What Are Keywords
Keywords are single words, groups of words, or text phrases that most people use or type when looking for information in search engines. Keywords represent your content on your website or pages in the best way possible. They thus assist search engines such as Google and Bing or other search engines to match your content to search queries by users.
Keywords try to define the kind of search terms that you want your target audience to find. The popular words or phrases that you think people will use to find information on your website. And how their search queries would look like on the search engines.
Types of Keywords
i. Short-tail Keywords
These are keywords containing three or fewer words used to broadly describe services or commodities. They are at times referred to as head keywords or generic keywords. They usually have a wide scope of intent without any precision on location or brand in mind. They are highly competitive, tend to be expensive with a low conversion rate and generate high traffic search volume.
A search volume refers to the number of search queries for a particular keyword expected within a set time duration.
ii. Mid-tailed Keywords
Also called chunky keywords to have a goal to strike a balance between the high ranking competitive short-tail keywords and long-tailed keywords. They are more specific than short-tailed keywords and are mainly used by people looking for more details and not necessarily ready to convert. They produce medium search volume with moderate ranking. They usually have three or four words.
iii. Long-tail Keywords
They have more than three words detailed with pinpoint search intent and precision to a specific brand, topic, location, or audience. They produce low search volume, thereby less competitive, and users making these types of keywords are usually ready to convert. They are commonly used for targeted product pages and blog posts. Here are a few examples:
(Image Credit: ReliableSoft)
iv. Product defining Keywords
They reference a particular service or commodity. Searchers typically want to get more information about the product. They are characterized by low search volume, low competitive rate, pinpoint search intent and high conversion rates.
v. Customer Defining Keywords
These are words or phrases that target a particular customer audience, for instance, shirts for kids, running shoes for bad legs and trousers for teenage girls. They directly address customers and produce a feeling that the products were customized for them. They have low search volumes, low competition rates, and high conversion rates.
vi. Geo-targeted Keywords
Just like the word suggests, this kind of keyword targets a specific locality (city, state, or country). They are more useful for local businesses aimed at wooing customers near them. They are less competitive with pinpoint search intent, thus low search volume and valuable, especially where delivery services are involved. For example:
(Image Credit: Neil Patel)
vii. LSI Keywords
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are keywords that relate to the main keywords that are being targeted. An example could be cars instead of automobiles. The words used by the searcher are different from the ones that the information being sought has been indexed. They have low search volume, less competition, pinpoint search intent, improve the ranking for the main keyword, and enhance content creativity.
viii. Intent-targeted Keywords
They are based on the intention of searchers, mainly categorized into informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial intent.
- Informational intent keywords help users to find information and educate them about a certain topic(s). Based on the kind of information being sought, Google algorithms try to match those terms with what is more relevant to the searcher. For instance, the algorithms that understand a phrase like how to drive a car should be associated with videos and images.
- Navigational keywords are used to target searchers who want to visit your website.
- Commercial intent keywords target those people who want to make a purchase in the near future. An example could be: What is the most economically viable vehicle to buy in 2022?
- Transactional intent keywords aim at clients trying to find the best deal for a product. They may include free shipping on orders above a certain amount, this product is certified, etc. The goal is to instill the confidence and trustworthiness of your products and company into the customers.
Importance of Keywords
- Allow search engines to easily and hastily crawl through websites and find content or topics that are relevant to search queries.
- Keywords help website owners to identify and speak a similar language to the customers. Therefore, businesses know where to use keywords in creating content relevant to the needs of customers.
- Website owners understand how to implement keywords for SEO, thereby improved search index and ranking.
- By using SEO keywords, quality traffic is attracted to a website generating more leads, sales conversion, and more revenue.
- Website builders get information on how to use keywords for search engine optimization backlinks to their sites or different pages on their website.
- Keywords will help you understand who your competition is and how using SEO keywords have impacted your ranking on the SERPs.
Smart usage of keywords strategy is a wonderful guide on how to use keywords for search engine optimization. With the appropriate placement of keywords, a business can attract the right kind of customers and also avoid being flagged by search engines due to the stuffing of keywords. Thus where to use keywords should be as natural as possible.
