What is a Keyword
A keyword is a specific word or phrase that describes the content of a webpage. Keywords are used by search engines to understand the content of a webpage and to determine whether it is relevant to a user’s search query. When a user enters a search query into a search engine, the search engine will scan its index of web pages and return a list of pages that it considers relevant to the search query. A webpage’s relevance is determined, in part, by the presence of specific keywords on the page.
It’s essential to include the keyword in the page’s title, header tags, and throughout the body of the page for SEO. It’s also important to use variations of the keyword and related phrases to cover all potential search queries.
Keywords and SEO
Keywords are an important part of SEO because they help search engines understand the content of a webpage and determine its relevance to a user’s search query. Optimizing a webpage for specific keywords can increase the chances that the webpage will rank highly in search results, which can lead to more traffic and potentially more customers.
How Search Engines Use Keywords
When a user enters a query into a search engine, the search engine uses algorithms to scour the internet and its index of web pages, looking for pages most relevant to the user’s query. One of the ways that search engines determine relevance is by examining the keywords on web pages.
Search engines use complex algorithms to determine which pages are most relevant to a particular query. These algorithms consider many factors, including the presence and frequency of keywords on a webpage, the relevance of those keywords to the user’s query, and the overall quality and authority of the webpage.
When optimizing a webpage for search engines, it’s important to choose relevant, high-quality keywords and use them naturally throughout the content. Overusing keywords or using them in a way that is not natural or relevant can hurt the webpage’s search engine rankings.
6 Ways to Choose SEO Keywords
There are several ways you can choose SEO keywords for your website or online content:
Identify your Target Audience
Start by thinking about who you want to reach with your content. What words and phrases might they use when searching for information related to your business or industry?
Conduct Keyword Research
Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to find popular and relevant keywords in your field. These tools can help you see how often certain keywords are searched for and give you ideas for variations and long-tail keywords.
Analyze your Competitors
Look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for and identify any gaps in their content. You can also use tools like Ahrefs to see which keywords drive their website traffic.
Consider the Intent Behind a Search
When choosing keywords, it’s important to consider the intent behind a search. Are people looking for informational content, or are they looking to make a purchase? Choosing keywords that match the searcher’s intent can help improve the chances of your content being found.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that are less competitive and can drive qualified traffic to your site. For example, “best running shoes for flat feet” is a long-tail keyword that is more specific and less competitive than just “running shoes.”
Keep it Relevant
Make sure the keywords you choose are relevant to your business and the content on your website. Using irrelevant keywords can hurt your search engine rankings and frustrate your users.
By following these steps and continually reviewing and adjusting your keyword strategy, you can help improve the visibility of your website in search engine results and drive more qualified traffic to your site.
Knowing Keyword Research Tools
Many different keyword research tools can help you identify popular and relevant keywords for your website or online content. Some popular options include:
1. Google Keyword Planner
This is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to see how often certain keywords are searched for and estimates the cost of running ads with those keywords.
Ahrefs is a comprehensive tool that offers keyword research, competitive analysis, and backlink analysis. It has an extensive database of keywords and can help you identify long-tail keywords and see which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
SEMrush is another comprehensive tool that offers keyword research, competitive analysis, and site audit features. It has a large database of keywords and can help you see which keywords are driving traffic to your competitors’ websites.
Keywordtool.io is a free tool that generates keyword ideas based on a specific keyword or website. It can help you find long-tail keywords and see how competitive certain keywords are.
KWFinder is a keyword research tool that helps you find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty. It also offers a feature that shows you the top-ranking pages for a specific keyword and allows you to analyze the on-page SEO of those pages.
Manage SEO Keywords
One important aspect of SEO is the use of keywords. Here are some tips for managing SEO keywords:
Use Keywords Naturally
Once you have a list of keywords, it’s important to use them naturally in your website’s content. Don’t overuse keywords, as this can hurt your website’s ranking.
Use Variations of Keywords
In addition to using the exact keyword, you should also use variations of the keyword. This helps search engines understand the context of your website’s content and can improve your ranking.
Use Keywords in The Right Places
Keywords should be used in the title, headings, and throughout the content of your website. You should also use keywords in the alt text of images and in your website’s metadata.
