New to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? The term “SEO keywords” is sure to be among the first concepts you encounter. Knowing what keywords do, choosing the right ones to use, and sticking to your keyword strategy will help you to improve your website’s rankings in search engine results. It’s quite a complex area, but this introduction to SEO keywords will help you to get started.
What are SEO Keywords?
Keywords are the search terms that people use when looking for a website like yours. Making sure that they find your website means using these terms, or close approximations of them, that allow search engines to decide whether your site will be relevant to any particular search.
Why are Keywords So Important?
So far, the concept seems simple. If you’re selling woolly jumpers, all you have to do is include the words “woolly jumpers” in a few places, and you’re there – or are you? As you’re probably aware, lots of other businesses sell woolly jumpers – so there’s a lot of competition for that keyword.
Some of your competitors will have a head start, and competing with them for attention could be a tough call. Think about how you use the internet. Do you click through to the second page of search results? If you do, you’re a very unusual user indeed.
Simply relying on a very simple and straightforward keyword may not deliver the results you’re hoping for – namely good rankings in search – unless you have few competitors in your line of business. But choosing something too obscure is just as bad. If nobody searches for content related to your keywords, they’re of no use to you either.
As you can see, the keywords for SEO that you choose and use are very important indeed! After all, your website is made to draw customers, and if they can’t see you in search engine results, they won’t find you.
What are Long-Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are longer phrases that people use in online searches. For example, a person looking for a woolly jumper might be quite specific about what they want. “Handmade woolly jumpers in London,” is an example of a long-tail keyword. In this example, the long-tail keyword says what is being sold, but it also indicates an important feature (the jumper is handmade) as well as a location (in London).
By using it, the website owner eliminates a lot of competition, i.e. businesses that don’t produce handmade goods and who are situated elsewhere. As a result, they stand a better chance in the race for better search engine rankings, get more traffic to their website, and have a better chance of achieving their ultimate goal: an increase in sales.
Where to Use Keywords for SEO
Website rankings are decided by algorithms, and they look for keywords and their synonyms when deciding on a rank to allocate to your website. Certain places are higher-profile than others, and all the places where algorithms look for keywords will have some impact on your rankings. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have all your keywords in each of these important locations, but if you can fit them in, they’ll be of help.
Your domain name, site title, URLs, SEO and page titles and descriptions, headings, body texts, categories, image and gallery titles and captions, content file names, and alt text all have a role to play.
Keyword Research Basics
Since your choice of keywords for SEO will have a big impact on how visible you are and how many people end up on your website, keyword research will be important to your success. Begin by choosing broad terms that are relevant to what you do. Now, think of all the related terms and queries that might fall under those headings. Always consider user intent. Would a person using these terms in search be interested in what you do?
Finally, you need a keyword research tool to see how many monthly searches each keyword has and how much competition there is to rank for it. You shouldn’t completely ignore keywords with lots of competition, but it will be much easier to get a good SEO keyword ranking for terms with lower competition.
Keyword and Content Strategies
Now that you’ve formulated a list of keywords you want to target, your next step is to strategise and stick to your strategy, measuring your results along the way to see how you’re doing. Keywords relate to subject matter, so your task is to consider why users would search for information using them and to deliver the goods in the content you create and publish on your website.
Since your content matches the subject matter related to your keywords, it will be easy to fit them into all the places that algorithms like to see them without forcing it or appearing unnatural. This helps algorithms to find your content and attracts users who want to see it to your website – which is exactly where you want them to be!
SEO is a Specialised Field
While it’s not impossible to learn about SEO and apply it effectively yourself, there’s no getting past the fact that it will be a time-consuming process, and if someone else is doing it better than you are, you’ll benefit less than they do. That’s why most businesses get help from SEO specialists who already have all the know-how, experience, and dedicated time it takes to help their customers improve their websites’ search engine rankings.
At Yellowball, we’ve made it our business to apply best practices in SEO to help our clients get noticed. How search-engine friendly is your website? How do you stack up against the competition? Which SEO keywords are likeliest to boost your online profile? The answers to these questions and, more importantly, the execution of keyword strategies that work, are what you can expect from Yellowball. Let’s talk SEO today. It could be among the best business decisions you’ll ever make.