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What exactly are keywords? How to use them for SEO

SEO is no longer a term reserved for marketers only.

As long as you have and run a website/blog on the internet, SEO is a must-know for you. And in your quest to do that, one of the first few concepts you must grasp is the "concept of keywords."

In this article, I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about KEYWORDS and how to use them for the purpose of SEO.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engine search bars to find what they’re looking for.

For example, if you're looking to hire a professional SEO company, you might go into the Google search bar and enter "best SEO Company Markham" – provided Markham’s your area, of course.

This phrase you’ve entered is known as a keyword.

Another person might go in there and search for what is best in life or how to make money online etc. It doesn’t really matter. They’re all keywords. Although regular internet users may choose to call them search queries instead. In the world of SEO, SEO geeks prefer to use the term keywords.

Why are keywords important in the world of SEO?

Keywords are important because they help Google show you to searchers.

The job of all search engines is to provide searchers with the best results for their queries.

Now, since they can’t possibly presume what each and every searcher would enter into a search bar, what they do is to categorize results based on specific keywords so that each time someone searches for a keyword or a keyword closest in meaning to it, they show them an appropriate result.

In a nutshell, what this means is that if you want to gain lots of traffic via search engines, all you got to do is create your articles and other web content centered on the keywords people are searching for.

Once you do, you can rest assured that Google will send tons of traffic your way as long as people keep entering those keywords into search bars.

The more keywords you can appear for, the higher the number of free traffic search engines will send your way.

A simple case study:

If you enter the phrase (keyword) – how to do SEO – into Google, this is what you’ll see:

All the results you see above appear because the creators have targeted the keyword “how to do SEO” or something closely related to it.

The first result on that page is a web content created by Ahrefs. And according to the SEO Company, this simple effort – of targeting the keyword “how to do SEO” – sent over 900 visits to their website in one month, contributing significantly to their bottom line.

How to find the right keywords to use

To make the process of finding keywords an easy one, what most people do is to use a "keyword research tool."

There are lots of them in the industry today. But here are some of the best ones.

How does a keyword research tool work?

A keyword research tool provides you with a boatload of relevant keywords based on what people are searching for the most.

How a typical keyword research tool works is that you plug in a few broad keywords related to your industry called “seed keywords,” and the tool shows you some related keyword ideas.

I’m going to show you how a typical keyword research tool works by using one of our recent blog posts as a case study.

A simple case study:

Sometime last year, our blog created an article titled Spend money to make money. To create that article, we researched a couple of best performing keywords to use.

How to choose a keyword

Looking at the keyword ideas in the case study above, you might think those were the only results our keyword research tool gave to us, but that's not true.

The tool returned loads of keyword ideas, but not all were to our bottom line. So we chose the ones that were.

If you, too, want to use keywords for SEO purposes, you need to choose from the ideas provided by your research tool.

How do you do that? You wonder. Follow these tips:

  • Choose based on search volume

  • Choose based on search intent

  • Choose based on keyword Difficulty

  1. Choose based on search volume

Search volume is the total number of monthly searches a particular keyword receives. You can choose a keyword from a group of keyword ideas by looking at the ones with the highest search volume.

Bear in mind, though, that the only time it makes sense to compare two keywords by search volume is when the keywords are both relevant to your bottom line. If they aren't, then it doesn't make sense to compare them.

Based on search volume, the keyword to choose would have been the first one with 35k. But if you wanted to create an article about the best San Jose SEO Company, that keyword won’t be relevant. The second one, however, would be.

But let’s assume you wanted to create said article above and your research tool showed you keyword ideas like this:

You can easily choose the first one. Because both are relevant to your bottom line (best San Jose SEO Company), and both are comparable (belong to the same niche.)

  1. Choose based on search intent

Another way to choose a keyword amongst a curated list of keyword ideas is to find out what the search intents of searchers are for each of those keywords.

By search intent, we mean, what are the intentions of people searching for those keywords?

Are they searching for that keyword to find reviews, are they searching for it to make a purchase, are they searching for it to gain knowledge?

If searchers are searching for a keyword to read reviews, and you go ahead to create an article targeting that keyword to sell a product, Google won’t rank you for that keyword because their job is to provide searchers with the best results that align with their intention.

Let’s take a quick example. Imagine that you sell Apple Airpods, and the keyword “Best Apple Airpods” came up as one of the keyword ideas - with a solid search volume – from your keyword research tool. Then you go ahead to create content for your product page to sell this product targeting this keyword. Google won’t rank you, and searchers won’t find you.

You know why?

Most of the people searching for this keyword aren’t ready to buy. They’re just looking for reviews and insights into the best models available.

  1. Choose based on Keyword Difficulty

Now, let's say you've identified the most relevant keywords from the list generated by your research tool based on "search volume" and "search intent," the next thing is to find out about the difficulty of these keywords.

That is, how difficult is it to rank for these keywords?

While a keyword might have a great search volume (which means people are searching for it) and a search intent that aligns with your SEO purpose, if it has a high difficulty score, it might be tough to rank for it.

For example, let’s take a look at this example of “Mortgage Payment Calculator”:

As you can see, lots of people are searching for it (search volume of 246k). And it will most likely suit any SEO purpose you intend for it – whether product page, review, homepage, landing page, etc.

But it has a keyword difficulty of 51 according to the Ubersuggest scale. Considering this scale is rated 0-100, this is not an easy keyword to rank for.

It might take thousands of backlinks to outrank the websites ranking for this keyword.

According to Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest keyword tool, the websites ranking in the top 10 for this keyword has received over 2,000 backlinks.

As you can see from the Ubersuggest analysis, the easiest way to rank for this keyword is via a PPC campaign.

Do a similar analysis for any group of keywords you collect to know which ones are the easiest to rank for.

How to optimize for keywords

Most guides you’ll see will tell you that in order to get the most from keywords, use them this way:

  • Include keywords in the title tag

  • Include the keyword in the URL

  • Mention your keyword throughout your page

  • Include long-tail keywords in your copy

Other than these ways, you can also place keywords by matching them with search intent. That is, find out the best search intent for a keyword and use it for that purpose. You can contact salt lake city seo in order to find out more about SEO keyword research.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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