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So how can you ensure your content and website is relevant to your target audience? The key is targeting the right keywords.

Keyword strategy: dead or evolving?

Experts caution that there is more to SEO than keywords. It is true! Technical SEO involves optimizing your website or content for speed, URL, device, and more. Yet, the importance of keywords remains. Keywords are so integral to SEO that brands need a dedicated strategy for keywords. 

If you add a keyword as an afterthought, your content will seem awkward. If you stuff your content with keywords, search engines can penalize you. Nothing is more disappointing than a keyword that is irrelevant to the content. Gone are the days when you had to use the exact keyword for a higher ranking. Today, search engines are smart enough to identify clusters. You may have come across the term long-tailed keywords and topic strategy. Also, Google is not the only platform for digital marketing. Social media is now an important platform for business. On different platforms, people are at different stages in the buyer journey. So you cannot look only at Google ranking anymore. Effective keyword strategy needs to be customized for your audience and platform. 

So keywords are not dead. But keyword strategy is evolving.

Trends in keyword strategy

Topic research is as important as keyword research:

When Google algorithm was not very intuitive, keyword research was simple. First, you looked for high volume and low competition keywords. Once you found the right keywords, you could fill them in your content. But today, experts are focusing on user experience and quality. The goal is not only a high ranking. A language that flows naturally and long-tailed keywords are the trends. You cannot compromise on the content quality. What are your users interested in reading? What is trending within your customer base? Is your marketing campaign engaging? Finding exact keyword matches is not effective. The trend in keyword strategy has shifted to long-tailed keywords and topic research.

Local Keywords for Local SEO:

Keyword strategy has moved from focusing on volume to looking for precision. Location-based search results may see less traffic. But optimizing content for location boosts conversions. Today, people look for business on Google Maps. So any 'near me' search result performs better than others. If you own a physical store, then local SEO can help increase footfalls. There are many on-page and off-page optimization methods for local SEO. You can register and verify your business on GMB (Google My Business). But is there a keyword strategy for local SEO? Local keyword research gives helps with a quick competitor analysis. But there is a catch. If you look for exact keywords, you may miss out on some of the unique services your brand offers. Local keyword strategy should consider what your buyers want. So include local promotions, area-specific information in your content. Also, keyword modifiers are a good way to expand your reach. 

Brands often use modifiers like 'best' 'top' to highlight quality. Phrases that focus on your unique offerings give you a competitive edge in your locality. You know your area well. Are you offering 'same-day delivery' services while brands around are not? Let your local keyword strategy talk about it! Also, do not be afraid to extend a little beyond your location boundaries. After all, featuring in the top 3 local listings is difficult. The space is small, and the competition is high.

Keyword strategy for mobile SEO:

People use mobiles and desktops differently. Smartphones offer speed with convenience. So mobile users do not have time for long keywords. After all, it isn't easy to type on mobile devices. So you may want to consider many typos. Users often opt for voice-based commands. To rank high for voice-based commands, your keywords need to be conversational. As with desktop searches, your mobile keyword strategy should consider a buyer's intent. Mobile phone users are generally looking for local results. But your keyword strategy should also include information-based searches on mobiles.

Social Media and keyword strategy:

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/mr4JG4SYOF8

Social media users are not expecting you to sell something to them. Also, user behavior is different across platforms. A popular search on Google may not be trending on Twitter or YouTube. Social media is for casual browsing. So when there is no clear search intent, do you need keywords? If yes, then what is the keyword strategy for social media? To answer these questions, let us look at Facebook. 

Facebook is the most popular social media platform. The biggest advantage it offers brands is granularity. With Facebook, you can know minute details of your customers. The platform maintains user data on demographics, locations, interests, and more. The data can aid in your keyword strategy. By creating a persona of your buyers, you know what content engages them the most. Your keywords should lure them to your brand. It is important to understand where the person stands in the buyer journey. Most people on social media will not buy on the first contact. So keywords that make content informational and conversational will help. The keyword strategy for social media is fast evolving. At one point, hashtags meant a lot on Twitter. But today Twitter algorithm gives relevant searches even without hashtags. However, Instagram still relies on hashtags. 

Keyword strategy on social media is about understanding the profile and intent of the user. 

Negative keywords:

Should you avoid negative keywords? Is including some negative keywords useful for paid campaigns? Negative keywords offer benefits when used with care. Negative keywords help to stop your ads from popping up in irrelevant searches. For paid campaigns, negative keywords save cost. But it would be best if you were cautious while using negative keywords. Research the difference between irrelevant audience and low conversion rates. 

Keyword strategy is important for SEO. But a good keyword strategy is knowing that SEO goes beyond keywords.