If you want to land on the top page of organic Google results in your industry, you have to be prepared to put the work in. It is said there are more than 200 ranking factors used by Google for its search algorithm, and a slip up on one of them could harm your company’s online presence. One essential factor is ranking for your chosen keywords.
For search engines, keywords are the gateway to your website content. They give Google a general idea about your webpage, while the right keywords also ensure your potential customers can come across your business. There are just a couple of questions. Firstly, what keywords should you use? Plus, how should they be incorporated into your content?
What are Keywords?
First of all, it’s imperative you have a full understanding of keywords. Essentially, if you had the task of describing a specific webpage within a few words, the keywords should be sufficient enough to provide the answer. They serve as your content’s main themes and tie your pages to the people actively looking for them.
Funnily enough, you don’t have to target specific keywords. If you’ve written a quality piece and adhered to SEO rules, Google will simply scan your webpage and pluck out any keywords they feel best describes the content. However, the lack of control means you will likely end up with less than desirable search terms.
If you’ve read about keywords before, it’s likely you have come across two variations: short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords are in reference to brief, generic searches like “PlayStation 5”. This type of query generates a massive amount of search volume, but the competition is exceptionally high. As a result, you’ll seriously struggle to gain any meaningful presence in search results for these keywords.
On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more descriptive, such as “PlayStation 5 accessories prices”. This query will produce much lower search numbers than its short-tail counterpart, of course, but there’s also much less competition for places on Google. As a result, it can often result in being the better type of keyword to target.
Choosing Your Keywords
When picking your keywords to target, it’s all about maximizing your return. There’s no point going to the trouble of creating content for an ultra-competitive keyword if you don’t have the website authority to compete. Instead, you have to turn to keywords that provide the best chance for your website to feature high up search results.
As pointed out in the previous section, long-tail keywords are your best bet in that regard. Rather than going up against major organizations for those short-tail keywords, you can aim for less competitive search terms. Yes, they have less search volume. Yes, it does limit your potential audience. However, rather than having a virtually non-existent presence for various short-tail keywords, it’s a lot better to rank as number one for a long-tail keyword and attract a few searches each day.
To know which keywords are worth targeting, it’s important to know your Domain Authority. If you have a relatively low score, for instance, then you’ll have to start by targeting less competitive words. You can still aim for more valuable search queries, but you have to be realistic when doing so.
Now the big question: How many times should you implement your keywords within your content? It’s necessary to have sufficient usage of your keywords so that Google knows what the webpage is about. Nevertheless, it is vital you don’t force these search terms into the content at every opportunity.
This is known as keyword stuffing, and it’s an approach that is frowned upon by Google. In fact, it will negatively impact your website’s search ranking. The aim should be to include your keywords in a natural manner when possible. To understand whether you’re including the right amount, use a keyword density tool for additional information.
In summary, keywords are used by search engines to understand your content. Yet it’s not necessary to pump in as many keywords as possible. Google is adept at gaining the full picture of your web content without too many hints, so naturally include your keywords and they’ll do the rest.