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What Is Google’s Keyword Planner Good For?
A focus keyword or primary keyword is a phrase or words that you want to optimize on your page. The rule of thumb shows that using the same focus keyword on more than one page on the same website could result in keyword cannibalization. It is a scenario where your posts or articles compete against themselves in SERP ranking on search engines.
The first step in understanding how to use keywords for SEO is conducting keyword research.
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It refers to the process of searching for terms and ideas that draw a high number of searches from a given topic of interest. After the search, you make a list of those terms. You can use keyword research tools to help you with this process, for example:
(Image Credit: WordTracker)
Once you have created the list of the keywords, you research those terms to determine what kind of questions people are asking on the search engine. A related search would also help in identifying related and synonyms for those words. Once the search intent is clear, use your findings to establish which keyword strategy is best suited for your page.
How to use the Focus Keyword
The location of the focus keyword is important. Search engines send bots or spiders that crawl through your content to find the focus keywords that determine your search ranking. If the keywords are not as natural as possible, the search engine will lower your ranking. A reasonable number of keywords could be between 5 to 10.
i. On the Title Tag
The title tag informs a searcher what the page is all about before visiting it. The focus word should briefly compellingly explain the page to trigger users to click on the title. It is so because the heading usually contains between 60 to 70 characters.
Also, it is good to note that just like people, Google reads from left to right. Therefore placing the focus keyword at the beginning without compromising the readability of the title is thoughtful. The heading should capture the attention of the reader and provide information about the page.
ii. Meta Description Tag
Placing a focus keyword in the description tag of every page can be helpful in SEO ranking. A meta description tag refers to a short explanation highlighted in the search result or sharing your page on social media networks. For example:
(Image Credit: ReliableSoft)
The meta description tag is usually a snippet containing one or two sentences about the page of a maximum of 155 characters. Knowledge on how to use keywords for SEO here can be valuable as Google tends to highlight the keyword in the meta description. It will instigate the readers to visit your site and improve your ranking.
iii. Place in the Body of your Content
Google bots look more on the first paragraph; therefore, placing your focus keyword 2-3 times in the first paragraph can help optimize your keyword search.
iv. On the URL
The URL is also another spot where to use keywords for SEO. Placing a focus keyword here ensures that you have a strong page. Having a unique and different URL helps you so that your website pages do not compete against themselves for rank. The image below shows an example of a keyword in the URL. It also shows you that Google will highlight the keyword in your URL when it is searched, for example:
(Image Credit: Maxzob)
Although it is not practically possible to have the keywords for each page, keywords on the URL help searchers and bot find the page’s content. Setting the content management system to allow manual URL edit would help counter breaks caused by special characters like smart quotes and ampersands. Changing an existing URL to include the focus keyword may, however, may impact the current page ranking.
v. The Anchor Text
Bots crawl through the website, reading the anchor text linking internally or externally to a page. It is possible to have an exact match anchor text. That is to say, a page that is hyperlinked to the focus keyword. Nonetheless, this practice is not good for ranking since it triggers spam filters as it is considered unnatural. Having spammy anchor text is also not good for SEO ranking since they lead to the penalized website.
Spammy anchor text is hyperlinked words that have no association with the content of relevance. It is recommended to have them close to the end of your content page. However, they should be as natural as possible and used only where necessary as many anchor texts can be frustrating to the readers and the bot.
Headings help readers to have a summary of what is to come and have a quick scan of what is relevant to their search. People with reading difficulties are also able to quickly skip to the relevant heading. Integrating your focus keyword on the H1 heading in a smart way is vital as it is the first place that readers will land on after the title tag and meta description. Using the focus keyword in one other heading also helps in SEO optimization.
vii. Image ALT Tags
During parsing, the bots do not read images or multimedia content. It is hence important to ensure that you always put an ALT tag on your image. When writing an alt tag, which is a short description of your image, it is advisable to include a focus keyword as it is visible to the readers and bot.
