What are keywords? How do I choose which ones to use? How do I analyse them?
Well to start at the beginning, SEO keywords are the words or usually phrases that people type into search engines to find information. They lead users to the organic search results which potentially connects them to the website they’re searching for.
So you can see why keywords are so important in SEO. Knowing your SEO keywords and phrases will allow you to use them to your advantage creating content that targets these words thus ultimately attracting more traffic to your website.
How do I choose keywords?
It’s important to choose keywords before writing content. This then allows you to use the keywords within your content to its best advantage. So it’s vital to understand which search words and phrases will potentially signpost to your website. To find them you need to do keyword research.
It is only by doing keyword research that you can work out what your potential customers might be searching for. Using keyword research tools will then allow you to further develop those ideas and thus find more keywords.
Over time Google has developed more sophisticated tools to understand what users are searching for so that they can send them to the correct site.
So you need to know more about your target customer and how they’re searching for your product or service. Ask yourself, who are your customers? What are they looking for? Who are your competitors?
It’s worth spending time answering these sort of questions first, forcing you to focus on your actual target audience then using this knowledge to work out how they search for your product.
Which keywords to choose?
By putting initial keywords into a Keyword research search (there are free ones available, just search) other words, phrases, topics and suggestions will emerge which you may not have initially considered.
Clearly you want to find and use keywords that target your customer but high volume keywords will be the most competitive so consider broadening the field to include terms with a lower search volume.
As you can see there is more to keyword research than simply initially selecting buzz words. In fact there are distinct steps to work through. These are finding, analysing and finally using the keywords.
As suggested there are keyword research tools to support you out there and having a deeper knowledge of your potential customer will be invaluable here. To find terms with a lower search volume (which will be less competitive) you can use long-tail keywords. Essentially these are phrases which are more specific to your search. For example, if I search ‘sofa’ online it’s unlikely I will find what I’m looking for but searching ‘brown leather chesterfield sofa’ will take me directly to relevant sites. See the difference? So get thinking and searching.
Luckily help is out there. Once you have a range of keywords there are online tools available you can use to quantify search volume, clicks, cost per click (CPC) and keyword difficulty.
Right, now your keywords have been chosen, checked and you’re ready to begin using them.
Keywords should be visible in your:
- Headings and subheadings
- Text, preferably in the first paragraph
The content needs to flow naturally and easily which may mean that not all keywords are used but be reassured that Google algorithms seek relevant content so make that your number one priority! Quality content is king so choose keywords carefully and wisely!
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