A major discussion point regarding SEO recently has been that if topics or keywords are more important. This discussion comes from the fact that Google is learning how to understand natural language. Google is so good at doing this now that it can identify similar terms for search queries, which makes it less important to worry about small changes in the way that you word your content when you are targeting a specific keyword phrase.
Some people argue that it is more important to think about the concepts that Google interprets regardless of the actual words that are being used. While this may be somewhat true, keywords are still a very important concept of SEO.
SEO then and SEO now!
In the early days of digital marketing, good SEO meant keywords—and lots of them. In an attempt to rank higher on the search engine results page, SEO experts loaded website content with keywords, many times without any context.
Times have changed. Google now penalizes websites for “keyword stuffing,” which Google describes as “loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results.” Keyword stuffing says Google, “results in negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.”
According to Google, keyword stuffing can include:
- Long lists of keywords without any context or added value,
- Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for,
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural.
These days, Google ranks pages based on how relevant and valuable they are to the reader, so a page with a list of keywords but without any supporting content, or with content that is written to use multiple keywords rather than provide useful information, will be penalized by Google.
So what are keywords and how are they important to SEO and marketing? Read on to find out!
What Are SEO Keywords?
SEO keywords are single words or short phrases that represent the search queries that people use in a search engine. Website owners or marketers select keywords and use them to guide content creation and optimize their webpages as part of their SEO strategy.
For example, Simple Keyword: Communication
Long-tail Keyword: Best Communication Agency in Kolkata
For both the above keywords, our communications page of Turiya Communication is likely to appear in the top search results of the Google search engine.
Hence, your SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that makes it possible for people to find your site via search engines. When you align your content creation and optimization with the words, topics, products, and services your target audience is looking for, you have a better chance of showing up in the search results.
A website that is well optimized for search engines speaks the same language as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site. In other words, you need to know how people are looking for the products, services, or information that you offer, to make it easy for them to find you—otherwise, they will land on one of the many other pages in the Google results.
Why Are Keywords Important to SEO?
Keyword research helps you understand how your target market describes your products or services. It also shows you how people ask for more information on your topics when using a search engine. Armed with these words and phrases, you can come up with ideas for new content. You can also optimize your webpages to match a searcher’s intent and answer a searcher’s questions.
Keyword research and optimization can improve your chances of showing up on page 1 of the search results. Data from 2020 shows that most title tags on Google’s first page contained keywords that were an exact or partial match of that search query.
To summarize, keywords help website owners with the following:
- Identify and speak the language of the target market.
- Create useful content for the target audience.
- Get content in front of the right people at the right time.
- Communicate to Google that a webpage is a match for a query.
- Improve search engine rankings by helping Google understand the webpage content.
- Drive more qualified traffic to appropriate webpages.
- Increase time on site by directing more qualified traffic to webpages.
- Increase conversions by helping consumers find you rather than your competitors.
How Do You Conduct Keyword Research?
Most beginning search marketers make the same mistakes when it comes to SEO keyword research:
- Only doing SEO keyword research once,
- Not bothering to update and expand their SEO keyword list, or
- Targeting keywords that are too popular, meaning they are excessively competitive.
SEO keyword research should be an ongoing and ever-evolving part of your job as a marketer. Old keywords need to be reevaluated periodically, and high-volume, competitive keywords (or “head” keywords, as opposed to long-tailed keywords) can often be usefully replaced or augmented with longer, more specific phrases designed not to bring in just any visitor but exactly the right visitors.
Hence, settling on the right SEO keywords is a delicate process involving both trial and error, but the basics are easy to understand.
Here is the process in four basic steps:
- Start with a “brainstorm” list: Also known as a “seed” list. Document anything you can think of that would describe your product, service, or the information you have to share.
- Use a keyword research tool: Use an analysis tool that gives you data on the ideas in your seed list.
- Expand and refine your list: Discover suggested keyword phrases from the keyword research tool. Find out the actual words people use as they search for your products, services, or information. Find out how often the queries are used, which can help you prioritize the work.
- Verify keyword phrases: Analyse the competition in the search results that show up for the target keywords. Do you see webpages that offer products, services, or information like yours? If so, it means you are in the right space.
The Big Picture
Keywords are not just important for the SEO of a website, they are important for off-site content and social profiles as well. This is so that people using the internet can discover your website through a variety of ways rather than just through searching keywords that are contained on your website. This type of presence can get you hooked up with various networks, driving more customers to your business.
At Turiya Communications LLP, we can help you with SEO keywords and more! Our team can walk you through researching what your customers are looking for, discovering those keywords that will help you rank on a search engine results page (SERP), and putting them to work in your online content.
All you need to do is contact us today or visit our website www.turiyacommunications.com to know more!