The use of proper keywords and optimizing them for relevant posts and websites drive both traffic and search engine ranking for a website. When you begin to delve into Search Engine Optimization, and SEO, you will get repeated emphasis on the need for proper use of keywords. This article will focus on this time-tested instrument that drives both traffic and search engine ranking.
If you are unfamiliar with Search Engine Optimization, read about SEO here
If you are a blogger, you will notice that 95 percent of traffic come to about 5 percent of your posts. You should be wondering why it is so. The reason is that those posts got better keyword placement than the rest. You will find out that your website/posts are being ranked by machine language (Algorithm), which looks for certain signals to rank the content. Paramount among these signals is the keywords used in your posts. Ranking here is used in respect of specific keywords. So what I mean by ranking is the position of a website in search engines when certain keywords are being searched.
You can visit the SEMRUSH website and type your blog address to see which keyword your blog posts/pages are ranking for. Let us attempt a definition of the key terms used in this post:
Keyword: This is the Keyword, which is driving traffic to a specific. (It is also called target keyword, or keyword one is trying to rank for).
Pos.: Position of the keyword in Google search. Your target should be to rank on the first page of Google search for the target keyword.
Volume: This relates to how many people are searching for a keyword in a month. When searches are made through Google to look for a solution, even though different terms are used to conduct searches, Google keeps data on how people are searching; lets you see the number of monthly searches for any keyword. This way, you will be able to find the keyword that gets more searches than the keyword that gets fewer searches.
Short tail Keywords: Short keywords are 1-3 words. Ex: Nigeria web hosting, Todhost Web Hosting.
Long Tail Keywords: More specific keywords that could be longer. For example: How to sign up for web hosting with Todhost, Is unlimited disk space really unlimited?
Once a word gets a considerable amount of searches (Search volume) in a month, it qualifies as a keyword.
Long tail keywords are more profitable as you will drive more targeted traffic and your chances of ranking on the first page are higher.
Keywords in SEO
It’s true that writing quality posts will help you to drive traffic, but have you ever asked yourself why you are still not ranking in Google searches for any keyword, or why your quality posts stop getting traffic after some time has passed?
If you have understood the basic concept of Keywords, now let’s dive a little deeper into it. When a blog is optimized for search engines, we have the option to define our target keywords. This is most commonly known as Meta_keywords. Back until 2012, it was important to specify Meta_keywords (Keywords you are targeting), but in 2016, it was not of any use. The search engine has become smarter to auto-detect keywords and rank your pages automatically.
Google has already made it clear that they do not consider meta keywords when selecting keywords, and this makes sense because many bloggers who are new to blogging or article writing add lots of keywords to their posts.
How to start with keyword research
Keyword research is essentially finding the right keyword in your niche. This step is important if you wish to grow your blog/website in a shorter span of time. There are various ways by which you can find keywords and here you will learn some. The arrangement is entirely based on the preference and experience of the writer.
This is an online tool that lets you find great keywords, or you can also put in the URL of a website, and it would show all the keywords that website is ranking for. A good idea is to start by picking the top blogs in your niche; add it to see which Keyword those sites are ranking for. From here you just need to start building unique high-quality content around those keywords. SEMRUSH is a paid tool but you can get a 15-day free trial, which is worth $150.
Keyword planner tool (This is free but not as simple as SEMRUSH)
LongTailPro (This is another keyword tool that you can download on your desktop)
Ahrefs: This is an alternative to SEMRUSH
How to use Google instant search for quick keyword ideas
Google Search can be used to find your target keyword. Because Google auto-suggests search queries when you type anything, and it’s a good place to start the primary search. You can create a list of keywords using this technique and use SEMRUSh or Google keyword planner to check the search volume for all the keywords.
Once you have found profitable keywords, your task is to write an SEO-optimized article for your target keywords. You can follow this guide to understand targeting keywords on a particular post.
Keyword density and keyword placement
Keyword density is a complex topic. We will not delve into how it is calculated. Depending on the target keywords, (long tail or short tail), you maintain a particular percentage of keyword density. When bots crawl your page, they can determine from the density that which particular keyword page should rank for.
Keyword targeting is important but stays avoid keyword stuffing which is the overuse of keywords on a web page, as this will hurt your ranking.
Different SEO professionals have different ideas about keyword density but note that your main keyword should not be more than 2% of the article length. I try to keep it between 1-1.5%, along with related search terms that are known as LSI keywords.
