It’s been fashionable in some quarters to poo-poo the role of key phrases on the Internet. Some kind of relic from the last millennium, they say. Markets exist only as conversations around social media.

These are the same kind of people who predicted the death of radio when TV came along. And the death of TV when the Web came along.

These kind of fundamentals don’t die. Instead we get a greater diversity of ways to make our sites successful.

The clever ones amongst us know which of the options are worth their time and effort.

The role of keywords and key phrases

For most sites I see, Organic/Natural search traffic is the largest single traffic source. If you have your content strategy right, Organic traffic should also be up there with the top converters, bringing in more profit, more enquiries, more subscriptions…

I usually find my PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns exceed the site’s conversion rate from Organic traffic, but not immediately.

That means, no matter how much effort you put into social media, you shouldn’t be ignoring the requirements of the search engines. And, as I’ve said before, the needs of search engines and people aren’t contradictory.

What’s a key phrase?

May I digress just a little? It’s important to make sure everyone understands the terminology I’m using here.

A key phrase is the collection of words you type into a search engine. A bit confusingly, Google refers to keywords, whether you type in one or more words, and you may see the expression search terms, as well.

They’re all interchangeable.

Write content with search in mind

Make sure you include key phrases you want to rank well for in the content you write for your site. If you’re not sure about working out which key phrases to target, I’ll be covering various approaches to working out the best key phrases for your site in later posts.

Also, key phrases have a good roll-over into social media. If the population on Internet users who use search engines are using particular key phrases, that indicates a good level of interest in that topic. That interest won’t just be restricted to when they go to a search engine.

Mentioning your content that is based around selected keywords in social media will get plenty of attention.

If you’re not using key phrases as part of your content strategy, you should be. It’s an online marketing fundamental, not some past-it trick.

Thanks to John Pavelka for allowing me to use his photograph.