When you Google the phrase, what are keywords, you’ll get swamped with hundreds of articles that provides you with copious amounts of information. Key among this is the fact that people always refer to keyword research.
Now, it goes without saying that keywords and keyword research goes hand-in-hand, BUT before we figure what the latter is, we need to UNDERSTAND what the basic principle of a keyword actually is.
What is a keyword?
A keyword can be defined as two things:
- The word you use on any given blog post or page that describes the content that exists on that page, and
- It’s the search term that you want to use when you want to rank the above mentioned page or blog post within a search engine.
By using keywords in the two above mentioned ways, users should then be able to find your website on Google, if they were to search for that same given keyword.
Here’s a practical example:
You have a website that you use to blog about mountain bikes that includes reviews and useful articles about mountain bikes. You’ve now added a new section about mountain bike accessories. You now created a whole section devoted to this, with some truly insightful posts about the topic, and now you may be pondering how people would be able to find your content on Google and what search terms they’d use?
If we follow the example above, you’d be right to guess “mountain bike accessories”, simply because this encompasses the content the best. This, then, would become your keyword. And, although we refer to this as a keyword (or keywords), it doesn’t always mean one singular word, but a collection of words together.
What makes keywords so important?
For two reasons: search engines and the users who use them.
Google and other search engines use keywords to distinguish and understand what a certain page is about. If you use a keyword multiple times on a page, Google and other search engines start understanding what that page is about.
But, search engine aren’t who you should be focusing on. You should, instead, be focusing on the users. These are the visitors and potential clients that you want to attract to your website. In order to do this, you need to think the way they do and you need to use the words in the way they’d use them when searching.
Using the right words gets you seen by the visitors you need. If you use the wrong words, then you won’t be seen by those same users because the keywords you’re using doesn’t match what they are searching for.
How Do You Use Keywords?
We know what keywords are and what makes them important. How do you use them, though?
The simplest way to implement them in your website is to add them within the text of a particular page.
Many years ago, you were able (and allowed) to a lot of keywords into your pages and posts (known now as keyword stuffing) and you’d rank in no time. But, a page with text that’s stuffed to the max with keywords, do not make for a good or insightful read. Many users agree, and by extension, so do Google and other search engines.
So, what is the proper way to use keywords?
Your content MUST be easy to read. Using keywords in your content is a given, but a delicate balance exists between stuffing your content with keywords and informing your visitors (and search engines) about what your page/post is about. Consider this: if 2% of the words in your content consists of keywords, then that means you’re overdoing it.
Another point to consider is to evenly spread your keywords across your content. Never pool them in the beginning as this might look suspicious to Google and other search engines.
You should also use them creatively in the headings and subheadings of the page, if possible.
Finally, using your keyword in the page/posts title and its description helps tell users and Google what your page is about as well.