Do remember, you can target more than one keyword on a blog post or a page. I would suggest don’t keep more than three as; if your content is of high quality, you will rank for indirect long-term keywords.
What does keyword stuffing do?
Stuffing your articles with keywords is never a good idea. Overuse of keywords alerts is taken as spamming by Google bots. Google penalizes for this action, as spiders are alerted to the fact that you are trying to trick the system by using lots of keywords many times. This can affect your ranking.
So be wise when you select the number of keywords you are using for SEO. Particularly since Google Panda, I highly recommend that you stop taking SEO actions that do not appear to be natural
Meta title, meta description, and meta keywords:
Now you have searched for a perfect keyword, and you are delivering it into a post or a page. Try to use that keyword as part of the title of the post.
One additional tip: Try not to use numbers in your permalink, because in the future if you want to extend the article by adding plugins or sites or additional information, your number will no longer make sense.
Adding a relevant meta description will give more insight about your page to search engine bots. I suggest that you use your keyword in your meta title, meta description, and meta keyword field along with an H1 tag. Also, try to write more SEO-friendly articles by using H1, H2, and H3 tags. However, don’t overuse heading tags, as improper headings and too many H2 or H3 tags can lead to a negative ranking.
Now that you are aware that keywords play an important role in SEO, your first task is to find 5-6 profitable keywords for your next post. You can use the Google Keyword Tool, SEMRUSH, or any other online tool. Write a post on your targeted keyword, and use any of these Google keywords rank tracker sites and keep track of your keyword positions.
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How Best to Use Keywords in Your Website Content
Although the role of keywords has been significantly played down in Google search engine ranking algorithm, there is some evidence that it is not yet completely over with keywords. For instance, not using the right keywords in writing your web page title is still seen as a disadvantage for competition because it could affect how Google and other search engines understand the focus and offering of your website and that could seriously affect its search engine placement
Note that although keywords and content generally can be useful in getting the search engines to understand your website and what it talks about, keyword density and the likes are currently not a ranking factor. Ranking today is linked to other factors like the website title, external and internal links, freshness of content, and social sharing.
The role of keywords and how they affect search engine understanding and placement of a website can be related to a real-life story of how we dress to be noticed. People dress well or do something bizarre in order to be noticed or make a statement. To get ahead in life or business one needs to be at the top, first in line. Now more often than not, the World Wide Web too functions along the same principle.
With tough competition between websites, blogs, and e-commerce sites what makes one more successful than others is the position a site gets on search engines. The higher the ranking the larger the number of hits or traffic to the site. To achieve a higher position websites use the strategy of SEO, and content is written such that it contains some of the relevant keywords.
It is not as simple as using words repeatedly you need to know which keywords are relevant to your website and pages. Once you have a master list ensure that you do the following:
Match keyword tag with content. Ensure that the keyword meta tag has around 900 characters or 25 words.
Ensure that the keyword density is between 1-2%. And, avoid using the same word more than once in a sentence. Check keyword validators to determine the exact density percentage.
Try and maximize keyword usage in the top half of the page. Many search engine spiders do not go beyond 25-50%.
Be smart and spell your keywords with variations and also include plurals.
Go one step ahead and make use of a keyword density checker. This is an automated system that will comb through your web content and highlight words used in higher density. The system will enable you to perfect your pages and provide what search engines or spiders want.
Keyword Density Cloud can be used effectively to crawl selected URLs, analyze word density, and remove common stop words. The tool can be added to your website and fulfill a vital role in Search Engine Optimization.
It is all about knowing how to gather your audience or customers and the keyword density checker or cloud can help you through several stumbling blocks. The golden rules of SEO are keyword density, keyword frequency, keyword prominence, and keyword proximity.
The basic rule of thumb is to know what are keywords your potential customers are likely to use Keywords must not be random but relevant to your line of business. The trick is to strike a balance of neither too many nor too little. Too many can get your site banned and too few means you get lower rankings and your wonderful site goes unnoticed.
So, while sticking to your marketing plan and focus take a moment to take care of web content and its many nuances. Make content meaningful and relevant, and find out the most important words that will be used to find what your site has to offer (put yourself in the user’s shoes). And construct content using all the golden rules and keys mentioned above. More than that, take quality content very seriously, avoid thin content, and do not just churn out content that does not offer value. Bu refreshing your website with new and relevant content, you will be able to attract more links to your website because your quality content will be linked to it. If you tread the right path success in the World Wide Web will be yours.