Whenever you start looking for information on keywords, you will get inundated with posts relating to keyword research. Now keyword research is important; but unless you know the fundamental basics of what a keyword is, there is no point in going into detail on keyword research.
In this post, I want to share with you some key information around keywords or keyword phrases. What they are, the importance of keywords and how to use them in your content.
We will then cover off some basics around keyword research…
What is a Keyword?
When you first start looking into creating a blog, website or an online business we often think we don’t know what a keyword is. But you will be surprised to know that you are always using a keyword or phrase when you type anything into a search engine like Google.
It is the search term you are using to look for information or help with understanding a topic.
Another thing to know is that a keyword is not necessarily classed as a single word. If I typed into Google “what is a keyword or phrase?” into google that is a keyword. It looks like a phrase, but the important thing to know is that Google uses this term to show you the best results.
The more specific you are in your search, the more relevant your search results will be.
If you just typed, “Keywords”.
Google would do its best to show you results that are relevant to keywords. But it is doing a best guess, as they do not understand what you are trying to get out of that term. That is quite a broad term, whereas any of the below would give them a good idea on what you are trying to understand:
- What is a Keyword?
- What is Keyword Research?
- How Do You Do Keyword Research?
- What is the Best Keyword Research Tool?
Let’s get into the importance of keywords and how relevance is the main factor.
The Importance of Keywords
When people first start out with an online business and start doing keyword research, they often fall into the trap of focusing on getting their content ranked higher up the search engines.
I’ll admit, it is important to get your blog at the top of the search engines.
But you need to remember a key thing. The people who find your blog, if the content is not relevant or helpful, they will leave your website.
That will harm your rankings more, as Google will see that people are not interacting with your blog.
Google compares your content against the keyword you are trying to rank for.
It is important to know that Google will actually look through all of your content, so whilst your target keyword might be “What is a Keyword or Phrase?” You might actually rank against other terms within your content too.
Now, if I had used that keyword in my title (as I have here), but all I did was try and sell you a keyword research tool when you are still trying to understand a keyword. That is not relevant and will make you steer away from my blog.
One of the best bits of advice I can give you around using keywords on your blog or website is to make sure it is helping someone. Helping people is more effective than trying to sell to people.
Keywords are so important, as they help the search engines understand what your content is about, that allows them to rank it against the other competing posts for that same keyword. If yours answers the question better and is from an authority website it will rank higher.
But it needs to also answer the relevant questions regarding that keyword for the people who are searching and ultimately choosing your blog to help them.
How Do You Use Keywords in You Content?
An old technique that is still shown as a method in some places talks about “keyword stuffing”. This is where you practically put the keyword anywhere and everywhere in your post and it would rank.
But naturally, this did not paint a good picture when the user came onto that page. They quickly came off the page as it was poorly written.
Google has done a lot of work on its crawling algorithms and now they actually read your content and keyword stuffing is no longer accepted practise.
My advice would be to include your target keyword in the following places:
- Post Title
- First Paragraph
- Meta Description (this is the section that is displayed under your title in the search results)
Don’t worry if you include the keyword naturally throughout the post, as long as your content is relevant and helps explain the topic to someone who clicks on your post. That is the part that really matters.
But by putting them in the places above, you are telling Google what your content is about. If it is high-quality and helps someone who clicks on it and they find it useful, Google will notice this and possibly rank you better too.
Every piece of content on your blog or website will start with keyword research. Targeting a specific keyword and writing a helpful informative post for that keyword.
But another key factor in where Google ranks that content is user engagement. As your website grows and your authority grows, and you get more traffic. How that traffic engages with your content will also affect the rankings of your posts.
Your rankings could go up (if they really love your content and read it and interact with it) or they could go down (if they find the content is lacking in some areas).
Now you have a common grasp of what is a keyword or phrase, the natural next step is keyword research. I will touch on the basics here, but if you want a more definitive answer, please check out my What is Keyword Research in SEO post.
The Basics of Keyword Research
Without doing any keyword research, to be honest, your chosen keyword is useless. The reason is, you are walking blindly with that strategy.
You need to know how many searches that keyword gets, how much traffic you can expect if you rank at the top of the search engines and how many other posts are competing for that keyword too.
Keyword research is a fundamental step in any online business owners route to creating strategy.
You might write a 4,000-word article that answers every single question in a specific topic and find that you get no traffic because it is up against an authority website, that gives you no chance as you stayed too broad in your keyword.
Low Hanging Fruit Keywords
One of the best strategies for a new or fairly new website is to target low-hanging-fruit keywords.
We have already covered off what a keyword or keyword phrase could be, but a low-hanging-fruit keyword is referring to a keyword that when you do keyword research, it has a small amount of traffic each month but more importantly, it has low competition.
Below is a screenshot, where I have searched for the term “What is a Keyword” in a keyword research tool:
That chosen keyword has tons of traffic, but there is a high number of competing websites for that same term.
What is a Keyword – It has an average of 35,516 search terms a month but 212 competing posts for that same term.
Now, if you were an established authority website you could probably compete and get high enough with that term.
But when starting out, that would be really hard to compete with.
Now, if you were to look at the keyword “What is a keyword phrase” – That does only have an average of 96 searches a month, but only 24 competing posts.
The Low-Hanging-Fruit technique is the way forward for a new website to build up traffic and authority. By consistently targeting these keywords, you can have the trickle effect.
Loads of posts, where they all receive some traffic. But the overall effect is your traffic levels are rising overall.
Once you have built up your authority in your niche, you can then start competing for more keywords.
Imagine 100 posts, all competing for low-hanging-fruit keywords and are competing well will get you a lot more traffic than 1000 posts targeting high competition keywords and getting nowhere.
Related Post: What is Keyword Research in SEO
If you still have any questions around keywords, keyword research or anything at all please write them in the comments below and I will definitely come back to you with an answer as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading, John