If keywords could speak, you might hear something like “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Although it is definitely true that the Blackhat practice of keyword stuffing no longer works, it is still all about that word.
Keywords are the identifying words that people type into the search box of a search engine, and they are the identifying terms search engines use to point to your site. Yes, you got it, it is a circle… People use keywords to find your site because Google uses keywords to find your site because people use keywords to find your site.
Search engines look at the order of your words, not just the individual words themselves. This approach is known as semantic analysis or, simply, keywords in context.
Keywords drive targeted traffic to your website. Some words can be very popular, and therefore highly competitive. As you select the best keywords for your business you must be aware of the balance between popularity and competitiveness. For example, if the keyword “scarf” is searched many thousands of times a day, there will be many hundreds of websites using that keyword, and your site may get lost in the blizzard of search results. If, however, one uses the keywords “silk scarves” that specificity begins to narrow the field, and may lead to greater visibility. This process is known as data driven keyword research.
Your Top Keywords
Keywords remain an important tool to unlock access to web content. The real question is, “Does your business have a list of top ten keyword phrases?” These are the words that best describe the ecosystem of your business niche. Keywords must be organic to the website, that is, they appear within the descriptions of your business or service. These are the words to use when you want to be seen quickly on the web. Being seen remains the first step toward engagement.
As I mentioned above keyword competitiveness is an important factor. It is therefore essential to know what keywords your competitors are using.
- One effective tactic is to copy words from your competitors website and paste them into a search engine and see where they appear in the search results.
- A second tactic is to query like your customer or prospect. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine yourself looking for your business and type in words you think may be relevant. Be sure to note the list of suggested topics Google fills in for you.
- As a bonus, look at the bottom of the Google search page where there is a list called “Related Searches.” This list will have additional ideas.
In conclusion, keywords are clearly an important piece of the SEO puzzle. Knowing the best ones for your business, and putting them to work for you on your website would be well worth your time and energy.
What’s your favorite tactic for finding keywords?