SEO is an integral part of your digital marketing success. For any website, proper search engine optimization techniques provide for the organic traffic and online visibility necessary for your business to survive. So, do keywords fit into your SEO efforts, and do they matter for your website? Absolutely.
Every second, Google processes over 40,000 search queries. These searches all contain keywords that, if your website ranks for them, will bring up your site in an attempt to best solve a search query. If you want your website to show up when people search for relevant terms in your industry, you need to have a strong understanding of keywords and keyword research. You may have a general idea of what keywords are, but a comprehensive understanding can highlight just how important keywords are for your website and how you can use them to maximize organic traffic and online visibility.
What Are Keywords?
To understand how important keywords are to your website, it helps to know just exactly what a keyword is and what they are for. Keywords, in the context of SEO, are terms and short phrases that encapsulate the nature of your business. Your website’s onsite content and link building efforts will rely on keywords. In fact, your keyword research and usage throughout your website content will be a major ranking signal for Google.
For example, consider a used car business building a website. Just from describing the cars for sale on their site, this business might rank for terms such as used car, previously owned, etc. These keywords, along with many more, are what will help define your site and what it can do for people who search for these terms. Your keyword research will reveal many more keywords to implement into your website content that will make your site stand out above others, showing Google that you deserve to be ranked before other competitors in your industry. If you use keywords correctly, your organic traffic, online visibility and visits to your website will increase due to the answers and services it can provide to people who are searching for them.
How Exactly Do Keywords Work?
Keywords are essentially how Google knows to include your website in its search engine results pages (SERPS) when someone searches for terms relevant to your industry or niche. In short, Google bots “crawl” your website for its content, and the keywords you have in the content of your website helps Google algorithms classify the nature of your site and its relevance to people who search for related keywords. If the Google algorithms determine that your website may be able to answer their query, it will present it in the SERPS.
Depending on the keywords you implement and how you are doing so, your website will rank higher or lower in the SERPS. A higher ranking means a larger amount of organic traffic, more online visibility, and more conversions on your website for your business. Although this is a broad overview of how keywords work, understanding how to properly use keywords may better illustrate how they operate.
How to Implement Keywords Properly?
SEO experts realize how vital keywords are for websites, and keyword research has gotten very extensive over the years. Keyword research should reveal phrases and terms to include, and topics for content creation. Your onsite content, as well as link building content, should contain the proper keywords — without keyword stuffing — to send the correct signals to Google. Keyword research can become a tremendous task to undertake, however, but you can start with a simple seed list.
Your seed list will be a general list of keywords and is a great place to start when determining which keywords to focus on in your content creation. SEO experts at Page One Power recommend identifying “terms directly associated with your products or services“ when building your seed list for keyword research. Using the used car business from above, keywords associated with used car products and services can be compiled relatively easily: used cars for sale, used trucks, used car dealership, used cars [location], used car lot. Your keyword research seed list will be more extensive. However, you’ve now got a nice baseline of keywords to start your onsite and link building content creation. Whatever your business, keyword research will be instrumental for its website content and SEO efforts.
Keywords, despite arguments saying that algorithms are making them less important, aren’t going anywhere. At least for now, they are the terms, phrases, and indicators to Google that your website should be brought up to answer searchers queries. Keywords and proper keyword research will rank you higher in the SERPS — increasing website traffic and your digital marketing success. Long answer short, keywords matter immensely to your website.