Importance of Keywords in SEO
Using keywords in your content is perhaps one of the most important tips for optimal SEO performance because it will improve your ranking on pages in search engine results. They are what people use to find desirable content and services online and should be factual and relevant to your site. Using the right amount of keywords and strategically placing them throughout your content, titles, tags, URLs, and even image names is vital. With too few keywords, you will not rank as high on search engine pages, but with too many, your content will be marked as spam. Think about it: when searching online, how often do you click to the third fourth, even second pages? Moreover, how often do you click on spam links? Links on the first page use the most common and relevant keywords, know where to place them, and use them with stability. About 10%-20% of site content should be made up of keywords.
So how do you pick the right keywords? First, imagine how you would search for your own site. What words would you use to get to your website, content, and images? Make a list of those words and keep them handy for when you update your website. Another simple way would be to visit other sites similar to yours, and see what words they use often or add links to.
A more technical and precise way to discover worthy keywords is by using the Google Keyword Tool on Google Adword. A Google account is necessary, of course, but once you sign in, click on the “Reporting and Tools” tab, then on “Keyword Tool.” Here Google will tell you which keywords have the most competition (most popular), local (U.S.) and global monthly searches, and amount of traffic brought to your site using those words. Click the image below for an example keyword search:
For Lpdeezign & Marketing Inc., we searched the keyword “branding” because it’s a relevant word we often use. First focus on the Local Monthly Searches. The keyword with the highest local monthly searches is “brand,” a short-tail keyword, with over 4 million monthly searches. This tells us that we should use this word more often as opposed to “branding” with only 301,000 monthly searches. Potential clients may be looking for design and marketing services, and the Google Keyword Tool tells us that they are more likely to search “brand” instead of “branding.”
While short-tail keywords are crucial for popularity, it’s also good to opt for long-tail keywords, which are more specific, relevant, and less competitive keywords or phrases. A word such as “brand” will be entered into a search query more often, but a phrase like “logo maker” will generate more relevant results.
An easy way to turn a keyword into a long-tail keyword is to add phrases like “how to” or “importance of” (see what we did in the title?). For example, “how to create a brand” is a great long-tail keyword.
- Don’t overuse or underuse keywords. About 10%-20% of your content should be made up of keywords.
- Balance short-tail keywords with long-tail keywords. Both popularity and relevancy are equally important when marketing your entity.
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