Beginners guide to Keywords

What are keywords?

Keywords for seo

All search engines and their rank systems use keywords and key phrases. Go to google and type in what you want to search for – this is called a keyword or a key-phrase. A Search Engine retrieves all the information they have relating to your search terms and lists it in relevant and rank (popularity) order.

Why do I need to use keywords?

The web search engines find keywords in anything from content, page/blog titles and headings. Using them consistently can help increase your online visibility.

Researching your keywords.

It is very important to think about which keywords or key-phrases your business is using and how to develop them further.

Research your keywordWhether you are product or service based researching your keywords is a must. You can expect that your customer base will be searching for set terms especially if you have new products that can be generalised. I would suggest that you do a little bit of market research and ask your client/customer base how they have searched for products/services in the past. You could find that you are thinking of keywords in the same way but you could also find a few surprises.

If you need help researching keywords then why not use Google Insights to have a play with your keywords and phrases? Other places to search your keywords are SemRush, Wordtracker and Google Adwords where you can also find out your estimated possible web traffic.

Obviously your business name and location should always be in your keywords selection as should your market description.

How many keywords should I be using on each web page or in each blog post?

Well to start off with try to consistently use 3-5 terms per web page or blog post. It can be easy to target one or two keywords per web page but try to develop your keywords and think about adding in an extra term each month or better still each week.

I’d suggest trying to be consistent at first and then a gradual increase to possibly 100 + keywords within the first year.

Remember to categorise and tag your blogs if you are integrating the blog. Updated your content and using keywords and phrases in your tags gives google fresh content which can increase your google rank.

Use your keywords on a rotational basis to keep your content feeling fresh.

Where do keywords have a place on my blog?

Blogging creates regular updated content to your website and therefore consistent blogging can help your site’s SEO.

Regular update content

When writing your blog have in mind where you can use your keywords naturally. Use your keywords in any links as well as using them in the title and first paragraph/description. If you use images pop them in the image admin panel and rename the image if necessary. Tagging and categorising your post also counts towards your keyword/phrase usage. You can get a simple SEO plug in for your blog to automatically check that you have optimised your post.

Read my step by step guide for Blogging for SEO here.

Can you overuse keywords?

Yes, you can and you can be penalised for overuse. Overuse can be seen by search engines and classed as spamming. I would suggest a consistent use of keywords but try not to use them in the same order or the same terms on every page or post.

How do you know when to stop adding keywords? I think for the most you will know, if it doesn’t feel natural to you then it probably won’t to others and the search engines. ‘If the copy reads naturally then you are doing well.’

Checking your keyword density can help you think about how saturated the use of your keywords are. There are a few tools that allow you to do this. Keyword Density and are both straight forward to use. However there is not a definite density that helps increase SEO but repetitive usage can be destructive.

How often should I revisit my keywords?

As your business evolves so will your online presence. It is a good idea to table some time to review your list of keywords and key phrases. You should think about revisiting your list on a quarterly basis and at least 3-6 months before any campaigns or promotions. I always laugh at hearing the phrase ‘Christmas in July’ but from an SEO point of view it is important to start to look at search terms for set phases of your business that early, to gain maximum impact.

Cyber robot crawlers may not spot the search terms straight away so keep in mind that it could take up to a month for your to reap the benefits of any changes.

So when was the last time you thought about your keywords and how often do you use them? How many keywords do you work on? Do you want me to review your keywords for you? Let me know in the comments box below and for more great tips make sure you subscribe!

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  1. Thanks for the primer, Jonny, and for sharing it with the BizSugar community. There are certainly things every online entrepreneur can learn here about the important role keywords still play in your overall online marketing strategy.

  2. Don’t mention it, Jonny! Changes in the search engines make continued attention to keywords a must. These changes affect how keyword usage impacts your SEO. Online copywriters and marketers need to keep track of these changes and adjust use of keywords accordingly. But the first step is certainly to become aware of how search engines view your Website and of how your use of copy gives clues about what visitors can expect.

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