What are Keywords and Why Should We Use Them?

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone mention the term “Keywords”, but what exactly are keywords and why is using them important to your business? 

Put simply, keywords or key phrases, are what people are searching for in search engines such as Google or Bing.  As a business, you’ll need to be aware of these phrases and integrate them into your website’s content because you want to come up in search engines when people search for the keywords that are relevant to your products or services. 

How to choose basic keywords

When you’re getting started with using keywords to increase your search rankings and organic traffic, you’ll want to begin with creating a list of the main keywords you want to focus on. Keep in mind that, while some general keywords are fine, you’ll want to focus on keywords that are specific to what you’re offering. After all, if you practice family law, you don’t want to attract people who need a corporate lawyer.

To choose keywords, come up with a list of phrases your target audience is most likely to search for. The basic traits of your business are a good place to start. Think about:

·         What your business does

·         Popular products you sell

·         Core problems you solve for customers

·         Where your business is located

·         Common characteristics of your customer base

·         Questions customers frequently ask you

Look for common words or phrases that come up in your answers and make your list. 

Build on those words

Now it’s time to take things to the next level with keyword research. You can use a keyword research tool, such as Google Ads Keyword Planner to search for phrases and common searches related to the list you’ve made.  Add the ones that are not on your list. 

To rank well, you want to target keywords with a high search volume and lower competition. Short, popular keywords might seem like a safe bet. But don’t forget, everyone else in your kind of business is already using them. So, how do you stand out and climb to the top of the search results?

Long-tailed Keywords

Focusing on long-tail keywords is a great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic. Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly searched for terms. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.  Instead of using “Family law office” try “Edmonton Family Lawyer” or “Edmonton lawyer specializing in adoptions” These will result in finding more of the clients that you want even though you show up in less searches.

 Keyword Placement

Now that you have your list of keywords and long-tailed key phrases, you’ll want to review your website and ensure that they’re included in the content of your site. Where you place SEO keywords makes a difference in your site ranking, so don’t just shoehorn them in willy-nilly. Since search engines constantly scan sites, they need efficient ways to process content. Search engines often check for keywords in standard places, such as titles and images. Aim to include keywords in these important areas:

·         Website titles and meta descriptions

·         Website URLs

·         Page titles

·         Headers

·         Anchor text links

·         Image descriptions and file names

The information included on your website is important as well. Focus on writing helpful content and naturally weave in key phrases where they are appropriate. Avoid “keyword stuffing” – the practice of cramming in as many keywords as possible into a web page, regardless of whether the finished product makes sense or is easy to read. Don’t worry, your keywords don’t need to be in every other sentence for them to improve your search rankings. Plus, your website will look more unprofessional and be more useful to visitors if your writing flows naturally.

Update your site

Once you learn how to use keywords, it’s important to keep updating your site. The popularity of search terms can change, or your business services may expand. Search engines also favor sites that are regularly updated, which is one reason why blogs are great tool for your website. Blogs help you target keyword groups in niche topics and stay up to date with keyword research. More importantly, you gain steady readership and give your site lasting credibility.

Now that you’ve learned about keywords, go through your website and make sure you are using them.  Remember, be aware of what your customers want. Be relevant with your content. And be specific to bring in the customers you want.  Still confused?  Don’t be! We’re here to help. Contact Frontline Web Consulting for more information. 780-760-6922.