Keyword targeting: Is it really necessary?

Last week, an article by Niel Patel — founder of KISSmetrics — about 6 aspects of SEO the busy entrepreneur can finally stop worrying about caught our eye. We’ve already talked about whether ranking #1 on Google is all it’s cracked up to be, but what about keyword targeting? Neil says…

Stop worrying about keyword targeting.

According to Niel, “SEOs love to talk about the virtues of keyword targeting, as if it were the holy grail of SEO. That used to be the case.”

So, how do you rank for your keyword targets if you don’t work for it? Great question! It’s all about providing value with the content you publish online, which we’ve talked about in the past here and here. In a nutshell, keyword relevance should happen naturally if you’re thinking about the type of queries your intended audience would search for and including that information — valuable, accurate, original information/content — on the pages of your site.

Here’s what Moz’s 2015 ranking report has to say:

We continue to see lower correlations between on-page keyword use and rankings. This could likely be because Google is smarter about what pages mean (through related keyword, synonyms, close variants and entities) without relying on exact keyword phrases. We believe matching user intent is of utmost importance.

Take these words of wisdom to heart.

So, is keyword targeting a ranking factor? Yes. But today’s search algorithm gives more clout toward features other than exact match keyword relevance.

We agree with Niel’s advice perfectly: “You don’t have to give up on keyword research or anything. But you should be aware that keyword targeting and correlation is less important than it used to be.”

As content marketing experts, we don’t want you to give up on your keyword research — but let us help you. If you’re an MDPM Consulting client, it’s our job to turn your competitive keyword selections (the types of patients and cases you want to attract, the communities your dental practice serves, etc.) into keyword targets that garner search value and — you guessed it — help get your content found in SERPs by qualified potential patients.

Ready to take your web presence to the next level? Not sure how to market your dental practice online? Need a hand choosing keywords? Give us a call at (972) 781-8861 or send us an email at