Keywords are needed for SEO content writing.
Although there are many SEO experts who have begun to say that keywords no longer matter because Google these days focuses on natural language processing rather than keywords, if you search on Google, you will observe that keywords still matter.
I will give you a small example: suppose you are looking for “SEO content writing” and the keyword does not exist on my website.
Will you be able to find my website?
Suppose I’m constantly writing web pages and blog posts on “SEO writer”, “SEO writing”, or “writing for SEO” – will you still find my website for “SEO content writing”?
You may or you may not.
It depends on how well I have been able to optimize my website and what is the nature of rankings my content enjoys on Google.
If lots of people link to my website, my blog, and individual blog posts and on those websites, they have repeatedly used the keyword “SEO content writing”, then, maybe, Google may infer that my website is about “SEO content writing”, otherwise, it is all guesswork.
On the other hand, if I have multiple blog posts and web pages talking about the topic of “SEO content writing” then there is a great chance that one of these days, you will be able to find my website for this particular search query.
Therefore, you shouldn’t ignore the keywords when writing content.
Keywords have significance other than SEO
Whenever my clients send me content writing specifications, they also send me a list of keywords.
They may want me to optimize a single blog post for 5-10 keywords, or they may want me to focus on just a single, longtail phrase.
I prefer focusing on longtail phrases.
They are easier to optimize.
They don’t dilute your optimization process.
Whenever my clients ask me to optimize a particular piece of content for 5-10 keywords, I refuse to do so.
This is because then I need to write lots of unnecessary content to cover all the keywords unless the blog post or the web page is actually comprehensive enough to be able to accommodate all 5-10 keywords.
Even when the client doesn’t mention SEO, I advise to compile a list of keywords.
Keywords are not just needed for SEO – they also give you an idea of the language people use when they are using Google.
People use conversational language when they’re searching for information.
Again coming back to my own example, I may end up spending lots of time optimizing for “SEO content writing”, whereas, clients might be searching for “need an SEO content writer” or “looking for SEO content writer”.
Maybe only those people look for “SEO content writing” who want to learn about writing SEO content.
Therefore, the language that you are using when writing content may be completely different from the language used by your target customers and clients.
For better conversion rate you must write in the language used by your visitors.
Hence, keywords are needed for two purposes:
- Help you write optimized content so that you can organically improve your search engine rankings.
- Help you get a sense of the language people use when talking about your business so that you can write your content in the same language.
- Help you get content writing ideas – you need to create lots of topics to write on based on the keywords you want to optimize your website or blog for.
How to find the right keywords before writing content?
When writing content, keyword research can either be done by the client, or the content writer writing the content (it depends on whether the client is ready to pay for the time or not).
There are free as well as paid methods to find the right keywords.
There are three elements you must pay attention to when finding the right keywords before writing your content:
Relevance of the keywords
How relevant the keywords you’re planning to use are?
Here I would quickly like to add that when researching for keywords, focus on probable topics of search rather than keywords like “SEO content writing”.
For example, should you optimize for “looking for SEO content writer” or “what are the benefits of hiring an SEO content writer?”
This is where search intent comes into picture.
The intent of the first search query “looking for SEO content writer” is transactional because the person submitting the query wants to hire an SEO content writer.
The intent of the second search query “what are the benefits of hiring an SEO content writer” is that the person may be thinking of hiring an SEO content writer but he or she needs more convincing.
This is commercial intent.
You may like to read Why search intent is most important when writing content for your website
Authority of the keywords
It is the depth of expertise your keywords or topic represents.
You build topical authority by writing lots of content on your chosen topic.
For example, if I have multiple web pages and blog posts talking about “SEO content writing” and if the content is relevant and many people link to it, Google will think that it is an authority keyword for my website.
Keyword authority is more about choosing a key phrase or a longtail keyword and then building authoritative content around it.
Keyword search volume
For this you may need to use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner.
The Google Keyword planner is less for SEO and more for bidding on Google AdWords advertisements, but if you enter your keywords, it gives you such volume.
Search volume tells you whether the keyword you want to use is popular or not.
You may rank on the first spot for your chosen keyword but if people are not searching for it, there is no use of it.
You must choose keywords for which there are a decent number of search queries being done.
Also, highly competitive keywords may be difficult to optimize.
Hence, you should use keywords that are relevant to your business, but they are not extremely highly competitive (thousands of people searching for them per day.
In conclusion, finding the right keywords are important for your content writing process both in terms of improving search engine rankings as well as helping you write in the language your target audience uses.