Placing the focus keyword close to the beginning of the alt tag is wise. The reasoning is that when readers with visual impairments access your site, the screen-reading tools can describe the image, enhancing better crawl and rank of your website.
viii. Menu Navigation
It is possible to position a focus keyword on the menu navigation linking the subpage to the main page. Thus, the focus keyword must be as concise as possible without losing its intended purpose of describing the linked target. In ecommerce you can section all of your focus keywords into your navigation bar, for instance:
(Image Credit: R2integrated)
Primary keywords help figure out what a website is all about, offer insights on current trends, increase leads, and increase sales conversion rate. Reliant on focused keywords alone may not be sufficient in bringing the desired traffic to a website. There is, therefore, a need to know where to use keywords for SEO concurrently with secondary keywords.
Secondary keywords refer to words or phrases closely related to the focus keywords. They are, at times, words that are used synonymously with the primary keywords. The secondary keywords play a vital role in how to use keywords for search engine optimization. Secondary keywords add extra context to the focus keywords. It therefore implies that search engines get a better idea of your website’s content exceeding the primary keywords, thereby increasing the rank potential.
Google scans website content daily or weekly, based on admin permission. Therefore, it gains more idea of what your website content is and updates the rank automatically.
Identifying secondary keywords is easy. Using search engine autocomplete, for instance, displays other words that add context to the primary keyword. The autocomplete words are the commonly used words that may help customers find your website too. Words with the same semantics or acronyms may also be used in place of the focus keyword in search queries. Using Google keyword planner can also help you to find secondary keywords based on statistical analysis.
Using secondary keywords can be tricky if not done well and may cause the stuffing of keywords, which is detrimental to our SEO ranking. We can be as natural as possible and select a maximum of five secondary keywords. By so doing, you will be able to distribute the keywords over your content evenly. A good mix of just the right number of keywords will help improve your ranking as the goal is for quality over quantity.
Overlapping both focused and secondary keywords help you to accomplish both missions at the same time.
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Where to Place Secondary Keywords
Subheadings and Content paragraphs
Placing the secondary keywords on the subheading naturally helps you to rank better. As we discussed earlier, the primary keyword only needs to be placed on the headings twice: the first heading and one other subheading. Therefore the secondary keywords can come in handy on the other subheadings, but they do not seem like keyword stuffing on the site. Readers will also find relevant information faster while improving your website visibility on search engine results pages.
Images ALT Text
When you have multiple images, it is sagacious to place secondary keywords on some of the images, but with caution to overshadow the primary keyword.
(Image Credit: Wix)
Use secondary keywords on different pages on your website. Emphasis is on different pages. The reason is that if you add keywords to the same page, you will get penalized. If you search for older blog posts or articles, a list of your pages will be displayed and you can choose where to put the new links.
When optimizing existing pages, a tracking checklist is important to have. The checklist allows you to optimize those pages with new words that you have discovered and stay on course on your keyword strategy plan.
A sample of keyword checklist could help you verify:
- The focus keyword is contained in the title page and meta description tag.
- The primary keyword has a density of about 2%
- There is at least an image with an Alt tag containing the keywords.
- All internal links are relevant to the page content and keywords.
- External links point to related content on quality websites.
- The uniqueness of meta description.
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Perfection in keyword placement does not serve as a substitute for great content. Search engines and readers are concerned about relevant content to the search queries. No matter how excellent the keywords are placed, if the content is off, there will be no traffic to your website, and your ranking will suffer.
Diib Digital offers a keyword research tool designed to give you real-time statistics about the effectiveness and placement of your keywords. Here are some of the features that set us apart from the competition:
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The best places to put keywords are in your page titles, meta descriptions, subheadings, content, image titles, URLs and anchor text.
These are certain words or phrases that are placed in your website content that make it easier for people to find your site and their desired product/service.
Targeting around 5 keywords when you’re starting out is usually enough for most small businesses. This doesn’t mean you will only get traffic from those 5 keywords, but it will increase your traffic as a whole.
The literal meaning of “keyword” would mean one word. That being said, keywords come in phrases, questions and can be 1+ words.
Consider synonyms or similar questions and phrases to your initial keyword idea. Focus on long-tailed keywords. Make use of headings and meta descriptions the right way and don’t simply focus on keyword density.