What are Keywords? A Quick Guide
If you have a business online, you need to know about keywords. Why? Because keywords are how you get found in the search engines. The good news is that once you understand what a keyword is, and how it works, you can quickly start to use them in your content marketing strategy. In this guide, our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts answer the questions:
- What are keywords?
- How do you do keyword research?
- How can you use keywords to help online searchers find you?
What Are Keywords?
You’re looking for a florist. What do you type into Google? “Flowers for Weddings”, “Flowers Delivered”, “Florist Near Me” are likely candidates. Each of these search terms is a keyword, in that they describe the product and service florists provide. Additionally, they’re all popular keywords that are searched for thousands of times each month.
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.” MOZ
How Do I Research Keywords?
Start your keyword research by writing down a list of search terms that describe your product or service – 3 words max. Once you’re past the obvious ones, keep going till you find every single way people might search for you. Then try each of your keywords in Google to find out how your competitors are using them, and what differentials they’re adding in.
Long term keywords use more words and are more specific. Here’s an example: “wildflower wedding bouquet Birmingham”. There will be far less people using this search term but it accurately describes a speciality you may offer that other florists don’t.
How Do I Choose the Keywords to Use?
Suppose you’re writing content for your new website. You want online searchers to know the range of things you do. So choose up to 5 keywords that are popular, used by your competitors, and accurately describe your offering.
Then create 2-3 long tail keywords that show how you’re different from your competitors. It might be that you make free deliveries, or your stock is larger, or that you’re located in a different area. So “flowers delivered” becomes “flowers delivered free in South Kensington”. The added detail is easier to rank for in Google because – whilst there’s thousands of florists, there are less that offer free delivery in that particular area.
How Do I Use Keywords?
You now know what search terms people use to describe what you’re selling. So use them naturally within your content to show online searchers that they’re in the right place to find what they’re looking for. The rule of thumb is to use each keyword no more that 3 times over 500 words. Keywords can be inserted:
- As the title of a webpage
- As subtitles
- In the body of the content
- In the alt text for images
- In the SEO title of pages
- In the meta description for pages
How Do Keywords Help With Ranking?
Google crawls all indexed websites. Indexing usually occurs when a website is launched. Once Google is alerted it will ‘crawl’ your content and return collected data to Google’s server. The crawlers aren’t just looking for keywords, but they will pick up keywords as an important ranking factor. The more coherent your keyword use, the better you will rank.
Remember that florists, for example, are in stiff competition for the most popular keywords. So using these won’t get you to page one of Google. What will get you ranked well, though, is the use of a blend of both popular and long tail keywords. The more you demonstrate your difference from the competition, the greater your success in the rankings.
About Outsource Your Marketing
Outsource Your Marketing is a UK-based network of marketing professionals offering a range of outsourced services to business. We’ll do the big stuff – like creating and carrying out your marketing strategy for you. But we’ll also do the smaller tasks you don’t have time for, like keyword research, SEO enhanced content creation, or ongoing SEO marketing.