Understanding the Power of Keywords
Let’s pose the fundamental question that comes to mind when you read ‘keywords’. What are they? One might pip in enthusiastically, “Oh! Keywords are the search entries we type on Google”. Well, that is correct! However, there is more depth to the concept than search queries for Google or Bing. Did you know that users all over the world perform 3.5 billion searches every day? That’s 3.5 billion keywords relentlessly posed to Google (in addition to searches on Bing or Yahoo) every twenty-four hours. For a blogger or a website owner, it means 3.5 billion opportunities they can make use of every day!
Take an example. The keyword “cupcake” might indicate to a food blogger to include their tastiest cupcake recipe in their blog or to a bakery owner to finally get their microwave oven heating for cupcakes — still buzzed-about keywords? Read ahead to understand the power of keywords.
Keywords: An Elementary Guide
For a content creator (be it a blogger or a website owner), keywords are the topics or ideas that answer any user’s most basic question- what is your content about?
While words and phrases both comprise keywords, they have different magnitudes.
In SEO terms, singular words are Short-Tail Keywords. More specifically, it includes a maximum of three words to describe a user’s query. Such as “blue rose”, “Cyrus Mistry”, “Dominos delivery” or “Dance”. They are also referred to as “head terms” because these are the words or phrases you first think of when you decide to buy a rose, read a book, eat pizza or do something on a Friday night.
Conversely, Long-Tail Keywords are phrases containing a minimum of three words to convey a search query like “latest music of Taylor Swift”, “where can I find a blue rose?”, “Dance Clubs near me”. Needless to say, these keywords are specific in intent and more comprehensive about their queries.
While short-tail and long-tail keywords are the most well-known among bloggers and content developers, there are other, relatively subordinate keywords. However, a piece of knowledge about them will provide you with the arsenal for any writing challenge.
Have you ever searched for any recent event? Say ‘Joe Biden’s Inauguration’? You might have followed the hype about that event. The words you typed is an example of a Short-Term Fresh Keyword. These are the keywords that go into the ‘what’s trending list?’ Their search volume increases and falls dramatically. However, for their short life span, these keywords experience explosive search volume and convert at a high rate for the time being. However, after the rush is over, the conversion rate declines rapidly.
In opposition to this sudden crest and trough, any keyword that has sustained the tide of time is Long Term Evergreen Keywords. Perhaps, everybody is familiar with Shakespeare or Romeo and Juliette? They have long-standing relevance. Content developed around these keywords has continuing relevance provided; it sees maintenance. Regular updates can give a consistent conversion rate. A carefully crafted blog or an article targeting these evergreen keywords with steady views will earn you valuable domain authority. However, the idea is to create informative, well-engaging and detailed content to remain afloat in the search engine results while periodically targeting these evergreen keywords.
Now, moving to the business side of things, the keywords that function to explain and describe a product a user is specifically and precisely looking for are called Product Defining Keywords. Say, an Apple iPhone 12 or Cadbury Celebrations Diwali Pack. Creating detailed and in-depth descriptions of the products is relatively useful, but the trick is to incorporate the most helpful description and add them to the product name. Any user who searches for a specific product might intend to purchase it, so targeting this user intent in your blogs (or website) can induce the user to buy it.
You can use keywords that help search engines, and your target audience finds you. This step must be on your to-do list while creating business listings or your website. Specifying your locations, say a neighborhood or your state is Geo-Targeting Keywords. These can bring in relevant customers and increase visibility in the local servers. SEO experts find it ‘critical’ for a local business, mostly the brick-and-mortar type with a delivery base.
The next one is a tad bit different. Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords are “thematic keywords” that closely resemble the main keyword, according to SEO Pressor. Therefore, using any keywords related to themes about your main keywords will make your blog pop in SERPs for various searches that resemble your primary keyword. Say, if you are looking for nutritional benefits of olives, you may as well get results for nutritional benefits of olive oil. To get some practice, look at the “suggested search” list for any word you use. This keyword is useful in content creation.
