Do you know that it’s possible to use a special phrase or tag called a keyword to improve your site’s visibility on search engines? This is an amazing technique employed during search engine optimization, and I am going to explain it to you. In this article, I am going to show you how to use keywords to improve SEO results:
The Basics to Using Keywords:
Many bloggers and website owners have at some point heard about SEO. Three letters that can be confusing at first to beginners. Let me break it down.
SEO means search engine optimization. It’s a digital marketing strategy that works to improve the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your site through the use of search engines.
Every day, people seek new knowledge. When using the internet, people employ use of search engines in their quest to learn new things.
They would type a word or phrase into a search engine (a search engine like Bing or Google or Yahoo, just to mention a few), and the search engine scans a large number of sites seeking information related to what’s been typed into it.
A page appears on the search engine, called the search engine results page, containing websites with relevant information.
The sites at the top of this search engine results page can be said to be well optimized—because they are visible and easily recognized.
These top sites most likely made it to the top ranks because they contained words related to the word or phrase a searcher inputted into the search engine. These words were easily recognized by search engine crawlers, and so their site can be said to be easy to find.
A word or phrase a searcher input into a search engine, which the search engine scans, can be vaguely called a keyword. It is a search term that is incorporated into landing pages, posts, or articles on your website to describe the content best.
There are short tail keywords, and there are long-tail keywords. As the names imply, short tail keywords are shorter than long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords make it easy for you to rank, compared to short-tail keywords, because they are more specific.
According to Neil Patel, long-tail keywords can also be beneficial to drive conversions and can make all the difference in pushing your business to the next level.
The four main classes of keywords you should know are:
- Informational Keywords: these are keywords that searchers use when they want to know about a particular topic or area. Words like: “What is the biggest animal in the world?”
- Commercial keywords: searches make use of commercial Keywords when they want to know about brands or services or products. They would look something like: “Best cars to buy?”
- Transactional keywords: transactional keywords are keywords relating to transactions. They relay a user’s intention to purchase a product or service.
- Navigational keywords: these are keywords that can help search engines navigate a certain page via a search query.
The best ways to use keywords to improve SEO results:
1. Do Proper Keyword Research
For you to be on the top of search engines, you have to try as much as you can to have an idea of what searchers are searching for.
The process you do to gain this idea is called keyword research.
Keyword research begins with you thinking about what content(s) on your website or blog people are more likely going to search for.
If you publish a blog about motherhood and pregnancy, you can predict that people will most likely search for signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
They’ll want to know the pregnancy progression from start to finish.
After this brainstorming, you would have to turn to the use of tools for your keyword research. There are a number of software and tools that can be used during keyword research.
Some keyword research tools that have been proved to be useful are:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google keyword planner.
Keyword Research tools work in a way that involves culling keyword ideas from a database. These databases are large and hold a good amount of information.
Look out for keywords with amazing stats: the ones that are more often searched and clicked on. Don’t use words that are spammy or threatening.
Also, after choosing a keyword and optimizing for it, you may find out that your page is finding it difficult to rank or even doesn’t rank at all for that particular keyword. In most cases, it’s likely due to the competition.
For example, you want to rank for “casual black trousers.” If you check the first result page for that keyword, you’ll likely find brands like H&M, Marksandspencer, Johnlewis, Asda, Amazon, eBay, etc. It won’t be easy to rank high for that term because of these strong competitors.
So optimizing for a keyword that doesn’t have much high volume will give you a better chance to rank on the first page.
2. Use Keywords in Your Page’s Meta Description
Now that you have an idea of what your keywords should be, you should know when and how to use them. An effective way to use keywords is to include them in your page and meta descriptions.
The meta description of a page is like a summary on the page that briefly describes what appears on the page.
Recall when last you made a search on Google. The search engine results page popped up. And on these pages, there were colored texts — URLs— colored purple or blue. Beneath these colored texts was some kind of summary.
Those are meta descriptions. Google also has a handy article on what makes a good meta description and how you can create quality ones.
Every site that appears on Google searches has meta descriptions. Your meta description should be around 120 to 156 characters and should include your keyword at least once.
If you can, you can include a secondary keyword.
A secondary keyword is some kind of auxiliary keyword that supports the main keyword. They appear a lot in your content and can do a great job in making your site visible when combined with the main keyword.
3. Use a Keyword in Your SEO Title Tag
The title of your page or blog post is a bit different from your SEO Title tag. It is a lot similar to your meta description in that your SEO title tag is what appears on the search engine result page.
Using some SEO tools and WordPress plugins, you can make your main page title different from your SEO title tag. Including your keyword into your SEO title tag can help raise your visibility.
Since SEO title tags are short, you should include your keyword in the title while making sure that the title is catchy and intriguing. A title that users will want to click on.
4. Use Keywords in your Page Title
If you can, include your keyword in the main title of your page. That is, choose a title that contains the keyword.
For example, if the keyword is: ‘Pregnant,’ you can choose a title like: ‘How do I know I am pregnant?’
5. Include Your Keyword in the First Few Words of Your Post
A number of SEO experts believe that search engines like Google give preference to keywords when they appear in the first couple of words or sentences in the blog post.
They believe that google crawlers check the first 100 – 200 words, seeking relevant information relating to searches.
Try to include your keyword in the first 150 words of your post. If possible, include it in the first sentence. If you can’t, include it in the second. Or the third. But make sure it appears in the first paragraph.
It can appear more than once if you want. But it shouldn’t appear in a way that compromises the message you’re trying to pass across or interferes with the flow of your sentence.
6. Yes, More Keywords
Let’s say your article is a thousand words long. It doesn’t hurt to include keywords along the length of the article. Depending on the post length, you can include the keywords a number of times, even up to five if you want.
The keywords would help search engines find your website easier and would make you rank top on search engine result pages.
Please, do not suffocate a nice article because you want to include many keywords.
This can have a negative effect in the long run. If visitors feel that your posts are not interesting, that they contain a particular word too often, they may not want to visit your site that much anymore.
Keep it simple, and keep it subtle. In a way that is not easily noticeable.
7. Include Keywords in The Last Paragraph
Let’s imagine that you failed to include a keyword in the first paragraph of your post. You can do it now, in the last paragraph.
A paragraph is usually around 50 words. Not more. So, yeah, include your keyword in the last 50 words of your article.
Maybe even the last 100th word if you want.
8. Use Keywords as Image Titles
Images, high-quality images, are great for search engine optimization. When combined with the use of keywords, the results are remarkable.
Images on websites can be titled differently, and that is what makes them special.
Try to include keywords in all the images you post on your website or blog.
You can title each image differently if you want, but you should try to include your keyword in each image’s title.
9. Monitor and Track
Track the progress of your website and see which keywords are working. Make changes when you find out a particular keyword is not working as good as you would want it to, and get back to work.
Regularly analyze the progress that your keywords are making. For example, do they show up on the first page on Google? Do they bring visitors to your website? If a keyword is not helping your content rank, try to find out why and work on your content.
Periodically evaluate also whether you should continue targeting short-tail keywords or go for more long-tail keywords.
- Do a keyword audit
- Include keywords in your meta tags
- Ensure all your pages are getting indexed by search engines
- Add keywords in your content
- Ensure your keyword is relevant to your business
- Check if your keyword has a very low search volume
- Check if the keyword is very competitive
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Incorporate long-tail keywords
Using keywords to improve SEO results is a skill where constant learning is required. Keep going. It gets better.