What are SEO Keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases used by the people when searching for information through a search engine.
You can increase your chances of appearing in the top few search results for those terms by adding those keywords in your content. Doing that helps users find the information they need and also make it easier for the search engines to understand what your content/ website is all about.
Why are keywords important?
Search engines have a hard time understanding the meaning of your content if the right SEO keywords are not used in your content and if this is not taken care of it reduces your chances of getting traffic organically to your website.
The search engines work by matching the user’s query with pages available in their index. Search engine crawlers (bots) visit a web page while crawling and indexing and extract the information they need to understand what the page is about. Further they add the web page to their index and use this information to match the web page with the user query.
The information they extract are the keywords a web page is related with, thus you need to be associated with the right keywords in order to rank high in the search engines results page(SERP).
Different types of SEO keywords
Keywords are classified into two categories:
- Short tail keywords and
- Long tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords also referred as head-tail keywords are terms that are general, broad, and may have multiple user intents. It usually consist of one or two words and have a high search volume. eg: books
Long-tail keywords on the other hand are keywords that are more specific and usually longer than the short tail ones. It consists of 3-4 words or more and have less search volume compared to short-tail keywords. But nevertheless they make up for 70% of all searches.
Important point is that short-tail keywords may have more search volume and thus are highly competitive.
Thousands of websites are competing for one of the top positions in the SERP’s for the short tail keywords and this makes it almost impossible for new websites to rank for these terms.
Whereas on the other hand long tail keywords have less search volume but with the right SEO plan, it is possible to rank in the top positions of Google and target organic traffic to your website.
How to choose the right keywords?
Step 1: Decide for which ‘search terms’ you want to be known for
Your first step is to spend some time thinking about the following things:
- What is the central theme of your business and what you want to be known for?
- What words or phrases people might use in the search engines to find you?
- Which words best describe your products or services?
- Which words describe your niche better?
Step 2: Create a Keyword list
To create a keyword list, you need to take the list created with the help of the questions above and associate it with the actual phrases people type in the search box i.e. SEO Keywords.
To do that we need the help of keyword research tools. There are a lot of tools you can use but my recommended tools are the Google Keyword Planner (Free) and SEMRUSH (Paid).
Google keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is part of Google Ads and it’s offered by Google to the Google Ads customers for free.Nevertheless, it’s a great keyword research tool and you can use it to find your SEO keywords.
Go to Google Ads and create an account. Follow the steps to create a draft campaign so that the system will allow you to access the Keyword Planner.
Once you are done with the draft campaign, select TOOLS > KEYWORD PLANNER
Step 3: Find Semantic SEO Keywords
The next step is to find keywords related to your target keywords. A semantic keyword is a keyword that is very much related with another keyword.
The reason behind this is because Google ranks pages that are more targeted to topics instead of targeting individual keywords.
So, by finding LSI keywords for your main keywords and including them in your content, you help Google get a better understanding about your content and this translates to higher rankings.
To find LSI keywords use LSI Keyword Generator and google search.
How to use SEO Keywords in your Content
Doing good keyword research and having a keyword list, is not enough. In order to benefit from this process, you need to know how to use these keywords in your content.
This is known as SEO Content, which is a subset of On Page SEO.
Here are some tips to follow:
Optimize your Homepage for your main keyword
Create a separate page for each of your main keywords as page categories
Create pieces of content for targeting long-tail keywords
Optimize your content with SEO keywords
When writing the content for your pages and blog posts, you need to keep the things mentioned under in mind:
Use keywords in the URL – Include your target keyword in the page URL.
Use keywords in the page title – Include your target keyword in the page title and preferably start with the same.
Use keywords in the H1 Tag – Include your target keyword (or close variations) is the h1 tag
Use long-tail keywords as subheadings (h2, h3) – Include variations of your keyword in your h2 and subheadings.
Use LSI keywords in your content – Include LSI keywords within your copy.