Search engine optimization and keyword choices
The primary reason to utilize keywords in content is to boost search engine optimization (SEO). The goal of any SEO campaign is to drive more traffic to the content, which in turn can boost readership, increase sales, and more. In order for a piece of content to be visible on the web, it must contain keywords that someone would search for on a search engine.
For example, a sports store may use keywords like ‘golf’ and ‘soccer’ throughout their content in an attempt to show up on search engine result pages (SERPs). When someone then searches one of those terms, he/she can be directed to the content on a sports store’s page.
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It can be difficult for a website to rank highly on search engines using a keyword strategy that only allows for content that is optimized with one word at a time. It results in competition that is impossible for smaller companies and bloggers to compete with.
For example, a small clothing boutique wants to optimize the content on its website using the word ‘clothing’. This keyword is relevant to the content on the site and to what the boutique has to offer, but using just one word means they will have to compete with larger retailers that have a lot more optimized content for that world. That will leave the clothing boutique’s results many pages in the SERPs.
Instead, it is advisable that websites utilize long-tail keywords, or keyword phrases, in their content. Using the example above, a small clothing boutique could utilize long-tail keywords like ‘women’s clothing boutique’ and ‘colorful summer dresses’.
This strategy also allows for the intent of the user. When searching ‘clothing’, a person maybe wants to shop online, is looking for a brick-and-mortar store, or wants to find second hand clothing. Long-tail keywords eliminate the confusion and better match content to a user’s query.
Researching a keyword
Using the right keywords is vital to the success of an SEO strategy that utilizes them in online content. Because long-tail keywords are the norm, it is important for businesses and bloggers to engage in keyword research.
The keywords and phrases used in the content should pertain to the content on that page, but they also have to appeal to a target audience. They have to rank well in search engine results and the content needs to drive traffic, which means choosing keywords that are relevant to the target audience.
That can be done by speaking directly with customers and engaging in online research. In addition, reviews of keywords and phrases currently being used on the website should be conducted to determine which ones are driving the most traffic. That enables a business or blogger to go back into previously published content and modify it to feature keywords that will increase the traffic on their website.
Where to find keywords
In order for a keyword strategy to be successful, the keywords must be used throughout the content. That includes utilizing the keywords in:
- The title tag
- Photo tags
- Throughout the body of the content
Keyword density should hover between one and two percent of the content. That ensures bots that comb through the Internet and return results on search engines are able to identify what that content is about, but it also ensures keywords are used organically throughout the content.
Because a keyword can be found throughout a piece of content multiple times, diversifying phrases and the use of more than one keyword can be very helpful. This allows a page of content to be findable for different keywords and also ensures that the content does not appear as though it has been keyword stuffed.
For example, the boutique-clothing store may use a keyword, like ‘dresses’ to create multiple phrases like ‘wedding guest dresses’, ‘summer wedding guest dresses’, and ‘colorful summer dresses’ in a blog article about what is appropriate to wear at a summer wedding.