Search rankings matter. Organic search accounts for a third of all traffic to B2B websites on average, according to HubSpot. That figure is closer to 40% for small companies, and almost 50% for industrial / manufacturing firms.
But does SEO still matter? Some are asking the question in the wake of this story from just last month: “Google confirms core search ranking algorithm update…but says there is nothing webmasters can do to fix their sites if they dropped in rankings.”
Yeah, it still matters. Now, just as pursuing a post-high school education doesn’t guarantee you a financially rewarding career, search engine optimization efforts can’t guarantee high rankings. But both are still the smart path to take.
Okay, but do keywords still matter? That seems to be a pretty common question. Again, the short answer is “yes.” While Google’s algorithm has gotten much better with semantic search—basing search results on searcher intent, context, and synonyms—keyword phrases are still the basis of search, whether entered on a keyboard or by voice.
So while “keyword stuffing” is a practice long dead and buried, it’s still important to have keyword phrases show up in your URL, headings, meta title, and page text.
And actually, given all the changes Google and other search engines have made to combat manipulative black hat SEO practices, one “keyword” now matters possibly more than any other for SEO.