SEO Keywords – How To Choose And Use Effectively

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in Digital Marketing

by Dave Phillips

Keywords. They’re what people type into the search box to find what they’re looking for on Google. The words you use on your website are also keywords. They’re what Google is looking at in order to understand the content of your web pages.

Keywords are everything.

But keywords aren’t just for search engines and SEO. They’re really at the core of your business.

How do you talk about your products and services? Do you use words like high quality, family friendly, cozy, custom, affordable?

By using the same words your customers would use when searching for products and services, you increase the chance your site will appear in Google Search results. Since these words are the foundation of your marketing and SEO efforts, it’s worth the time to make sure you’re using the best ones, and that you’re using them properly on your website.

The long and the short of it.

There are two types of keywords. Head keywords and long-tail keywords. It’s good to use both kinds on your site.
Head keywords are general, they’re 1 or 2 words and they have a high volume of searches. Everyone knows head keywords like these:

  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Toyota
  • Pizza
  • Boots

They’re difficult to rank for due to the level of competition these terms have. Everyone’s using them. If you can manage to rank high for a keyword like ‘boots’, you’re bound to see your traffic increase. But high traffic doesn’t always convert to higher sales. You want the right kind of visitors. That’s where long tail keywords come in.

Long tail keyword phrases are basically 3 or more words they’re a little more specific, they tend to convert well because they catch people further along in the buying cycle.

Here’s an example, someone searching for “women’s shoes” is likely just browsing for general information. But someone searching for “women’s brown leather riding boots size 9” practically has their credit card out.

Online tools for finding the right keywords

When it comes to choosing the right keywords for your business and SEO, there are some great online tools to help you. And lots of them are free.
Tools like these can tell you how many times a keyword is searched for, how competitive they are, or even if your competitors are using a particular keyword or not. One of the great things about these tools is that they can take your existing keywords and give you related keywords that you hadn’t thought of.

Here are some great online tools to help with keyword selection:

Using keywords properly.

Now that you have a list of head keywords and long-tail keyword phrases that you think your business should focus on, you’ll want to write content for your site that uses them. Now, since Google ranks web pages, and not web sites, you’ll want to give each page on your website its own unique keyword phrase to focus on. By optimizing each page individually, you’re casting a wider net of relevant terms your customers may be searching for. When Google looks at your web pages, you’ll want to make sure your keywords are being used in all the right places on those pages in order to make the biggest impact.

Your keywords should be used in your headings at the top of your page, the main body content, and even the alt text and filenames for your images. Stuff like this can go a long way in convincing Google that your page truly is focused on that one target keyword.

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