In this article, we’ll be looking at how keywords impact your website’s SEO efforts, as well as providing some recommendations on how to implement them correctly without overdoing it.
So let’s get started with an introduction to keywords.
What are keywords?
Keywords are basic terms related to a specific subject. For example, the words “SEO tips” would be the keyword for an article you might have written about optimizing your website for search engines.
I like to think of keywords like those sticky labels you put on packages to make sure they’re delivered to the right place. Your keyword is the label that lets search engines know with 100% certainty what your content is about.
How do keywords affect SEO?
Keywords help search engines match your content to what a user is looking for.
For instance, if someone searches for “how to build a website,” it’s likely that they would want to find a blog post or guide that contains information about building a website.
Using the word “build” in the actual content will make it easier for search engines to recognize that the topic is about building a website.
So how should you choose keywords?
The process for choosing keywords can vary depending on your business, but there are two main things to keep in mind:
1. Choose the most relevant keywords.
While researching keywords, try to find and select those keywords that best describe what your content is about.
Keywords with low search volume aren’t worth worrying about because they aren’t likely to bring you any valuable traffic and may hurt your rankings by adding unnecessary words to your content.
2. Don’t over-optimize your content.
Using too many keywords can be a pretty obvious giveaway that your content is spammy. As a general rule, you should only use one keyword per sentence and avoid stuffing keywords at the beginning of sentences.
What’s even worse is if your keyword is repeated over and over again awkwardly in the middle of your content. Not only does this make it look like you’re just trying to stuff keywords in there, but it also can hurt your site’s readability.
It’s also important to note that while using certain keywords can boost your rankings, they may not necessarily be the most effective keywords to use for your business. You should always remember that it’s quality over quantity.
Keyword Research Tools
If you’re looking for a more efficient way to create content, some tools can help you find the best keywords to use for each piece of content.
Here’s a list of some of the top keyword research tools that will help you choose the right keywords to optimize your site.
How-To Finder is one of my favorite tools when it comes to keyword research because it answers the question: “How do people search?”
As you type in a keyword, the tool shows a list of related keywords and phrases from Google’s autocomplete predictions which are based on how people commonly search.
One thing I like about this tool is that you can sort your results by keyword difficulty and keyword type to better understand how competitive certain keywords are.
Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro lets you choose a specific keyword to get more accurate keyword suggestions based on Google’s database. It then shows you a list of related keywords that you can choose to include in your content.
What I like about Long Tail Pro is that you can also see how many searches each keyword gets each month. This data is displayed in two ways:
1. The exact number of searches per month
2. A rank score, which helps you estimate how popular a keyword might be
Ubersuggest is another great tool to use for keyword research as it helps you find long-tail keywords based on your main keyword.
For example, if you searched for the keyword “website,” you’ll notice that Ubersuggest lists related keywords like “website builder” and “website analytics.”
Google Keyword Planner
I use the Google Keyword Planner every time I’m writing an article. Google displays search volume and gives recommendations for related keywords, but what I like the most about the Keyword Planner is the option to sort your results by gender and region.
When creating content for different regions, you’ll want to make sure that your keyword choices appeal to that audience or that they’re at least understandable by that audience.
Top 7 Tips For Using Keywords Correctly For SEO
Now that you know the basics of keywords, let’s cover some best practices to keep in mind when writing your content.
#1 Use keywords naturally.
Trying to use the exact keyword phrase as many times as possible won’t always improve your rankings because Google sees that as keyword stuffing.
While it’s okay to repeat a keyword several times throughout a piece of content, try to do it naturally instead of just repeating the keyword over and over again.
#2 Don’t use too many keywords unless necessary.
Most of the time, including too many keywords, can be seen as spammy. Remember that you don’t need to include every single relevant keyword in your content. Focus on finding just the right number of keywords that are most relevant to the topic at hand.
#3 Avoid keyword stuffing and duplicate content.
Again, you want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it with the keywords. These two things are both pretty obvious giveaways that your content is spammy or that parts of your content have been copied from other pieces of content.
#4 Include a target keyword in your heading tags.
Heading tag optimization is a lost art.
You’ll often see SEOs creating new articles, then never touching the headings again. That means they’re not getting the full potential of their content.
However, if you’re using headings correctly, you’ll be able to use your target keyword several times throughout your content without it looking like you’re stuffing it.
#5 Make sure your page title is targeted.
Along with your heading tags, the title of each page will also help your title show up in search engines. Make sure you choose a title for your page that is unique but also includes your target keyword.
#6 Use your target keyword in the first 100 words of content.
If you want to optimize your content, you’ll want to use your target keyword within the first 100 words of the actual content. This doesn’t mean that you should repeat the words over and over again.
Instead, you can use your keyword naturally several times throughout the article.
#7 Use multiple related keywords.
When choosing keywords, it’s also okay to include related keywords in your content. You can still include one keyword that is more targeted than other keywords.
For instance, instead of using “SEO” as your only keyword, you can add a few related keywords like “Search engine optimization,” “search engine optimization tips,” etc.
Keyword research is an important part of creating SEO-friendly content, but don’t forget that your content should always be valuable to the reader.
Focus on creating high-quality content that will help your visitors.