Created on July 3, 2024 | Updated on July 3, 2024

How Keywords Work in SEO. Figuring It Out with Adsy's Expert.

SEO Articles
How Keywords Work in SEO

Keywords are an inseparable part of SEO. Though Google - the most popular search engine - urges SEO specialists and marketers to create people-first content, you cannot forget about some technical stuff.

That leads us to the necessity of keyword research. Often, that’s the primary activity SEOs will begin with.

For instance, long-tail keywords make up to 70% of all search traffic. That’s because people are getting more specific with their queries. Now, 50% of search queries are four words or more. And you need to keep this in mind to make your SEO effort successful.

But let's start with the beginning!

We’ve chatted with Adsy's own Head of SEO to answer the main questions regarding keywords and their place in SEO.

Hopefully, you find this interview insightful!

1. Hi there! I’m excited to start our second interview and share some insights with our readers. So, my first question is - What should beginners know about keywords?

Hi! I am also glad to share some practical tips based on experience.

Well, the main thing to know is that keywords are almost 50% of success in SEO. The more keywords you find, the more traffic you can attract.

And here comes a pro tip! If you look at the results of your direct and indirect competitors in the process of collecting keywords, you will be able to better understand the intent of these keywords, as well as their value for your business.

2. Google has multiply claimed that expect to see content for people, not engines. So, do keywords have an impact in 2024?

I cannot deny that search engines become smarter and smarter and understand the context better. Yet, you need to investigate the keywords to understand how you can attract traffic or what size or potential your niche has.

3. What are the three “dos” for keyword research in 2024?

I would include the following “dos” based on my experience:

1. Figure out the main keywords for your business. Then, extend them with the help of the keyword planner. You can choose between Google, Ahrefs, or Semrush.

2. Look through the competitors' keywords. It will allow you to find even more ideas.

3. Analyze the search results to understand what content type is requested for the chosen keywords (that can be informational or commercial).

three dos for keywords research in 2024

4. Lots of beginners are unsure about numbers. How many keywords should you use for SEO in 2024?

Oh, that’s easy! The answer is - you should collect as many keywords as possible.

5. But not all keywords are equal, if I get it right. How do you find keyword gems?

Unfortunately, there is no common tactic for all. I’d say gems will be different for every business.

For instance, finding a new trend will be a true gem for one. An expansion to new markets with other languages can be a gem for businesses where new trends are rare occasions. And other companies can find their gem when discovering keywords with low KD (keyword difficulty) in Ahrefs or Semrush.

6. It seems like more and more people use long queries to find something online. Will long-tail keywords dominate SEO strategies?

I’d rather say that long-tail keywords will stay actual for SEO in the following years. That’s connected with the fact that the number of the voice search grows. As the Semrush shares, 62% of Americans use voice assistants.

And the peculiarity of the voice search lies in the fact that we use more words while making a query via voice compared to a written query.

7. Let’s imagine you created a keyword plan for your site four years ago. Should you renew it? Basically, how often should you update keywords for your site/project?

It depends on your business. If you operate in a huge niche (which means you have a big semantic core), you can update keywords once every half a year. If your niche is only developing, the same frequency will also do.

I find it appropriate to update keywords once every two years for all other businesses.

8. There are various types of businesses. How do keyword strategies differ for local and international SEO?

Local SEO produces very few keywords. In this case, I recommend creating landing pages even for KD 0-10 keywords (shown by Ahrefs).

So, your main goal is to imbue your page with the maximum number of fitting keywords. Nevertheless, ensure your page or site is not over-spammed with keywords.

To avoid situations like this, look at how your competitors that hold top positions bring the keyword strategy into action. Consider how they use keywords in the meta tags, titles, design elements, and page content.

9. Talking about page content. How should you place keywords across your landing pages?

That’s the aspect many newbies forget about. And you shouldn’t do it at any cost.

My answer is - place your keywords evenly throughout your text. It’s also important to incline and dilute keywords as well as use synonyms or short forms of words.

Make sure to avoid keyword cannibalization. Don’t forget to divide informational and commercial content. You can transfer the most difficult keywords to your main page.

10. Okay, that’s clear! And what is an optimal keyword placement across your article?

The situation here is quite different compared to keyword placement on landing pages we discussed earlier.

Unfortunately, there are no optimal metrics for articles. Everything is very individual and depends on the page type, your site, and overall competition.

If you are looking for an optimal metric specifically for you, I advise looking at your competitors. They should be approximately the same level and hold the first ten positions on SERP.

If there are no examples like I suggest, use another tactic. Analyze your strongest to weakest competitors and calculate the median.

11. And as we specialize in guest blogging, I can’t deny myself asking the next question - should you use keywords for guest posts?

Sure! Keywords have a positive impact on link efficiency. However, avoid using the same keywords in your guest posts over and over again.

12. Keyword search and planning can be hard and time-consuming. What keyword tools can you recommend to help fellow SEOs ease the process?

Well, there are a variety of SEO tools. But I’ve mentioned Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner earlier. I think using these services is more than enough.

Anyway, if you need more affordable instruments or some that fit your specific requests (e.g., only tips’ parsing), search peculiar tools for these goals.

Also, currently, you can find lots of tools that analyze and cluster keywords. They can be AI- or algorithm-enabled. So, such kind of tools can be helpful, too.

13. And my final question is - what is the future of SEO in 2024?

I doubt we will see drastic changes in the SEO landscape next year. The main (or most impactful) algorithms stay the same. I don’t see blistering AI expansion, too.

So, you can use the tips I’ve shared here based on my close to a decade of experience in SEO.

Plus, I advise checking some of the articles on our blog, like How Will AI Influence SEO in 2024? [Explained by 19 Experts] and What Should You Know about Online Search in 2024? to give you more idea about current trends.

You can also read our previous interview regarding link building as it covers the main questions you’d like to get answers to.

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