(Hint it’s Relevance over Ranking)
These days rather than Google matching keywords or phrases to webpages, Google is using artificial intelligence (aka RankBrain) to interpret a searcher’s intent. Therefore it is important to make sure that Google understands that your website is pertinent to the searcher’s intent rather than trying to make pages that rank (or match) for specific search terms.
For our clients, a website ranking for a keyword versus being relevant for the searchers intent can be a hard concept to grasp. After all, if someone types in a term related to their products and services they still want to rank for that term! However, it is achieved differently these days and rather than having pages stuffed with key phrases, it is more important that your website discuss its products and services in a thorough manner.
With these changes we, and the SEO industry in general, have largely moved away from keyword ranking reports. Our goal is not so much to improve ranking for any given term but to improve the relevancy of a website for people looking for your products and services, thereby increasing both the volume and quality of traffic to your website.
Rand Fishkin over at MOZ does great of discussing RankBrain here: