Keywords 101: What Are They, and Why Do They Matter?
Driving people to your website is a crucial part of having a webpage; after all, what is the point if no one is reading your content? What a lot of people may not realize is that the key detail behind this is keywords.
Knowing what keywords are and why they are important to your web presence might change everything you know about your website.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are basically a word or phrase that relates to a specific topic that people are looking up using search engines. Search engines use keywords to find the best website for that person. For example, if a person is trying to search “nail salon,” the keywords are going to relate to the nail salon. They might be “nail salon,” “nails,” “manicure” and so on.
There are two types of keywords: head and long-tail. Head keywords are broad and short; “nail salon” would be an example. These can sometimes be a bit vague. Long-tail keywords are more specific and usually have more than three words; “best nail salon in Los Angeles” would reflect that. You want to have a mix of head and long-tail throughout your website.
Your goal is to find the keywords that people will search for that will lead them to your website specifically. This is where it gets a little tricky, but don’t worry. We have some tips on how to help you with this.
Finding the Best Keywords
Above all else, you want to make sure that your keywords are relevant and reflect the topic that your audience is searching for on your website; if it is not relevant to your specific website, don’t use it.
Complete your keyword research to come up with a list of keywords that people will use in relation to your website. This might take some time, but you should first brainstorm your topic, come up with some keywords to reflect that topic and then research alternate keywords. With the nail salon, an alternate keyword for “nail salon” could be “best nail salon.”
One way of researching keywords is through Google Ads Keyword Planner. This provides keyword analysis and keyword suggestion tools to find the best alternate keywords for you.
Make sure you update your keywords over time. There might be a new keyword to add to your website; this could happen if you create a new service or start selling a new product. You also need to be on the lookout for keywords that are no longer relevant or have too high of a competition level.
With this logic, keywords are more than about the content; they are about the audience. Use keywords that the audience will use when they insert it in the search engine. You could even ask some customers what specific words they think relate to your company or business for keyword ideas.
Having the best keywords will also help your website get a better ranking with search engines. To guarantee that your website is viewed over others, you want to look at the keyword’s competition.
Photo by Lunchpresso
Each keyword has a level of competition. When we say competition, we mean how often that keyword is searched in a monthly timeframe and what your likelihood is of your webpage coming up before others.
You want to aim for keywords that have a low amount of competition. The lower the competition, the better your chances are of being one of the first websites to be found.
Remember head and long-tail keywords? Head keywords usually have a higher competition due to their vagueness while long-tail has lower competition since they are more specific and defined. For example, “nail salon” might have a higher competition than “best nail salon in Los Angeles” because it is too broad.
Avoid using keywords that have no competition level; no one is searching for them, so it is a waste.
How to Use Keywords
So you know about keywords, how to find them and their competition. Now you need to use them on your website.
First, focus on the content itself; no one wants to visit a page that is boring and hard to understand. You should scatter the keyword around the content instead of repeating it over and over in the first paragraph. Spreading it around is better.
To help drive in traffic, use the keyword in the title, URL, meta description, alt attributes and subheadings, if possible. For example, the title could be “Promotion LA Nail Salon,” the URL could be www.promotionlanailsalon, the meta description could say “Promotion LA Nail Salon is the best nail salon in Los Angeles,” the alt attributes could be titled “nail salon” and a subheading could be “Welcome to Promotion LA Nail Salon!” By doing this, you are guaranteeing that your website will pop up more than others in search engines by utilizing the keyword “nail salon” in different areas other than only the content.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this: your goal is to find the keywords that best reflect your topic and drive people to your website by utilizing the keywords they will search with the lowest amount of competition. To achieve this goal, do tons of keyword research, update your keywords and write compelling content that uses the keyword in an easy, understandable manner.