Keywords are the backbone of search engine result page rankings. It is impossible to talk about search engine optimization and not dwell on keywords. It is important to know what they are and how to use them effectively in boosting your site-wide as well as on-page rankings.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words that online users use on the search bar whenever they are looking for content. In fact, the only way you can search for something on Google is by using keywords. It so happens that there are other people like you all over the world who are also using the same words to look for what you are looking for. So, whether it is ‘car’ or ‘vintage convertible cars’, these search terms are instrumental in the search process.
Importance of Keywords
Keywords are important in SEO. They help to signal search engines about the type of content that you are churning out. These keywords are also important because they help readers and visitors to find your page or your website in the midst of everything that is available online. To go a step further, optimizing your page and website for certain keywords will help you to rank higher in search engine results that are related to what you have to offer. This ultimately boosts your traffic as well.
Types of Keywords
There are two main types of keywords. These are:
These keywords are short and brief. ‘Car’, ‘sofa’, ‘clothes’ and ‘shoes’ are all keywords. They are short and to the point. However, they can also be very vague as you cannot point out exactly what someone is looking for from just one vague and general word. If the search is on ‘shoes’ the person could be looking for cheap or affordable shoes, designer shoes, shoes on sale or any other thing. While these keywords boost your traffic, they are also highly competitive and might not serve the purpose as there are bigger ‘giants’ out there who have already optimized for the keyword. A good example is Clarks. It would be hard to compete with such a company when optimizing for ‘shoes.’
Long tail keywords are much longer and more specific than short tail keywords. In the example above, instead of optimizing for ‘shoes,’ the long tail keyword would opt for a more specific description such as ‘cheap shoes in Miami’. It might be counter-intuitive to optimize for long tail keywords but it is actually a smart move. They are less competitive and thus easier to use in boosting rankings.
You cannot use keywords in isolation. You must also consider the type of content that you have on your site. In this case, you have two options. You can either do a research to find out which keyword is most popular with your target demographic then center your content around the keyword. The second option is to come up with content and then find keywords that naturally fit in. the latter is a more effective move as it allows you to optimize for keywords and still attract visitors with high quality content.
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