Whenever you run an SEO campaign, your success depends on the quality of your keyword research. Some still remember the time when simple keyword stuffing was enough to push your page to the top of SERPs.

Search engines have changed their attitude towards words and content, but in what way? Does it still matter what keywords you use? What should marketers do to increase keyword effectiveness? Find answers to these and more questions with the help of our guest Glenn Gabe, digital marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactive, and other esteemed participants of #semrushchat.

Are keywords important?

You might have read some recent publications that state that keywords are no longer valuable for SEO purposes. But what direction are search engines taking today with keywords? Let’s have a word from our participants.

Keywords are a good starting point for a project or marketing campaign. Google itself has a few instruments, such as Keyword Planner, that indicate its interest in perfectly selected phrases and queries.

Marketers understand their audience through keywords, because in a nutshell, keywords are search queries people use to navigate through the Internet. If you know exactly which words customers are using to describe their needs, it’s easier to engage these people and improve all your marketing channels. Many other participants have the same point of view.

Let’s summarize: keywords are still important and they’re a huge piece of the SEO pie. And hopefully, they always will be! Q1 recap Researching keywords is a good idea, but it takes marketers weeks or even months to do it manually. The next question concerns keyword suggestion and analysis tools. Take a look at these answers from our participants to learn about the best solutions. Keyword research routine

Julia McCoy @JuliaEMcCoy mentions typical tasks every SEO should complete every day, and these will help writers know what content to create and site administrators know what to improve next. These tasks are a big responsibility. Can SEO tools help?

Glen has provided us with his list of helpful tools. As we mentioned above, Keyword Planner is one of the best, but there are a few more: Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console and keyword suggestion tools similar to Keyword.io. You can also get some ideas from Google’s suggestions search box. But don’t forget to turn off personalized search results .

Bill Slawski ‏@bill_slawski added that an expert keyword researcher should also begin with competitor analysis and semantic analysis of their written content. That way you will always have some keywords as candidates for further study.

All in all, to improve keyword research, SEOs should use a combination of tools and constantly analyze the competition. And by the way, thanks for mentioning SEMrush among other useful tools.

Q2 recap

So, if keywords are so important for your marketing strategy, what should you do to increase their effectiveness? Let’s delve deeper with this next question. How to optimize keyword strategy? This one should definitely show us some insights into the working process. What strategies are best for today and how can you turn traffic into conversions? Enjoy these tips from our guests.

More targeting means more conversions; use transactional keywords surrounded by quality content.

Of course, you should pay attention to keywords that used in paid ads and are leading to conversions. Goals are very important so as “Queries” section in Google Analytics. That way you will always know how your keywords are doing. Other participants also mentioned writing detailed, researched blog posts that answer common questions from your audience. Informational keywords are best for this purpose. Q3 recap Speaking of blog posts, let’s take a look at keywords from the point of content marketing. Content is important, because it provides customers with answers to their questions, and it’s important to search engines. So, what are the perfect conjunction “SEO + content” looks like? SEO and content Our participants recommend that content marketers focus on targeted keywords that describe pain points and design their content to answer these questions.

Competitor research can help you determine those keywords. Pay attention to paid advertisements (PPC) — volume level and competition can tell you a lot about the most effective keywords other companies are using to improve their positions.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about your “old” content. It can be revised from the point of the keyword research and enhanced with new, more promising keywords. Promoting such posts on social media could help new users see them and share them with others. Keywords are a big slice of the content pie, but they’re not the pie itself, so you need to generate useful content to start with.

Tonny Dimmock @Tony_DWM summarizes previous comments with an inspirational phrase for all content marketers.

Lets recap all the points and advice concerning keywords used for content marketing. Keywords are important, but your content itself should be useful and engaging. Content marketers and SEOs must work together to achieve higher rankings and conversions.

Q4 recap

It’s time for some SEO predictions about the future role of keywords and keyword research. It’s no secret that technology is quickly advancing, whereas marketers are trying to elaborate them to improve the results of their advertising campaigns. How should we prepare for 2016?

Keyword strategy in 2016

One of our participants pointed out that search is moving towards voice control, personalized searches and long tail keywords indicating a strong intent to buy.

There’s not much to sum up, but we’d like to point out all these SEO predictions: semantic, mobile, verbal and conversational search is our future! Q5 recap We are sure our participants have some tricks up their sleeves. Is there a keyword research strategy that is as effective as unknown among SEOs? It’s time to move on to the last (but not the least) question of the day and learn from your answers.

Thank you, Glen, for mentioning SEMrush. The Domain vs Domain tool is the feature that allows you to compare your domain with your competitors’ and find out if they are ranking better for keywords that you are using. It’s time to review your marketing strategy and take a closer look to your improve audience.

We have already mentioned the potential of Wikipedia for keyword research, but still many SEOs are ignoring this opportunity as well as many others. Dario Zadro ‏@DarioZadro drew attention to Wikipedia, along with a few other methods.  

The ability to think SEO prevails after all and Martin Kůra points this out in his tweet.

Let’s summarize all the tips shared by our participants. To improve keyword research strategies, marketers should talk to their clients, keep up with trends and follow industry-related forums.

Q6 recap

That’s it for today. Many thanks to Glenn Gabe and our other participants for sharing their expertise.

Don’t forget to join #semrushchat next Wednesday.

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Elena TerentevaElena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. Elena has eight years public relations and journalism experience, working as a broadcasting journalist, PR/Content manager for IT and finance companies. Bookworm, poker player, good swimmer.
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