What Are Keywords
A keyword is a word or phrase that is entered on any search engine such as, Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other search engine that lists websites on a results page. When asking yourself (What are Keywords?) know that a keyword is a search term that an SEO professional or a website owner would use to rank at the top of the search engine results page (SERP(s)). Therefore, any time that you enter a search term in Google or any other search engine it would be a keyword. For example: “Green shoes” or “Bake sale Orlando FL”.
What Keywords are not!
You should never use keywords to try and trick or mislead searchers. You do not want to use keywords that can not describe your content exactly. Constantly repeating a keyword in a way that is unnatural (which is known as “keyword stuffing”) or using other “black hat SEO” tactics such as placing a keyword in a (white font on a white background) is not allowed.
Search engines do not respond very well to keyword abuse. In order to rank high on the SERPs, you will need to keep your website’s SEO “white hat” only.
Why Are Keywords Important?
Keywords are important because, if your website or content is ranked at the top of the SERPs, that keyword will act as free traffic to your website. Keywords also give website owners and content creators clues to who their audience is and what they are wanting so that they can meet their audience’s needs. Using the wrong keywords will never get you the type of audience that you need because your content will not match the search queries of your potential visitors. However, by using the right keywords that your audience searches for, your online business will be able to thrive.
In order to be able to stay at the top of the results page, you need to include the keywords that your audience is searching for on your website. For example; lets say that you’re an online photographer who specializes in family pictures, you would need to use words such as, “Photographer for family pictures” (or similar) on your website in order to appear in those search results.
What Are Long-tail Keywords?
In order to understand what Long-tail keywords are, you must remember that first question we discussed “What are keywords?” from there it becomes more clear. Long-tail keywords usually include three to five words in order to create a keyword phrase that is more specific than a singular keyword that would not be specific at all. Searchers usually use long-tail keywords in order to receive more specific results to their search queries, marketers use long-tail keywords as well in order to get their content in front of the right audience.
Singular keywords may seem to be your ultimate goal because they are often searched for. However, singular keywords often have extremely high competition. Long-tail keywords normally have more defined intent. For example; “Gluten-free waffles” or “Organic waffle recipe”.
You will also learn that long-tail keywords have less competition, which allows room for a small business to make its mark in the SERPs.
So, targeting long-tail keywords can greatly help differentiate your website from the competition and greatly help searchers find your content rather than your competitors.
Why Choose A Keyword?
For online businesses, keywords are the strategy; keywords are the battles that you choose to fight hoping to out-do your competitors and directing the people who are searching for items in your market to your site rather than your competitors. If you look at the keywords that a website ranks for, you will see the area where the website excels over its competitors. When you look at all of the keywords that BestBuy.com ranks for, you are then able to understand what their website is about and what kind of products they market online.
Keyword research is about finding the right keywords for your website to target. You do not want to be targeting the most popular keywords about your product or industry; those keywords would be too competitive and too expensive to advertise. But, you don’t want to target keywords that no one searches for at all. So, how should you go about keyword research? You will need to understand the qualities that SEO professionals and website owners use to define the value of a keyword.
Qualities Of A Keyword
Here are five of the main qualities of a keyword:
Search volume tells you how many searches are made on a search engine such as Google. Although, the volume is definitely not the only thing that will determine how difficult it will be to rank. You will also need to understand the competition of a keyword.
No matter how high the search volume of a keyword is, you should continue watching for the competition. The more popular a keyword is, there will be a higher chance of websites and marketers racing to the top of the SERPs.
Every keyword has a price, which would be a CPC (“cost per click”) that informs you how much an advertiser pays for a searcher to click on their ad after searching for a keyword.
4.The word count
Word count is the number of words that are in the phrase. For example,”dance” has the word count of 1, and “Gluten-free waffles” has the word count of 3. The more context that a keyword has, means the clearer intent which can make it easier to target the right audience.
The intent of a keyword allows you to understand what a searcher intends on doing. Search engines are so advanced that people search for any and everything. The intent has been defined as being capable of falling into these three main categories;
- Transactional Intent
- Navigational Intent
- Informational Intent
Transactional Intent ~ Searchers that show strong intent of making a transaction on a website.
Here are some examples;
- Buy playpen for baby
- Where can I sign up for pet adoption
- Size 7 light up sketchers under 90 dollars
These searches have words like, “buy,” “for sale” and “subscribe”. These keywords are more specific as to what the searcher intends to do and in this case, they intend on making some sort of transaction on a website.
Informational Intent ~ Searchers who are looking for information but, do not intend on making a transaction related to the query.
Here are some examples;
- Where is the Hall of Fame
- How long does it take to make Ramen noodles
- Best movies on Netflix
With these searches, people are looking for information to support their ideas of purchasing something or even just read reviews about certain things. Although these searches may not give you a great return on investment (ROI) they can still help you receive more traffic to your website or content. If you can help provide useful information to your readers it may help your reputation.
Navigational Intent ~ Searchers that show the intent of visiting a specific website or content.
Here are some examples;
- Elysium Marketing Gurus
- Wells Fargo bank login
- Jimmy Fallon YouTube
These searchers already know where they are wanting to go, they just want to find the right internet address in order to get there. These keywords are normally helpful if the brand or the website is well-known.
What Are Negative Keywords?
Negative keywords are a type of keyword that you use to tell a search engine where you do not want your ads to rank. For example, by using the word “cheap” as a negative keyword you are telling that search engine that you do not want your ad to rank in a search that includes the word “cheap”.
The reason that you need to use negative keywords is that Google Ads will allow you the opportunity to specify your target as “broad match,” this means that Google may not give you an exact match of where you want your ad to show up but, it will be a lot closer to the results that you are aiming for. Therefore, negative keywords allow you to tell a search engine where you absolutely do not want your ads to show up.
How To Use Keywords
The easiest way to use a keyword would be to make sure that the content on your website (page titles, categories, text, and subsections of webpages, etc.) are all worded the same way that searches would write their search queries. This way, when your website appears in the search results, your webpage will appeal to the person that entered a search in the same language.
You can also write more optimized blog posts that give answers to keywords that ask questions, or you can provide general information on your website about the topics around target keywords in hope to better your website’s SEO.
By now you should have the answer to your question, what are keywords, and should be able to go out and write some amazing content using the keyword strategy.