Keywords are (and keyword research is) still an important part of a strong web marketing campaign. But many SEOs have a tendency to focus more on the keywords than on the topic of the page that is being written or optimized.
When writers focus too much on keywords, the content often feels forced. While keyword optimization still matters today, the actual keywords matter less than the overall visitor experience on the page. Keywords are great to help achieve those coveted search engine rankings, but if overly keyword-focused content causes conversions to suffer, the ranking won’t really matter.
Even though content shouldn’t be too keyword focused, good keyword research gives you some very strong guides that will help you better understand what your target audience is interested in. Not just topics, but the language they use when looking for such content. Keywords are used to guide your content, what information you provide and in what way you provide it.
Keywords should never be forced into content. They should be used only as the copy dictates. Using keywords as a guide allows the content writer to be free with the words while staying focused on the topic. In doing so, the keywords will be worked in naturally without much effort.
While searchers use keywords to search, they don’t want to find content that arbitrarily stuffs those keywords in. They want content that satisfies the intent of their search.