When I first got started online I found myself quite overwhelmed with all these new and unfamiliar terms like:
- Keyword Tools
- Keyword stuffing (never do this)
- Google rankings
These are some pretty important topics to understand for venturing into the online world.
In this article, I will be covering what they are, when to use them and why.
None of it is difficult to understand yet all of it will take practice to get efficient at using them.
Sure I was a little overwhelmed at first but I fully understood that building a business takes time, energy and we need to be in a constant state of learning and evolving.
After all, that is how businesses grow, right?
Let’s start with the basics clarify some of these terms up for you right now…
Table of Contents
What is a Keyword
Let’s start with the word keyword. In simple terms, keywords are the words used to define what your website content is about.
In other words…
…Keywords are the words or phrases that people are typing into Google, Bing, Yahoo to find information, products and services they are interested in.
These words go into Google’s Search Engine where Google will try and find the topics these words are in.
There are 2 types of keywords to work with and they are:
- Short tail keywords – these are search terms made up of no more than three words. These cover a very broad search term and are not very specific. Could include terms like athletic wear, sailboats, or winter jackets. These broad, non-specific terms are highly competitive and it will be really hard to rank within the search engines using short-tail keywords. (this is the biggest mistake many people make, they use short-tail keywords causing them to compete against a large competition.
- Long-tail keywords – these are very specific, targeted search terms. Terms like women’s summer athletic gear, 26′ McGregor sailboats, or extreme winter jackets Canada. The benefit of long-tailed keywords is that because they are so specific the people searching those terms are more likely to purchase. Another benefit is that long-tailed keywords are much less competitive so you will be able to rank in search engines more easily.
To be successful online, you will need to use keywords that are relevant to what people are searching for. What I mean by relevant is that you need to reach the reader’s emotions on the subject.
In the case of the Canadian Parka, those readers that are searching for such a jacket are looking, not for a jacket but a safety Parka that will keep them from freezing to death. If you can deliver that message to them then they won’t need to search anywhere else.
How Do Keywords Work
Now that we know what keywords are let’s take a look at how they work.
They are the actual terms that people type into Google, Bing or Yahoo when they are searching for information, products or services.
You want to choose keywords that people are naturally typing.
For example, let’s say you are going on a winter trip to northern Canada or Alaska and looking for a suitable jacket to wear. If you typed in extreme winter jackets in Canada you will more likely buy because the jackets that show up in the SEO will suit your requirements by making you feel safe.
By creating your content around the terms people are searching for you will increase your ranking within the search engines.
In the case of the Canadian Parka, those readers that are searching for such a jacket are looking, not for a jacket but a safety Parka that will keep them from freezing to death in Canada. If you can deliver what they are searching for then they won’t need to search anywhere else.
Ideally, you want to rank onto the first page of search results so people can find you more easily.
The higher you rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) the more traffic you will receive.
And of course, the more traffic you receive the higher the potential for sales. Not everyone will buy or even buy right.
What is SEO
(Search Engine Optimization) is simply optimizing your website and it’s content to rank better within the search engines.
A good SEO strategy includes the use of keywords and phrases that people are naturally searching for.
Learning to effectively use keywords within your content will improve your ranking by a huge margin, which improves your organic traffic which then improves your leads and sales.
You can’t get one without the other.
The first step to an efficient SEO strategy is to understand who your audience is, what their problems are and what they are looking for.
Create your content in such a way that it identifies who they are, speak their language, identify with their problems and offer a solution to their problem.
This will lead to increased rankings, traffic and sales.
Where Would I Use Keywords and SEO
Naturally, the use of keywords and SEO is specific to online businesses or affiliate marketing sites, or websites for traditional businesses.
Each of these business models would develop a keyword and SEO strategy specific to their business and audience in an attempt to rank well within the search engines.
Every time you add content to your website you will use keywords and SEO strategy.
… when you think of a topic you are going to write an article about, take the time to think about all the related words and phrases that could be used to search for that information.
Think of as many as possible and write them down.
This isn’t your final keyword list, you will need to use a keyword tool to research these words and phrases to see just how relevant they really are.
In other words, are people really typing in those words or phrases. Just because we may think they are it does not mean they are.
The best places within your content to use keywords would be:
- in your page titles – it is best to use your target keywords at the start of your title. This helps ensure it is seen as relevant.
- meta descriptions – this can help Google determine its relevance to what people are actually searching for.
- within your content – content is one of the top SEO ranking factors so you want keywords naturally throughout your content.
- sub-headings – these may actually show up as part of a snippet so keywords are important here.
Keyword Stuffing – This is where you put your keywords you’re using throughout the article if when it doesn’t make sense. This at one time increased the chances of you getting on the first page because Google at the beginning use to rank your page on how relevant your page was and they did that by the number of keywords it found on the page.
This is no longer the case and must be avoided because the search engines today may penalize you for using keyword stuffing so don’t do it.
A keyword tool is a software program that gives you information on specific keywords.
The information it gives could include:
- how many times that keyword is searched in a month
- how much competition there is for that keyword
There are many free or paid keyword research tools available.
I would suggest starting with a free version and only go with the paid version if you find it necessary once you are making sufficient income for it to pay for itself.
What I Use
The keyword tool I use is called Jaaxy
When I began my blog based website I began using the free version of Jaaxy that was recommended within the training I was following to learn how to create a website.
I am still using that same free version of Jaaxy today.
It gives all the relevant information I need when doing my keyword research and it’s so easy to use.
It tells me
- the number of searches per month
- how much traffic you can expect from that keyword
- number of competing websites
It does give other information as well but these are the ones I focus most on.
Go ahead and give it a try, pick a word or several and type it in the box below to see the results.
Now that I covered how do keywords work in SEO lets recap.
Keywords are words or phrases that people are searching into search engines when they are looking for information, products or services.
We tailor our content to include keywords within our titles, meta descriptions, and subheadings which will significantly improve our ranking within the search engines.
It’s also important NOT to use keyword stuffing because? That’s right, we may be heavily penalized for it today.
Of course, when we improve our search engine ranking we thereby improve our traffic and sales.
Using a keyword tool can help us effectively use keywords and develop an overall SEO strategy moving forward.
My favourite keyword tool is Jaaxy.
Leave your tips or helpful suggestions in the comment section below and be sure to check out Jaaxy for yourself.