When you’re running a search-engine optimization (SEO) campaign, one of the most important factors in its success is the keywords you target. What makes keywords so important, and how can you choose the best keywords for your campaign? This guide to keywords in SEO has you covered.
Ranking in the Search Results
The most significant reason for using keywords is to achieve a high ranking in the search results for those target words. If you don’t have any target keywords in mind for a page on your site, then your site is less likely to rank for any keywords, because you won’t be focusing on them when you build the page.
When you know what keywords you want a page to rank for, you can put it in the URL, the title, the meta description, and multiple times in the content of the page (without any keyword stuffing, which no longer works). This gives you a better chance of ranking for that word in search engines.
Attracting the Right Visitors
SEO benefits your business because it will bring organic traffic to your website. But you don’t just want any traffic on your site. A visitor who isn’t interested in what you have to offer will likely leave quickly and definitely won’t become a customer. For your SEO efforts to really be successful in terms of sales, you need to bring in visitors interested in your business, and the way you do this is by choosing your keywords wisely. You need to get into the mind of your target audience and consider what they would be searching for. By targeting the keywords that your desired audience is using, you’ll get the type of traffic you want and likely end up with a much higher conversion rate.
Choosing Your Keywords
Now you know why you need to choose the right keywords, how can you actually achieve it? You’ll need to perform keyword research. This is when you look up potential keywords to check current statistics about them. Google offers a Keyword Planner tool that you can use for this, although there are also other options available as well.
When conducting keyword research, it’s important to look for long-tail keywords. A long-tail keyword is basically more specific than your typical keyword. For example, “books” is a very broad keyword that wouldn’t make a very good target keyword for two reasons. There will be quite a bit of competition for that keyword that will prevent you from ranking high in the search results, and it’s not specific enough to bring in a target audience.
On the other hand, “nonfiction books about World War 2” is a long-tail keyword that eliminates those issues. There will be less competition, making it easier to rank, and if those books are what you offer, you can be certain anyone searching for that term will be part of your target audience.
During your keyword research for SEO, you’ll want to analyze the search volume per month that any potential target keywords get and the level of competition for that keyword. You need terms that don’t have high competition, but still get solid search volume numbers.
The keywords you choose are the backbone of your SEO campaign. By choosing the right keywords, all you need to do after that is follow proven SEO techniques as you build your pages around those keywords, such as using the keywords in your content and building high-quality content with a mix of text and other forms of media. Take your time on your SEO and your keyword research for much better results.