What Is Keyword Density
Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a webpage compared to the total number of words on the page.
In the past, some people tried to improve the ranking of their websites on search engines by increasing the keyword density of their pages. However, this practice, known as “keyword stuffing,” is now penalized by search engines and can hurt a website’s ranking.
Today, it’s important to use keywords naturally in the content of a webpage. Instead of focusing on keyword density, it’s more important to create high-quality content that is relevant to the topic of the webpage and provides value to the reader.
To determine the keyword density of a webpage, you can divide the number of times a keyword appears on the page by the total number of words on the page and multiply by 100. This will give you the keyword density as a percentage. It’s generally recommended to keep the keyword density of a webpage between 1-3%.
Kinds of SEO Keywords
Several types of SEO (search engine optimization) keywords can be used to optimize websites and content for search engines.
These are shorter, more general keywords usually made up of one or two words. They are often very competitive, as many websites commonly use them. For example, “shoes” is a short-tail keyword.
These are longer, more specific keywords, typically three or more words. They are less competitive, as they are less commonly used, but they can still drive targeted traffic to a website. For example, “women’s brown leather boots size 8” is a long-tail keyword.
These are keywords that include a brand or company name. They are often used to optimize websites and content for branded searches. For example, “Apple iPhone” is a brand keyword.
These are keywords that relate to specific products or services. They are often used to optimize e-commerce websites and online stores. For example, “red ceramic coffee mug” is a product keyword.
These are keywords that include a location or geographical area. They are often used to optimize websites and content for local search results. For example, “pizza delivery in Los Angeles” is a local keyword.
Don’t Write Just for The Sake of SEO
Writing just for the sake of SEO can lead to superficial, shallow content, and ultimately not useful or engaging to your readers. Instead of writing just for SEO, focus on creating high-quality, informative, and valuable content for your audience. This means writing for humans, not just for search engines. Write clearly and concisely, using appropriate language and tone for your audience.
While it’s important to use keywords and phrases in your writing to help search engines understand the content and context of your page, don’t stuff your writing with a few keywords or use them unnaturally. This can make your content sound forced and hurt your SEO efforts.
Blogging can effectively attract new visitors to your website, but it’s important to use the right keywords to optimize your blog posts for search engines. Using these keywords in your blog posts helps search engines understand what your content is about, which can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.
YouTube Keywording and SEO
It’s important to include relevant and specific words and phrases in your video title, description, and tags. This helps YouTube’s algorithm understand the content of your video and recommend it to users searching for those specific terms. It’s also a good idea to include a mix of general and specific keywords and variations of the same phrase. For example, if your video is about “how to make a chocolate cake,” you might include the following keywords: “chocolate cake recipe,” “cake recipe,” “how to make a cake,” “homemade chocolate cake,” etc.
Here are the best practices you can follow to improve the visibility of your YouTube videos. These include:
Using a Descriptive and Compelling Title
Your title should accurately describe the content of your video and entice users to click on it. Avoid clickbait-style titles or ones that are too vague.
Using a Clear and Concise Description
Your video’s description should give users an idea of what they can expect to see in the video and provide any additional information that might be useful. Keep it brief and to the point.
Adding Relevant Tags
As mentioned above, tags help YouTube’s algorithm understand the content of your video. Make sure to include various relevant tags to give your video the best chance of being discovered.
Creating a Compelling Thumbnail
A thumbnail is a small preview image that appears next to your video on YouTube and can be a significant factor in whether or not users choose to watch it. Make sure to use a visually appealing thumbnail that accurately represents your video’s content.
Promoting Your Video
The more views and engagement your video gets, the more likely it is to be recommended by YouTube’s algorithm. Consider promoting your video on your social media channels or through other marketing efforts to help it gain visibility.
Searching for the best SEO keywords for your content doesn’t have to be that complicated. You can have all your SEO tools, but you should also complement them with quality content that brings value to your website visitors. Engaging content doesn’t have to follow SEO rules and tips strictly. SEO can be a great guide in making good content, but what makes good content is the valuable learning you give to your audience.