SEO is the practice of optimizing your web pages so that they appear in Google’s organic results.
A keyword is a term used in digital marketing to define a word or a combination of words that an Internet user types into a search engine when searching for an answer. They are employed in online content to improve a site’s search engine ranking and produce more qualified leads.
And Google’s job is to rank the most relevant and best results for each search query. You get a steady stream of “free” visits to your website if Google considers your page to be the “optimal” result for the right keywords.
And you know what?
Keywords have a significant role in SEO.
In fact,Moz.com describes them as the linchpin between content and users.
The’re also crucial in a SEO strategy, and should be at the heart of any content published online.
So in this post we’ll take a look at some keyword research strategies.And also,the actual application of keywords to your content in order to improve SEO.
When Is The Best Time To Start Keyword Research?
The planning stage of a website’s launch is an ideal time to begin keyword research.
Your keyword research will then be used to create the website’s structure and navigation.
This will also determine the layout of files, linking networks, content, titles, and meta descriptions.
Keyword Identification Strategies
Smart keyword selection is the first step towards effective SEO.
What are keywords most likely to be used by your visitors?
Right identification of these, is the best strategy to improve your website’s search engine rating.
These keywords will form the basis of your content marketing strategy and all subsequent content generation.
Effectively selected keywords invariably have these attributes:-
•They determine the page’s “primary” keyword phrase. Two, three, or four-word sentences are most prevalent.
• They use long-tail keywords and qualify them. Remember, 69.7% of search queries contain long-tail keywords, which have four words or more.
A quick word about long-tail keywords.
Let’s say your keyword is “website development.” Add the words technique, specialist, and organization to the main term “website development.” This makes the keyword a long-tail keyword. And this is decidedly more specific.
• They Include synonyms and relevant keywords. These are also called Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords. These keywords have a strong connection to your main topic. They are used by Google’s algorithms to identify the context, value, and quality of information.
The average number of times a certain search query is typed on a search engine each month is known as search volume.
Exploring Google Trends is one way to get a feel of the relative term volume.
This will give you the relative popularity of two to four terms throughout time. For that, you need to enter two to four keywords.
You can also use Google Ad Planner to examine expected keyword query volumes if you have a Google Adwords account.
The fundamental purpose of a user while searching a query in a search engine is search intent or keyword intent .
Many times, when consumers search, they are looking for a specific type of answer or resource.
When a user searches for a certain phrase and doesn’t find useful results, Google interprets it as a signal that the user’s intent is mismatched.
However, if you provide relevant, matching content that satisfies a user’s search query, it demonstrates to your visitors that you know your business well. And hence they’re assured that you can answer their queries about your company, products, and business.
Long-Tail Keywords And Benefits
Shorter keywords are too common, and have high competition in most markets.That’s why they don’t boost search ranking much.
Longer keyword phrases, also known as “long-tail keywords,” have less competition than the common one or two worded keywords.
Besides that, there are many other advantages of long-tail keywords. Hence they help you generate more leads faster.
Here are some workable tips about long-tail keywords:-
• Say your main keyword is “video compiler,” then you can broaden it to “video compiler and editor” or “video compiler app info.”
• The phrases “video compiler and editor” or “video compiler app info” are likely to get a greater click-through rate (CTR) from a qualified audience than “video compiler.”
• Depending on other ranking variables, your content may also be discovered by readers searching for related terms like”video compiling“.This is a big advantage for your SERP rankings.
Use Of Keywords In Content
The first step in your onsite SEO strategy is to optimise a page for two or three highly focused keyword phrases.
For example,in some articles you could have the advantage of utilizing a single keyword phrase with synonyms .
In such cases, where should keywords be used?
Use your keyword phrases in all of your content and social media posts, especially the major keywords.
This applies to all forms of content like:-
◾Spoken text in videos
Natural Use Of Keywords
The selected keywords should represent the page’s theme when it comes to “search-optimizing” content.
This needs you to add relevant keyword phrases naturally in your text.
That includes their modifiers, and related synonyms into page names and subheadings, hyperlinks referring to that page, and the title and description meta tags.
The idea is to choose keywords that are highly relevant to your items and receive a high number of monthly search inquiries.
Because being on the first page of Google for a keyword that no one searches for, has no value.
It’s important to employ synonyms for your most crucial keywords.
• Abbreviations: On the page, use the terms “Search Engine Optimisation” and “SEO” separately, and simultaneously.
• First Use On A Page: When you’re writing something about say “SEO”, for the first time on the page, write this “Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)”.
These variations of keyword usage eventually benefit your search engine rankings.
Avoid Technical Jargon
Jargon is technical language meant to convey specialized meaning in a particular profession. For example “pharynx” is a medical technical term for “throat”.
Jargon can be tedious for your visitors. When they don’t comprehend something, they lose interest rapidly.
Easy-to-read content helps readers in comprehending, engaging with, and relating to the story you’re attempting to tell.
Users often look for keywords that they are acquainted with. This can also affect your SEO.
So make sure you avoid trying to impress with excessive jargon.
Stop words are frequent terms that search engines may overlook, such as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and pronouns.
These are words like “the, in, and a, an” etc.
