Do Keywords Really Matter When Writing Website Content For SEO?

Today, search engines reign supreme. We’re all just out here, trying to do right by the Google gods. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of strategically optimising your online presence to align with the ever-evolving algorithms and guidelines put in place by search engines. 

And a major component of that is creating high-quality, original content that not only meets their standards, but also captures the attention of your target audience – all the while utilising the right keywords and other SEO tactics. 

So, with every business, website, or blog striving to claim a coveted spot on the first page of search results, the race to the start of the page intensifies, meaning your content needs to be craftier and of higher quality than ever. This is where the ongoing debate about the significance of keywords comes into play.

Are keywords still relevant in the realm of SEO, or has their importance waned in the face of more sophisticated algorithms and user-focused ranking factors? Let’s dissect this issue and discover why, contrary to some opinions, keywords remain an indispensable tool in the arsenal of any SEO practitioner looking to secure a place on the search engine ranks.

The SEO Conundrum: Do Keywords Still Matter?

The world of professional SEO (and digital, in general) is ever-evolving. Algorithms constantly update, and user experience is paramount. Some argue that keywords have lost their lustre, and have been overshadowed by more intricate ranking factors like user engagement, quality backlinks, and page load speeds.

This is because, not long ago, the SEO landscape was vastly different. Keyword stuffing – the practice of overloading content with keywords – was the way to go. Sheer quantity often took precedence over quality, and rankings could be manipulated through excessive keyword usage.

But dismissing the importance of keywords in SEO now would be the same as casting aside your GPS when driving in a city you’ve never been. Keywords are the essential signposts that guide search engines and, by extension, users to your homepage.

Keywords as the Language of Intent

Think of keywords as the language of user intent. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re essentially communicating their needs and questions. And keywords are the bridge that connects their queries to your content.

Think about it, if you run an e-commerce business specialising in running shoes, and a user types “best running shoes for beginners” into a search engine, how would they find your offerings if the right keywords weren’t present in your copy?

Relevance and User Expectation

A main goal for search engines is to connect users to relevant results and meet their expectations. Keywords are the primary means by which search engines assess this relevance. When your content contains well-researched and strategically placed keywords that align with user intent, it’s more likely to rank higher in search results.

Keywords are also instrumental in shaping the structure and focus of your content. They guide you (or our team of SEO Copywriters), in addressing the specific needs and interests of your target audience. By integrating keywords naturally into your content, you ensure that it remains informative, engaging, and tailored to your audience.

Don’t believe everything you hear, keywords are very much still a major part of SEO today. While the SEO landscape has evolved, their significance has stuck. However, the game has changed, and it’s no longer about mere density, but the art of seamlessly integrating them within high-quality, user-focused content.

To learn more about using keywords to your business’s benefit or SEO content crafting, get in touch with our team today for a free site review. 

Shubhangi is the Lead Copywriter at Reform Digital. She writes for e-commerce brands and helps them find their voice in the middle of thousands of search engine results. She is the editorial mum of the Reform team, and brings her varied background in SEO and UX copywriting to the job. She is dedicated to developing her team's skills and giving out constant TV/movie recommendations.

Before she started writing for the SERP gods, Shubhangi worked in corporate communications and dabbled in technical writing. She completed her masters in Communications and Media Studies, and holds a bachelor's degree in English and Sociology. When she isn't writing or editing, she can be found soaking up the sun with a book or a Su Doku in hand.

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