In simple terms, keywords are phrases that people type into search engines when looking for something online. For example, if you want to buy a television, you may type something like “best TV dealers in Adelaide” into Google. Even if the phrases contain more than one word, we still refer to them as a “keyword.” Keywords are also terms added to online content to improve search engine rankings for those terms.
SEO experts discover most keywords during the keyword research process and select them based on search volume, competition and search intent. As a website owner, keywords are essential because you want to appear in search engines when users search for phrases or keywords that are relevant to your products or services. For instance, if you are an accountant specialising in small businesses, you can include the term “small businesses accountant” or similar words in your content. This may sound simple, but it is only the beginning of a large SEO field.
Why are Keywords Important?
If you optimise your website content around words that people use when searching for things online, your website can rank higher for those terms. Remember that ranking high in search engines drives more traffic, which translates to increased revenue. This is why keyword research is crucial and is the first step of any SEO campaign.
When you have the right keywords, you can begin working on other SEO tasks like creating content for blogs and optimising landing pages. Keyword research is not just about SEO. It is the foundation of all other digital marketing practices. If you check tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush, keywords explain where organic search traffic comes from. Using the right keywords in your content determines what your company is known for. Keyword research is the backbone of your online marketing efforts because it drives every decision you make.
How to Appear in Google for Keywords
There are two ways that you can show up at the top of Google for relevant keywords. These include;
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) involves paying Google to show your website in its results for specific keywords. For instance, if you deal with home construction services, you can bid on that term and appear on Google’s first page when people search for that term. Every time a user clicks that ad and lands on your website, Google charges you money. You can distinguish the difference between a paid advertisement and a non-paid one (organic) because Google marks paid adverts as ‘ad’.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine optimisation (SEO) involves optimising your web pages to rank highly on Google’s organic search. Google’s work is to find the best and most relevant web page for each query and rank it highly on its SERP. If Google sees your page as the best result, you will get consistent traffic.
How to Find Keywords for SEO
Some keywords like “the best small business accountant” are apparent. However, they are the hardest to rank for since everyone has the same idea. These keywords also receive the most competition. As such, it is crucial to find long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are searched less, but they are more specific. For instance, if you are a business dealing with construction, you can include a long-tail keyword like “how to find the best home builder in Adelaide”.
Finding such keywords and creating quality content around them will result in people finding your website. The same users who search for more competitive keywords will also find you, placing your website in a position of advantage. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find such keywords. You must perform keyword research to unearth them.
Here are some tools to help you in your keyword research.
This is a straightforward but powerful tool. Jaaxy gives you multiple different keyword ideas, including some that you cannot find on other tools. Additionally, Jaaxy provides valuable data on every keyword that it generates. For instance, the competition, search volume and potential traffic. Jaaxy has a unique feature called Quoted Search Result. This feature will show you the number of websites that are trying to rank for this keyword. The lower the number, the better chances of you ranking at number one.
Google Search Console
This is where you will find hundreds of opportunity keywords. Google Search Console is not a traditional keyword research tool, but it has a feature that makes it ideal for keyword research: the Performance Report. This feature lists all the pages on your website that get the most clicks and the exact keywords that lead to this success. It’s no surprise that this is an excellent feature to use to find opportunity keywords. These are keywords that rank between numbers eight and 20 in Google.
An important tip to remember is that you can combine your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts. When you do, you will get in-depth keyword data, more so than you would with either tool by itself.
With Ahrefs, you can make smarter keyword decisions, especially now that they launched a new and improved Keyword Explorer. The best thing about the new Keyword Explorer is that it gives you in-depth information about every keyword. Besides getting the information you would expect, like search volume, Ahrefs will also give you a breakdown of the first-page competition and how many searchers click on a result. Ahrefs also has another feature called Keyword Difficulty. Most keyword research tools give you vague difficulty information like easy, difficult, or a percentage score. However, Ahrefs tells you how many backlinks you will need to rank on the first page of Google.
How to Choose Keywords
You cannot rank highly or bid on every keyword. Instead, you must choose your keywords wisely. Below are some of the keyword metrics and attributes that can help you choose the best ones include.
By now, you probably know that keywords vary in popularity. Due to this you must look for keywords that bear some relevance to what your business offers, then judge them relatively. If you show up on Google for several keywords, prioritise the one that gets more searches. You are more likely to rank number one for a keyword with several searches rather than the other one. Use tools like Ahrefs to check for search volume.
Let’s say that you sell smart televisions online. The search volume for “smart television” seems like an excellent keyword to use in your content and try to rank for. After all, anyone searching for a smart TV will type that in Google search. Unfortunately, most people searching for this keyword are not ready to buy. Most of them are looking for reviews and insights into the best models available. If you type this keyword in Google, you will get a list of smart televisions review websites. This is vital because Google’s job is to provide the most relevant search result.
If this is a list of the best smart television websites, Google assumes that is what the user wants to see. This is called user intent in SEO. For you to rank highly for your keywords, you must create content that aligns with user intent, keeping conversions for your business in mind.
Keyword value is another vital aspect to consider. If you see a keyword with several monthly searches, you may think that it is the best option to try and rank for. However, ask yourself how many of those searchers are likely to buy from that website. Most are looking for an insight into that product or service. When analysing keywords in tools like Keyword Explorer, look to CPC for an in-depth sense of value. If people are willing to pay Google for clicks, it means that these keywords hold great value. However, a keyword may have value for one person and not for another.
Imagine you have found a perfect keyword that a number of users are also searching for, matching the user intent and equally have value. You may think that it is the best keyword to use, however this is unnecessary since it will depend on how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. The keyword difficulty scale runs from 0-100. If you use a tool like Ahrefs and find that your keyword has a difficulty score of 84, consider finding another keyword.
You cannot possibly optimise your content for search engines without knowing what people want in the SEO world. This is why keyword research is crucial. However, do not stuff your content with keywords because Google will not rank your website. Instead, focus on creating valuable and relevant content around your keywords. Mention your keyword a few times and Google will know that your content is about that keyword. Search engines are also much more intelligent today than in the past. As a result of this, you do not have to use the exact term you are targeting. Search engines can understand synonyms and rank pages that may not have an exact match but contain relevant content around the words searched for.
Do you need assistance with your keyword research? Contact an SEO specialist for expert advice.