In order to speed up search results and preserve storage space, most search engines ignore excessively common phrases like these.
These words have no bearing on the content on a contextual level, for the search engine crawlers. And deleting them has no effect on the text’s overall meaning to the crawlers.
Hence you’d like to stop worrying about articles in your four-letter keywords.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t use these stop words in your main content. That would just create sloppy content and rob your followers of crucial reading pleasure and UX.
Punctuation is ignored by search engines.
That is, it considers “paid- to-employees” to be the same as “paid to employees”. It understands that “e-book” and “ebook” are the same things.
Special characters, such as “!?”, are also ignored by Google.
Google ignores most special characters in your search queries since that’s not as important as the content around it. However, there are certain exceptions, such as “$97” etc.
Placement Of Keywords In The Content
Headlines appear at the top of a page and hence headings and subheadings, with keywords help search engines actually figure out what the page is about.
This includes web material, videos, white papers, press releases, webinars, tweets, and other social media content.
Tips For Headings
John Mueller, from Google.com, says this about headings; “We do give it a slight boost if we see a clear heading on a page because we can understand this page is clearly about this topic” .
So here are some important hacks to use for improving headline SEO :-
1. On each page, only one H1 should be used.
2. For the page title or main content heading, use an H1 header
3.Maintain the order of the headings (H1,H2, etc)
4.Maintain consistency between headings and the text they relate to.
5.When it comes to design elements, avoid using headings.
6.If relevant, use keywords in headings to help you write more naturally.
7.Keyword stuffing should be avoided.
8.Use the sentence case.
9.Numbers should not be used to indicate the order of sections.
10.Punctuation should be avoided.
11.Avoid overusing tags. Overusing implies using subheads only for the sake of including keywords.
Important keywords should be utilized in the opening paragraph, at or at the start of a sentence, and high up on the page.
Most SEO experts suggest that the first 200 words of your article are more important to Google.
The reason for this is that the first 100-200 words of an article are usually where a content writer establishes the context for what will be covered.
Knowing that the first 200 words of a blog post are scrutinised by Google, it’s critical to include your major keyword in the first paragraph.
Here’s the catch, though.
In an apparently SEO-driven digital world, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the reader comes first.
Don’t make that mistake.
Don’t ever put your reader’s desire to be engaged, at stake.
For better user experience (UX), do some highlighting instead.
You can emphasize keywords by using them in bulleted lists and in bold text.
Break up content into easy-to-digest, bite-sized “chunks” for a better user experience
Think, 2-3 sentences per paragraph.
Repeating keywords excessively, and often, unnaturally—is an outdated practice.
Instead of helping you, keyword stuffing puts you at risk of penalty by Google.
The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) makes your content user- friendly, and search-friendly.
Insert keywords in the URL file names, using hyphens.
Your URL can help improve click-throughs from a search page because search engines display the page URL as part of the search result.
Any link on your website that connects one page to another is known as an internal link.
And why are internal links essential?
Internal links connect your content and provide Google an understanding of your website’s structure.
They can help you create a site hierarchy. They also attract greater link value for your most important posts, than the less important ones.
And this is how Google works on internal links.
Using a crawler called Googlebot, Google crawls webpages by following internal and external links.
This bot navigates to the homepage of the website, renders the page, and tracks the first link it hits.
This way, Google can figure out which pages on your site are about the same thing.
One crucial element you need to understand is leveraging the power of visual content.
And here’s the thing about visuals and images.
The brain processes visual information more quickly than other stimuli, making visual content an incredibly effective medium. Among other things, you can add images, GIFs, videos, memes, and other visual elements to your blog.
But there’s a catch too.
Although viewers may comprehend what an image is about, search engine spiders require further information.
It’s impossible for search engines to accurately index your visual content without alternate text (alt-text).
A decent alt text not only gives context, but it also aids visually challenged people.
Even if images don’t load due to a bug, search engines can scan the alternative text to help rank a page.
So what’s the advice here?
Include keywords in the alt text and URL to increase the chance of your images being displayed.
Semantic Search And Google
Google actually wants you to empower it in accessing and promoting your content. It wants to avoid returning the same websites to online users, for a search term.
That’s also why Google keeps modifying its algorithm to better grasp the context of that keyword.
Today Google is known for searching out contextual clues. It looks in the content to see if it corresponds with the searcher’s intent.
This ensures that search results are more closely aligned with the searcher’s interest.
Here’s how the search paradigm has shifted over the years.
Previously: What is the ideal way for me to rank for this keyword? (Self centered).
Today: What’s the ideal way for me to respond to the query of my readers? (Reader centered).
To respond to this new algorithm update, bloggers must adjust their SEO techniques.
One thing you cannot refute is this -the core of SEO is keywords.
Without knowing what people are looking for and what they want to see, you can’t possibly develop or optimize content for search engines.
In case your text doesn’t match what your potential audience is looking for, you’ll never achieve the traffic you desire.
However, if you use terms that people are looking for, your website and business has to prosper.
As a result, your keywords should consistently mirror what your target audience is looking for.
Writing content with the keywords that prospects type into Google is the most effective strategy to increase traffic arriving from organic search.