First of all, what is a keyword?
A keyword is exactly what it sounds like, words or phrases that are used to match your content with the terms people are searching for. When we go to Google and type in something like "buy leather bags online" or "best burger bar in Chicago". Guess what? Those are keywords! They can be a single word like "dating" or a phrase like "dating site uk". You should find out what are your keywords, so you can include them in the content of your website to start getting impressions and traffic from search engines with those keywords!
Before going deeper into learning about what are keywords, how to discover and use them, we would suggest you to watch this short video by Google for tips to choose the right keywords in Adwords.
All businesses and websites who are looking to draw traffic can benefit from keywords, and anyone running paid search engine ads definitely needs to be aware of their keywords. Even websites that have very specific niche and are not frequently visited need to have a sense of purpose in the content, aka, keywords. If you can’t figure out what a site is about once you’re on it, that’s clearly a bad sign! Search engines read your content, extract the keywords out of it and use them to categorize websites, decide how high up in results certain sites will show up, decide what ads to display within what searches and even which sites show up at all based on users’ searches.
How to choose the right keywords?
The broader the keyword is, the more people are likely to use it. BUT WAIT! While that may seem like it would draw a lot of eyes to your site, the amount of sites using that keyword is also greater, and this can result in your site getting lost with the masses and being seen by people who aren’t looking for exactly what you are offering.
While Google has amazing tools for scanning your site and finding suggested keywords, starting off simply writing a list of keywords from generic to more and more specific can help you visualize your prospective keywords. Put yourself in the shoes of someone going to a search engine, what type of phrases do they typically look for, what combination of words makes the most sense, etc.
Don't guess a keyword, discover them easily!
There are plenty of great tools that will give you a clear picture about what people search to find a service similar to what you provide!
What is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool?
This is a great keyword research tool brought to you by the pros at Google. The tool scans the web and suggests keywords both simple and specific that are best suited for you. It also tells you statistics around the amount of people searching for each keyword, similar keywords, and suggested keywords. The tool also gives you data and insights around cost insights for clicks on specific keywords, and changes that may occur to that price so you can plan your budgets. All digital marketers or small business owners should try it out, it nearly automates the entire process.
Discovering the best keywords for your business!
Let's say you have a burger bar in Chicago and you have a website that showcases your burger bar, your menu and the locations on the map! Now you want people to find you on Google and to visit your restaurant!
*Note, that it's crucial to include the word Chicago in your keywords, as you want local searchers to find you!
In Keyword Planner Tool I have added "burger bar in Chicago", as I think that's the most relevant keyword to my business!
Now let's analyze the results provided by Google.
According to the results, we have chosen not the best keyword, as it has very low monthly search volume (around 30), but Google Keyword Planner is smart enough to suggest keywords similar to the one I have added initially!
Let's analyze the relevant keywords one by one:
- "burger bar Chicago" is relevant to our business, it has got 3,600 monthly search volume with low competition, so we might want to add this to our basket of keywords.
- "best burger in Chicago" is relevant to our business, it has got 6,600 monthly search volume with low competition, so we might want to add this to our basket of keywords too.
- "burger bar" is relevant to our business, it has got high monthly search volume (around 27,000) with low competition, but we might NOT want to add this keyword to the basket, as it's a very broad search term and is not targeting the people in Chicago.
- "Chicago burger" is also relevant, with 1,900 search volume and low competition, adding to the basket.
- "best hamburger in Chicago" seems to be relevant, with 590 search volume and low competition, but I don't want to add this to the basket, because we sell burgers, not hamburgers.
- "best burger Chicago" is relevant, has got 1300 monthly searches and low competition, but I would rather use "best burger in Chicago" instead.
- "burger places in Chicago" seems to be ok, with 480 monthly searches and low competition, but I would rather use "burger bar Chicago" instead.
Take a paper and pen or open a new Google Sheet
Now when we know which keywords will work for us, we might want to save this for later use! Let's write those keywords down on a paper or in a Google Sheet. Don't forget to write down the monthly search volumes and competition as well. The paper is better to brainstorm with your team, while Google Sheets are great for later use, because you may later add other keywords for your secondary pages, like 'Menu' or 'Location'.
Long tail keywords VS Short tail keywords
The more specific your keywords, the higher the likelihood people searching those keywords will find value in your site. "Burger bar" is very generic, there are countless results someone could hope for when searching that, "burger bar in chicago" is a lot more specific, and there are even more specific keywords than that, but you get the gist. The more closely your site and content resembles what a user on a search engine was looking for when they search, the more likely they are to click on your site. The more qualified, interested, leads get to your site, the higher the likelihood of success. Filling a specific niche is a lot better than fitting into a broad and competitive category. Take us for example, you may have found this blogpost by looking for “what are keywords” rather than simply “keyword” and chances are, this is the type of content you’re looking for, this is useful because it drew viewers like you to ucraft’s website for reasons aside from initial interest in our product.
After deciding which keywords might work for you, you then need to use them on your real website! The keywords are defined per page, as every page tells different story on your website. There are several places within one page, you should consider including your keywords:
Page Title: The page title, also known as a title tag, is written in the coding of the page, like this – < title >The title of the page that contains your main keyword!< /title >. The page title is displayed on the tab of your browser, also in the search engine results page, aka SERP. You definitely need to add your main keyword for a page here, but don’t just put the keyword, add something human-friendly!
URL: The web address for the page (i.e. www.ucraft.com/blog/what-are-keywords-seo-ads-luck), this is a great place to include keywords, as it's both search and human friendly! a page with a URL like mysite.com/blog/?p=364492 doesn't make sense compared to mysite.com/blog/top-places-to-visit-this-summer
H1 Tag: This is visible to your visitors and is the heading line, that tells the readers or visitor what is this page mainly about. It should be big, eye catchy and should include your keyword.
Page content: This is the entire content within your website, that tells the story, shows the benefits and features and other content!
Image Tag: This is often not visible on your page and is hidden in your html. It is bound with the images used on the page and describes the search engines what are those images about! (i.e. < img src=”file-name-including-keyword.jpg” title=”Title of the image including the keyword” alt=”Description of the image including the keyword”>).
Meta Description: The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarises a page's content. Search engines show this snippet of text in search results. Including your keywords in the meta description will dramatically boost your SEO.
Now that we already know what are keywords and how to use them, I would love to bring you the key points on how to treat them once again:
- Creating a piece of content without defining your keywords is useless.
- Use keyword research tools to discover your keywords.
- Discover long tail keywords with low competition and include them in your content to help people and search engines better understand your website, product or service.
- Broad keywords with high competition are almost impossible to target.
- Try to include your keywords in the Title Tag, URL, H1 Tag, Meta Description, Main Content, Image Tags.