One of the most important topics linked to the understanding of Search Engine Optimization is the term, “SEO Keywords.” This is one of the foundational SEO basics that everyone who is using search as a marketing channel should make an effort to get a real, clear grasp on right out of the gate.
Keywords or search terms are words and phrases that people type in search engines. SEO keywords are the terms that connect your website to your target audience and tell search engines what your content is about. You decide on these through an analysis process that professionals utilize called keyword research, which takes into account everything about the keyword: competition, search volume, user intent, etc.
For your website or business to be found by search engines, it should be able to speak the same language as both your target user and the search engines themselves, and targeting the right keywords will help you greatly in SEO ranking.
Importance of SEO keywords
As mentioned above, keywords are essential to connect your content to search engines. Having a set of well-researched keywords for your website is vital to attract your target audience and boost your SEO ranking.
If you are a blogger, you can use your researched keywords to prepare your content strategy by helping you generate more relevant ideas for your niche. And if used correctly, keywords will help your contents be more detailed and useful for your audience.
Without well-targeted keywords, your website will have a hard time appearing in the top-ranking page of search engines because your contents are not focused enough for your audience or readers. Your website might be found in unrelated searches, and that’s because you fail to use relevant keywords.
The basics of choosing your keywords
We know that keywords are an indispensable aspect of successful search engine optimization, but what else should we know about choosing our keywords?
Search volume and keyword difficulty
Search volume refers to the number of searches a particular keyword/s are typed in search engine query during a specific period or even in particular locations. As a rule, it is advisable to target SEO keywords with high search volumes.
On the other hand, keyword difficulty or SEO difficulty refers to how a keyword will have a difficulty ranking in organic search engine results. The difficulty of keywords is determined by how popular the keywords are, your competitor’s domain authority and page authority. This blog post from wordstream.com provides a detailed guide in keyword difficulty.
Having the right combination, which is high search volume with low SEO difficulty, can be a challenge for beginner bloggers or website owners. Your brand-new website doesn’t have enough backlinks or high domain authority yet to outrank big brands and competitors.
So instead of targeting a single, highly competitive and common keyword, it is advisable for new websites to target long-tail keywords.
Long-Tail SEO Keywords
Long-tail keywords are search phrases that are more niche-specific. Usually, long-tail keywords are composed of four or more words which are considered more precise on the user’s intent than the common one to three keywords.
Say that you have a blog about saving money and you intend to write a blog post about “how to make a budget”. Assuming that it will be challenging to rank for keywords “make a budget”, you can then resort to using long-tail keywords, instead.
To make your content rank, you can use long-tail keywords that are more specific with what you’re planning to write. You can target long-tail keywords such as “how to make a budget in excel” or “how to make a monthly budget” or “how to create a business budget”, for example.
Long-tail keywords should work together with search volume, so please do your research first and see if your long-tail keywords are searched online.
Understanding the user’s intent
User’s intent or search intent is a goal, purpose or what a person wants to find when they type their search terms in a search engine. There are three types of user’s intent categories:
Transactional Search Intent:
Transactional search query is a search done by a person to reach action. To have an idea, you can relate the transactional search with a person who has an intention to do something like looking for something to buy, to download etc.
Examples of transactional keywords:
Buy, download, purchase, cheap, deals, coupons, register.
Informational Search Intent:
Informational search query is done by a person who wants to learn something or find information about a subject, service, product or person. For example, a person who typed “Which is the best SEO course?” is considered an informational search query.
But it is worthy to note that not all informational search queries are questions.
Examples of transactional keywords:
· How to clean my car’s windshield
· Best smartphone in 2020
· Rankmath vs Yoast plugin
· Elon Musk
Navigational Search Intent:
Navigational search intent is a search done to find a specific website, page, brand or location. For example, we type “Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn” in search bars intending to go to its pages.
Similarly, we use navigational search intent if we want to know a Starbucks Coffee Shop near us, for example.
Importance of creating content using search intent
Crafting your website’s content with the user intent in mind is vital in your SEO keyword research strategy. For example, you are offering SEO services, and you want to promote it. You can use your “service page” to target transactional keywords to make sure that people with the intention of hiring an SEO expert find your page.
Continuing the example, you can have a blog where you are educating people about different SEO techniques. This will let them know that you are knowledgeable about what you are doing, and you can offer a solution to their problems. With these things in mind, you can now target informational intent keywords for your blog page to provide them with your services, after.
Search intent is essential to boost your traffic and rankings. When you write your contents with the right intention, you’ll be found by your target audience who are genuinely interested in your services, products or information.
Carefully building your website based on the user’s intent is vital to grab the attention of your future customers or clients.
How to use your keywords
You can take control of your keywords by optimizing your on-page SEO. For search engines to find your keywords, you need to know where to place them. You can incorporate your SEO keywords in the following:
Your keywords should be included in your content. Keywords should be found in the introduction, in headings and subheadings. But bear in mind that you should always maintain a keyword density of 1-2%.
You can head on over to this blog post by yoast.com to understand more about keyword density.
Placing your keywords in the title or the blog post’s page will help your SEO ranking scores.
Your page or post’s URL
Having a confusing set of words instead of your SEO keywords will not help you rank. The readers should know what the content is all about just by looking at the URL. Place your keywords in your URL by editing its URL structure before hitting the “publish” button.
Meta-descriptions are previews displayed by search-engines in search results that’s why it is vital to incorporate your keywords there. Before clicking on items in search results, the users often read the meta-descriptions and decide if they will proceed to the website.
If used correctly, meta-descriptions are vital to entice the users to click and visit your website. It will increase the website’s click-through if the meta-descriptions are focused on keywords they are looking for.
Keywords are undoubtedly essential to achieve your website’s objective. Keywords will help you build a solid content strategy focused on delivering not only your goal to rank in search engines but to promote and sell your products and services.