If you are wondering ‘what is the purpose of understanding the types of keywords without knowing their value?’ you have posed the right question.
As mentioned before, keywords are the fodder that feeds into the system whereby search engines and content creators operate at a functional level. There is an intricate relationship between SEO and Keywords.
There is a two-fold purpose of keywords in terms of SEO. First, keywords communicate what the users seek to know. It is their search query, hence a vital signal to the content creators like bloggers to develop content about those queries. Second, for bloggers, keywords are the window to enter the target market. Take an example. The keywords “wedding decoration” have approximately 49,500 search volumes every month. If you have a flaring interest or quirky knowledge about wedding decorations, you can showcase it in your blog or launch a website around it. Therefore, keywords specify niche areas like fashion or interior designing, which enable bloggers to create valuable content for an eager audience.
Apart from this essential function, any search engine ranks different content based on a keyword. Therefore, the keyword is a crucial metric for Search Engine Optimization. The ultimate goal of any person trying to seize the best ranking in the SERPs (or search engine result pages) is to rank in terms of their favored keyword and target their audience. Keywords are how any content developer or website owners understands users’ needs and meets that demand.
Hence, selecting and carefully integrating your targeted keywords is integral for any website to rank and drive organic traffic. A comprehensive understanding of keywords and intelligent usage will give any blogger (and content developer) a boost to achieve SERPs’ limelight. But the question remains, how?
While searching the most suitable keywords for your long awaiting blog, ask what are people searching for on the web? When you find that answer, look at the number of people posing that search query. Finally, find out the format in which they seek that information.
These questions will lead you to your target audience and an understanding of their behavior. Only then will you be able to create relevant content. And relevancy is the key metric that determines high ranking among other factors. You wouldn’t want to rank for any and every keyword that doesn’t communicate with your customers or readers. With relevancy, you also would like to provide detailed, engaging, entertaining, and informative content. Since keywords are the key to initiate this process, it boils down to this- choose your relevant keyword.
Here comes the idea of Keyword Competition. In simple terms, it refers to the difficulty of ranking for the keyword you choose. The problem relies on two factors- the popularity of the keyword (hence accompanying competition) and the industry it belongs to. Some industries (or niche) are highly competitive, so keywords associated with them are highly competitive. This means, ranking for such keywords is difficult for any blogger or content creator who has just stepped into this industry.
Any SEO expert would advise a new blogger to head straight away for low-competition and long-tail keywords. Why?
Long-tail keywords and low competition are up to a point complementary. Search queries involving more than three words unsurprisingly comprise a hefty chunk of search volume. Given the specificity of user intent in using these long-tail words, there is a greater chance for conversion. And that is what a budding blogger truly needs! While short-tail keywords have a high search volume, they also involve high competition, a cost factor such as filling up the advertisement space, low specificity, and low conversion rate. Long-tail keywords describe your content’s purpose and usefulness with clarity while giving a clear message to the readers regarding what they can expect. Therefore, for any new blogger, long-tail keywords with the short competition are the ideal norm.
Once you have figured out your required keywords, the next step is to strategize your search volume by analyzing your competitors. Unfortunately, you might not be the only one who figured out their low competition and long-tail keywords combination. By analyzing what your competitors have missed to include or currently aren’t ranking for, you can pinpoint the keywords you should begin to create the leverage. Here, you can make use of Fresh or Evergreen keywords or LSI words.
After this extensive research, the next step is to define the format of your content that will suit your user’s search intent. Search intent is the motivation and purpose a user carries while posing a search query. User intent has emerged as a dominant metric in determining the ranking of any website. Taking account of user intent while planning for your content has become a vital strategy. Below are the most common intent types any user has-
- To seek information
- To search for a specific website or place (also termed as navigation)
- To perform transactions or explore deals.
- To compare or search products for commercial purposes.
- To find something locally.
You can analyse the result pages to find out the primary keywords that describe user intent. Creating content around the user intent has become imperative to hold your position in the search engine results or to carve out a new place. You can accordingly create videos or podcasts or blogs depending on what your users are looking for.
