The terms “SEO” and “keywords” have become buzzwords in the worlds of e-commerce and digital marketing. The reason SEO and keywords are relatively new is because they have developed in congruence with the continued expansion of search engines like Google.
People use search terms to find things they’re looking for on the internet. The amount of times these terms are used on a page, the order they are used, and the hierarchy in which they are used all tell Google about the content on your page.
Keywords are important in SEO because this is also how Google knows to show a page to your customer! They are also important because around half of all website traffic starts with someone typing something into Google. Knowing this important aspect of the Google algorithm helps to develop strategies for content on a website in order to drive traffic and engagement.
Keywords aren’t the only aspect of SEO, however. Initially, keywords were fundamentally the only thing search engines used to rank websites. Now, search engines are much more advanced than that, and can analyse a website for keywords, authority, performance, and relevance.
Let’s take a deeper look into why keywords are important, how to search for them, how to incorporate them, and finally, how to use them as an important analytical tool for your website and business.
What are SEO keywords?
SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”, and keywords are words optimised for ranking on search engines. SEO keywords can be single words such as “chairs” or can be longer, such as “how to play musical chairs”. SEO keywords that contain more than one word are typically called “long-tail keywords”.
SEO keywords are not selected at random. They are selected after a lot of research because they are the keywords that would cause someone to land on your website. They might also be the keywords used by the same audience that you are targeting with your website.
At the same time, keywords aren’t just useful to a business, keywords are useful to search engines too. Google’s ultimate plan is to provide a fine service to the people who use it. The easier people find what they are looking for on Google, the more they are likely to use it, which in turn makes Google like your business more. So it’s also extremely important that your SEO keywords and product are relevant to what people are searching for.
How to select keywords for SEO.
Choosing relevant and correct keywords is crucial for successful SEO. It has to be a win-for-all situation. The keyword should bring people to your site, people should find what they are looking for on your site, and the search engine will love it and keep sending people to your website. This is how it looks in an ideal world.
At the centre of this entire network is the customer or the person who you are trying to direct to your website. To understand how to select keywords for SEO, you have to first do some research about the keywords and search terms used by your customers and people on the internet.
There are several ways to do this.
- Ask them directly
If your website is in the business of selling scarves, you might go and ask people with scarves where they bought them and how they found the brand. They might enlighten you with some of the search terms they typed into the search engine. Needless to say, this is an extremely long and tedious way of getting that kind of information, and there are more powerful and efficient ways to do it.
- Keyword tools
The internet is jam packed full of keyword tools. Keywordtool.io is one such example and has a free version. By simply typing a keyword, it will generate a list of commonly searched terms that use your keyword. This begins to give you an idea not only of some of the short tail keywords you can use, but also some of the longer tail keywords you can use.
Answer The Public is another great free keyword tool you can use to see what kind of questions people are asking about your keyword on the internet. For example, if your keyword is “firewood”, it will generate the most commonly asked questions about firewood. You can use these questions as long tail keywords. Be sure to set your country for accurate local results.
- SEO research tools
Once you’ve stepped out of the free keyword tools, you step into the world of incredibly powerful SEO research tools. SEMrush and Ubersuggest are examples that allow you to see which keywords have sent customers to your competitor’s website. It shows you exactly which terms they are ranking the highest and the lowest, and these tools allow you to track your own website’s ranking by keyword. Being able to search your competitor’s websites and the keywords they use to generate success can help you identify key search terms used by your potential customers.
SEO keywords are not a static force on your website. They are dynamic and changing — or at least they should be. Free tools such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner lets you follow the search volume of keywords so you can see what’s getting the highest traffic in real time. This can be extremely useful for those who are generating content on a regular basis, such as those incorporating social media into their business strategy.
How to rank for keywords on Google.
We briefly touched on the mechanics of Google earlier in this article. SEO keywords are important, but they aren’t the only defining factor in whether your website will rank. You cannot have a page with repeated keywords but that isn’t relevant to the person who came across it. For your website to rank on Google, it should have the appropriate keywords, be relevant, and be authoritative.
Therefore, to rank for keywords on Google, your page should be engaging enough to keep the customer there for some time. For this to happen, your keywords should be quality keywords selected after a lot of research, and the content on your page should be well curated for the audience that arrives.
Quality over quantity!
If you have chosen quality keywords, you shouldn’t need many of them to rank on Google. In fact, it’s better to select a few very important ones and work with that. Quality keywords are ones that result in a conversion or sales for your business. If your business sells rocking chairs, there’s no use trying to rank for the term “gaming chairs”, even if it’s the one with the biggest search volume.
How to incorporate SEO keywords into your site.
Remember that search engines are highly intelligent now — they don’t just search for keywords. They look for authoritativeness and user engagement. So if your SEO keywords are incorporated in such a way that the content sounds “fake” or doesn’t offer the user any real value, they will not rank on Google.
So when it comes to content on your website, make sure you incorporate your SEO keywords but don’t overuse them. Other than in your blog articles, you can use SEO keywords in these locations:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Social media
Make SEO easy for yourself!
SEO keywords are part of the dynamic, changing nature of the internet, and as search engines evolve, businesses have to keep up in order to maintain an online presence. But it is a whole job on its own to stay up to date with everything that is required to maintain a solid online presence.
And that’s quite literally why Unified Marketing exists. We provide on-page and back-of-house SEO services to a wide range of businesses, including research and content creation. Explore our SEO services here and book a consultation to learn how we can help you grow your business.