What You Need to Know Before Updating Your Keywords

How To Know When It’s Time To Update Them

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the driving force that largely dictates where you rank on a SERP. It’s also one of the core principles in digital marketing as a lot of what you do in SEO aims to put it in front of as many people. One important aspect of SEO is the keyword use of your website and the content it’s targeting.

While most business owners are generally aware of the keywords their SEO strategy should target, they often see keywords as static. In fact, search behavior is dynamic. Search behavior patterns (i.e. the keywords people use to find something online) can change, suddenly or gradually, over time. Thus a business’ digital marketing plan, in regards to keywords, must be changing as well.

To find out if search patterns have changed for your business, check your website analytics for SEO-driven, organic search traffic results. Variability in traffic is normal, but major changes in traffic that break an established pattern may indicate that your SEO keyword strategy needs a bit of a revamp. If the volume of organic search traffic has been trending downward over several weeks or months, that’s a sign that search trends are shifting away from the keywords for which your web pages are optimized and it’s time to find new ones.


Even if the organic traffic volume into your site stays relatively stable, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a shift in what customers search to find your website. To find out more about how your customers are finding your website via organic search, use Google Search Console, which allows you to track what keyword searches bring up your website and how often. You can also compare the performance of keywords over time to see if the performance of particular keywords important to your brand is increasing or decreasing.

Keyword Research

Depending on the results of your keyword research, it might be time to modify your SEO strategy to boost the performance of keywords that perform better, such as add new ones or remove keywords from your strategy that no longer pull in traffic.

Frequent Evaluation

How often is it too often when reevaluating your keywords? Unless your website sees dramatic shifts within a short period, major changes in your SEO strategy won’t be necessary. Periodic optimization should be your focus. While it is up to you, how often you reevaluate and update your keywords, setting a periodic evaluation date, such as monthly or quarterly, is generally a good idea. There will always be shifts in search terms based on the news, pop culture, and holidays and you want to be ready to take advantage of them.

Close Monitoring

Many spikes or dips in traffic for a particular keyword may be temporary and or worth the effort of researching new keywords and changing content on your website. Design your site’s SEO for more stable keywords, but adjust them when long-term trends suggest it’s wise to do so. If monthly or quarterly reviews are hard to get to, at least investigate your keywords every six months or annually. You don’t want an outdated SEO strategy to compound or snowball over time if you can avoid it.


There are many strategies to optimize your websites, and keywords are one of them. To know if it’s time to have them updated, look out for the volume of your website visitors and conduct a keyword search to see if they’re still generating traffic.

You can also conduct frequent evaluation and monitoring, so you can gather evidence. In this way, you can better decide when’s the right time to get your keywords updated.


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