The Do’s and Dont’s
Here is a small compilation of steps you can follow or avoid while approaching keywords.
- Be cautious about keyword density. After many changes in their algorithms to filter out irrelevant content, search engines like Google have formally penalized the use of excessive keywords or keyword stuffing. Keyword density simply refers to how many times your primary keywords (or phrases) appear throughout your content. Although there is a lack of consensus about the ideal keyword density, SEO experts vary between 0.5% of keyword density per 1000 words and 1–2% per 1000 words. Anything more than this has the possibility of incurring a penalty.
- If you are wondering where to insert these valuable keywords, here is your answer. Search engines like Google don’t investigate every paragraph of your content to understand its relevance. It looks at specific spots using the Natural Language Processing mechanism. Therefore, it is crucial to include your keywords in these hotspots.
- Headings- The <h1> and <h2> are the most essential headings in your post. Google bots routinely crawl these to identify your content. So, focusing on naturally incorporating your primary keywords is a valuable indication to Google about your relevance to a search query.
- Using LSI keywords throughout your content is also a practical approach. Be sure to write unique and engaging content. However, do not over-utilize an exact keyword since it can quickly turn into keyword stuffing.
- Images are ideal places to include your keywords. Though they are minor search ranking factors, they still hold value. Recall the time when you click on an image in Google images, and it swiftly takes you to the webpage or blog post? It is advisable to change your image name from a cryptic title to a user-friendly one.
- Using long-tail keywords in your title tags will drive your target traffic to your websites.
- URL and Metadata are places you can creatively use your keywords. Placing them in your URL will make your blog or website more visible to the viewers, giving your website credibility. Meta Description refers to the sentences below any URL. It offers readers a clear idea about the content. With a careful arrangement, you can also include your keywords in the meta description to drive traffic.
3. Do not aim higher than you can fly. Especially for a new blogger, thorough research is mandatory to exclude unrealistic possibilities of targeting highly competitive keywords. Look for gaps that could be filled in the first instances. It is vital to building domain authority before targeting high competition words.
4. Avoid sticking with one primary keyword for every post.
Useful Tools for Keyword Research
Google Keyword Planner:
It is a free tool by Google that performs essential functions like indications about search volume and keyword competition. It also provides the following information-
- Keyword relevance
- Average monthly searches
- Advertisement shares and how much people pay for those keywords.
It analyses the popularity of a keyword over a while. For any business venture, looking at the hikes and falls can give an entrepreneur ideas about the demand scenario.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer:
This website is famous for a broad range of services like the accurate difficulty score, extensive keyword suggestions, and a comprehensive overview of SERPs. Apart from these, some other benefits include-
- Analyze some ten different search engines like YouTube and Amazon for keyword volumes.
- Suggest “Parent Topics” or reactive topics for ranking.
- Has an advanced SEO metrics system specifying metrics about improving Click-Through Rates.
- Evaluate the history of top-ranking pages.
- Support 171 countries for accurate and local SEO analysis.
Moz Keyword Explorer:
This website is considered one of the best research tools for its comprehensive keyword analysis. It gives an in-depth report on search volumes with above 95% accuracy and generates keyword lists according to your focus topics. It has the following other functions-
- Provide information about new ranking keywords.
- Provide suggestions about long-tail keywords in question format.
- Predicts keyword difficulty, volume, and the number of clicks required to rank on Google’s page 1.
Finally, this guide is a little attempt to make new bloggers aware of the importance of a rigorous understanding of keywords. We have tried to specify its significance in SEO rankings, finding the correct niche for blogs or websites, and how to incorporate them in different positions throughout them. Although there is a multitude of keywords, we have specified the most relevant and important ones. The idea of keyword research is perhaps the central artery in the industry. Since detecting the right keyword is one of the elementary steps in launching a successful blog or website, we have undertaken efforts to map out a route for your understanding.
Contributed by- Teerna Mandal, Content Writer at Mitti Ke Rang
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