterstock