What are Keywords?
Last Updated on 16th May 2023 by Ajmer Singh
Are you starting a blog and you are wondering what keywords are?
Our article on keywords in WordPress and its SEO factor should guide you.
Keywords are one of the most fundamental concepts in the world of online content creation and search engine optimization (SEO).
Whether you’re a blogger, a marketer, or a business owner looking to expand your online presence, understanding what keywords are and how they work is crucial to achieving your goals.
But what exactly are keywords, and why are they so important?
Keywords are an integral part of SEO, they help in increasing your rank and traffic on the search engine.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of keywords, including what they are, how they work, and why they matter in the world of online content creation.
What is a keyword?
This isn’t a question you hear every day.
However, becoming familiar with keywords can be a great tool for your internet marketing strategy.
In fact, it’s the foundation of SEO techniques and social media optimization.
Knowing about keywords can help you to understand if a client has done any search engine optimization work on their site already.
It will allow you to know what keywords should be targeted for increased visits.
Keywords are also known as “search terms” or “search queries.”
They are the words that people search for on search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Generally, keywords consist of 2-3 words in length.
Relevance is key when choosing which words to use as your keywords.
The more relevant it is, the higher your chances are of ranking well in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Some effective examples of relevant keywords might include:
- how to make butterscotch cookies recipe
- how to tie a scarf in three different ways
A high number of searches will increase the likelihood that you’ll rank well for that keyword.
To give you an idea, here are some most popular keywords on Google in 2021:
1. Facebook login
2. youtube downloader
4. yahoo mail account recovery
However, not all of these keywords are relevant to your industry or even inspire confidence in searchers to click through to your site.
This is why it’s important to choose only highly relevant keywords for maximum results with minimum effort.
Keywords can also be competitive.
For example, “Boston Red Sox” has a lot of competition because many other people want their page about this topic to rank high as well.
On the other hand, “Red Sox player Xander Bogaerts” is a less competitive keyword.
If you want your page to rank for this more specific term, it’s necessary to have lots of links pointing back to your site from other people’s sites.
Just keep in mind that when you are targeting keywords with the highest level of competition, it may require an increased budget or additional work.
Finally, don’t choose keywords that are too general or too long because they will be harder to optimize for and won’t bring in many targeted visitors.
For example, “Red Sox news” has lower competition than “Where can I find all the latest news about the Boston Red Sox.”
However, the newest player probably doesn’t know what most fans already know—that there isn’t just one source for all Red Sox news.
This is why it might be better to choose “Boston Red Sox latest news” as a keyword instead of something like “latest Red Sox news.”
Knowing how keywords work can help you craft an effective strategy for your business.
When choosing relevant words, consider their levels of competition and the number of searches they attract.
Implement strategies that will help you rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs) like guest blogging or link building, targeting specific long-tail keywords rather than highly competitive terms.
Using this knowledge can put your site on the road toward successful internet marketing!
Semrush is s popular keyword research tool that is used by us and many other top bloggers.
Keywords are basically ideas, words, or phrases, that searchers type into search queries on search engines to find what they are looking for.
For instance, if I want to buy a business backpack, I will type in the word ‘business backpack’ on Google. That’s a keyword
Keywords basically define what your content is about.
As a blogger and content creator, your duty is to ensure that the keywords on your page are relevant to what searchers are searching for.
Why are keywords important?
Keywords act as an intermediate between what people are searching for and the content you are providing.
The main goal of wanting to rank for a keyword is to drive more traffic to your website.
For instance, if you wrote content whose keyword has a monthly search volume of 5000, showing up at the top of Google gets you lots of traffic.
Types of Keywords!
1. Generic Keywords
Generic keyword – ‘Football Shoes’
- Highly Competitive and decent traffic
- Not specific enough to the site’s actual content
- Low conversions
2. Head Keywords (Broad keywords)
Head keyword – ‘Red Football Shoes’
- Not as much competition and good traffic
- Specific content for broad searchers
- The average amount of conversions
3. Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keyword – ‘Red Football Shoes Under $100’
- Low competition and not as much traffic
- Actual Content is what they are looking for
- A good amount of conversions (better than generic and head terms)
Comparison Chart Between Short and Long Tail Keywords
Still struggling to understand the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords?
Look no further!
We’ve created a handy comparison chart to help guide you through the pros and cons of each type of keyword.
From search volume to CPC to impact on SEO, we’ve got you covered.
Take a look at our chart to better understand how to use each type of keyword to improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more targeted traffic to your site.
|Aspect||Short-tail Keywords||Long-tail Keywords|
|Definition||Short and commonly used keywords, usually one or two words in length||Longer and more specific keywords, typically three to five words in length|
|Search Volume||High search volume, but high competition||Lower search volume, but lower competition|
|Search Intent||Broader intent, less specific||More specific intent, higher likelihood of conversion|
|CPC||Higher CPC due to competition||Lower CPC due to lower competition|
|Impact on SEO||Important for overall website optimization, but can be difficult to rank for due to competition||Can be easier to rank for, and can drive more targeted traffic to your website|
|Examples||"Shoes," "Hiking gear"||"Best hiking boots for women," "Affordable running shoes for men"|
How to choose keywords?
There are certain factors to put into consideration when selecting a keyword, they include;
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Search intent
1. Search volume
Search volume tells you more about the popularity of a keyword, that is how often a keyword is searched for on search engines.
The search volume allows you to know how specific a keyword is and how much traffic you will get from google if you top on that keyword.
However, some keywords do well in the search engine than others.
For instance, the keyword has a monthly search volume of 800 in the United States and a global volume of 1.2k
while the keyword ‘Biscuit’ has a monthly search volume of 92000 and a global volume of 217000
Does it now mean that it’s better to write on the keyword “biscuit” which has a higher search volume monthly than the keyword ‘how to run Facebook ads with less search volume?
The answer is no, this is because your niche should tally with your keyword.
Your niche can’t be focused on blogging and you are writing content with the keyword ‘biscuit’.
How does that fit in?
However, if you choose to write on the keyword ‘biscuit’ and you top on google for that keyword, while it brings you traffic, the traffic is irrelevant to your niche.
2. Searcher’s intent
Searchers’ intent gives you an overview of what the searcher intends to do.
Is he or she looking for a definition? Are they looking to buy something?
Understanding searchers’ intent helps in drafting your content properly.
In SEO, the searcher’s intent is based on 3 categories and they include;
- Navigational intent
- Transactional intent
- Informational intent
1. Navigational intent
These searchers already have an idea of what they want, what they just need is the correct internet address where to find that information.
For example Bank of India, Donald Trump, etc.
The intent is to navigate to a specific website for particular content.
2. Transactional intent
These are queries where searchers have a strong intent of wanting to purchase the product.
Queries like buy, size, sign up and subscribe fall under transactional intent.
For example: Buy baby’s diaper, size 12 of Louis Vuitton pitch dress.
This intent shows that the buyers are ready buyers.
3. Informational intent
These are queries where the searchers’ intent is to gather information about a specific keyword without the intention of making a purchase.
Queries like how, best and where are examples of informational intent.
For example: how is keyword research done? best business backpack for men? where is McDonald’s restaurant?
Knowing when and how to fix these intents in your content makes your site user-friendly.
How competitive a keyword is, is dependent on two factors
- Keyword difficulty
- competitive density
Keyword difficulty stands for how easy or difficult it is to rank for a keyword.
The keyword difficulty of this keyword is 79, looking at a scale of 1-100, the keyword is high and will be quite difficult to rank for, except, of course, you are ready to build links.
The keyword difficulty of 0-30 is considered ok for websites because it is less competitive, while the Keyword difficulty of 31-100 is considered high,
this is because sites that appear on the top page of Google have spent time building links from other websites.
These metrics tell you how difficult it is to rank an advertisement on the top page.
CPC shows how much advertisers are willing to pay for a particular keyword.
It shows how valuable a keyword is.
Some keywords have CPCs as high as $20.00 while some have CPCs as low as $1, this does not deduce that one keyword is more valuable than the other.
It means that keywords have different values for different people.
How to use keywords?
Most of the guides will advise that you add keywords to the URL of your site, the meta description, the title tag, and much more.
While we don’t counter that, it is still the basics of keyword optimization.
The best approach to optimizing keywords is to do searchers’ intent.
Any time you want to write content around a specific keyword, the first approach is to do the searchers’ intent.
This is because you don’t want to put up content that does not tally with what your searchers are looking for.
Like I said earlier that there are several types of searchers’ intent, it will be better for you to analyze this intent to see what type they fall into,
so as to know how to write your content.
You can use semrush or ahrefs for keyword research.
There are several ways to search for a searcher’s intent including:
1. Using LSIgraph:
Just type in your keyword and click on the Search tab, the LSIgraph will display a lot of semantically related keyword data you can use.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are words and phrases that are closely related to the main keyword or topic of a piece of content.
They are used to help search engines better understand the context and meaning of the content, and can also help improve the overall relevance and quality of the content.
To use LSI keywords in your content, you can start by conducting keyword research to identify the main keywords and topics you want to target.
Once you have your main keywords, you can then use an LSI graph tool to identify related keywords and phrases that you can use to supplement and enhance your content.
An LSI graph tool will typically display a visual representation of related keywords and phrases based on their semantic relationships to your main keyword.
For example, if your main keyword is “dog training,” the LSI graph may display related keywords such as “positive reinforcement,” “obedience training,” and “puppy training.”
Once you have identified relevant LSI keywords, you can incorporate them into your content in a natural and organic way.
This can help improve the relevance and quality of your content, and also increase the chances of your content ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs) for related queries.
It’s important to note that while LSI keywords can be a helpful tool for optimizing your content, they should not be overused or used in a way that feels unnatural or spammy.
The focus should always be on creating high-quality, informative content that meets the needs and interests of your target audience.
2. Checking the ‘people also ask’ section on Google:
After you must have typed in your search query on Google, scroll down a bit further, and you will see the people also ask section, you can draft out subtopics from them.
“People also ask” (PAA) is a feature that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) that provides users with additional questions and answers related to their search query.
This feature is intended to help users find the information they need more easily, and it can also be a valuable resource for content creators who are looking to optimize their content for search engines.
To use “People also ask” in your content, you can start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant topics and questions related to your main keyword.
Once you have your list of questions, you can then use the PAA feature to identify additional related questions and answers that you can use to supplement your content.
To do this, simply enter your main keyword into a search engine and look for the PAA box that appears in the SERPs.
Click on one of the questions to reveal additional related questions and answers.
You can then use these questions and answers to create additional sections or subheadings in your content, or to supplement your existing content with additional information and insights.
By using the “People also ask” feature in your content, you can help improve the relevance and quality of your content, and increase the chances of your content ranking well in search engine results pages for related queries.
However, it’s important to note that you should always focus on creating high-quality, informative content that meets the needs and interests of your target audience, rather than simply trying to optimize your content for search engines.
Plugins for Keywords and SEO
- Yoast SEO
There is an extension for google chrome users named Keywords Everywhere.
I love this extension, as it gives all the results regarding keywords when I look for something in Google, like volume per month, CPC rate, competition percentage and more related keywords.
Difference between Keywords and Meta-Description!
Keywords and meta descriptions are two different elements of a webpage’s content that are used for search engine optimization (SEO).
Keywords refer to specific words or phrases that are relevant to the content on a webpage.
They are used by search engines to understand the content of the webpage and to determine how relevant it is to a particular search query.
Keywords are typically included in the content of the page, as well as in the meta tags.
Meta descriptions, on the other hand, are short summaries of the content on a webpage.
They appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) under the title of the page and provide a brief description of what the page is about.
The purpose of a meta description is to entice users to click through to the page by providing a concise summary of the content and its relevance to the user’s search query.
Look at the screenshot below to clear your doubts about keywords and meta descriptions.
According to some of the SEO, keywords are not important to use while posting a post or a page.
Even in posts and pages, it is observed that Google does not use keywords and they have themselves admitted it.
But some SEO experts said that it is wrong and people should add keywords to their content before publishing them, as it is very useful and makes the content easy to use.
How to add Keywords and Meta-descriptions?
Yoast Seo Plugin will help you to make your posts SEO optimized and SEO friendly. Use this article to properly set up Yoast in WordPress.
If you already have it then go ahead and follow the next steps.
- Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
- Go to the page or post you want to edit and scroll down to the Yoast SEO section.
- Click on the “Edit snippet” button.
- Enter your focus keyword in the “Focus keyphrase” field. This is the main keyword you want to target with the page or post.
- Enter a meta description in the “Meta description” field. The meta description should be a concise summary of the content on the page or post and should include the focus keyword.
- Check the analysis section to see if there are any improvements that can be made to optimize the page for the focus keyword.
- Click “Update” to save the changes.
However, website speed is also a ranking factor, so we recommend using Cloudways as your hosting provider.
Keywords and meta descriptions are important parts to be added for a better understanding of the post or page.
Long-tail keywords and their importance
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that people use to search for something online.
Unlike generic or broad keywords, long-tail keywords are more targeted and specific, making them incredibly valuable for businesses and marketers who want to reach their desired audience.
Why are long-tail keywords important?
Firstly, long-tail keywords have less competition than generic keywords.
It means that it’s easier to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for long-tail keywords, resulting in higher traffic and better conversion rates.
Secondly, long-tail keywords help to attract more qualified leads.
A person who types in a long-tail keyword is usually more specific about what they are looking for, which means they are closer to making a purchase.
For instance, “best budget laptops for college students” is a more specific long-tail keyword than “laptops,” and someone searching for the former is more likely to be interested in buying a laptop.
Finally, long-tail keywords help to increase relevance and engagement.
When you use long-tail keywords in your content, you’re speaking directly to the needs and interests of your audience.
As a result, you’re more likely to attract the right kind of people to your website and keep them engaged with your content.
Suppose you run a pet store, and you want to optimize your website for search engines.
Instead of just using the generic keyword “pet supplies,” you could use a long-tail keyword like “organic dog food for senior dogs.”
This keyword is more specific and targeted, which means that you’ll attract the right kind of audience who is interested in this particular product.
Keyword Stuffing and its negative impact on SEO
Keyword stuffing is the practice of overusing keywords on a web page to manipulate its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
While it may have been an effective SEO tactic in the past, keyword stuffing is now considered a black hat technique that can harm your website’s ranking and reputation.
Why is keyword stuffing bad for SEO?
Firstly, keyword stuffing makes your content difficult to read and understand.
When you use a keyword excessively in a sentence or paragraph, it becomes unnatural and disrupts the flow of the content.
This can make it harder for readers to understand the message you’re trying to convey, leading to a poor user experience.
Secondly, keyword stuffing can result in a penalty from search engines.
Search engines like Google are constantly updating their algorithms to deliver the best results to their users.
They recognize keyword stuffing as an attempt to manipulate rankings and can penalize websites that use this tactic.
This penalty can result in a drop in rankings, decreased traffic, and even a ban from search engines.
Finally, keyword stuffing can harm your website’s reputation.
If your content is filled with irrelevant keywords, it can make your website appear spammy and untrustworthy to users.
This can lead to a decrease in traffic and a negative impact on your brand’s reputation.
Suppose you run a website that sells organic skincare products.
You want to optimize your website for search engines, so you decide to use the keyword ‘organic skincare products’ excessively throughout your website, including in irrelevant places like meta tags and image alt text.
While this may seem like a good strategy, it can harm your website’s ranking and reputation.
Search engines may penalize your website for keyword stuffing, and users may find your content difficult to read and untrustworthy, leading to a decrease in traffic and sales.
Importance of including keywords in content creation
Including keywords in your content creation is essential for any business or marketer who wants to improve their website’s search engine ranking and attract more qualified leads.
By incorporating relevant keywords in your content, you can increase your website’s visibility and attract the right kind of audience.
Why including keywords is important?
Firstly, including keywords in your content helps search engines understand what your website is about.
When a search engine crawls your website, it looks for relevant keywords to understand the content of your web pages.
By using keywords that are relevant to your business or industry, you can help search engines understand the focus of your website and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Secondly, including keywords in your content helps to attract the right kind of audience.
When you use relevant keywords in your content, you’re speaking directly to the needs and interests of your audience.
As a result, you’re more likely to attract the right kind of people to your website who are interested in your products or services.
Finally, including keywords in your content helps to improve your website’s overall user experience.
When you use relevant keywords in your content, you’re providing valuable information to your audience that they’re actively searching for.
This can help to establish your website as a credible source of information, increase engagement, and encourage users to spend more time on your website.
Suppose you run a travel blog, and you want to optimize your website for search engines.
By including relevant keywords like “best places to visit in Europe” or “budget-friendly travel tips,” you can attract the right kind of audience who is interested in travel.
By providing high-quality content that includes relevant keywords, you can establish your website as a credible source of information and attract more traffic and engagement.
Keyword Density and its Impact on SEO
Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword appears on a web page in relation to the total number of words on that page.
While keyword density was once considered an important factor for SEO, it’s now understood that focusing solely on keyword density can have a negative impact on your website’s search engine ranking.
Why keyword density is important?
Firstly, keyword density can help search engines understand the focus of your web page.
When search engines crawl your website, they look for relevant keywords to understand the content of your web pages.
By using keywords that are relevant to your business or industry, you can help search engines understand the focus of your website and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Secondly, keyword density can help to improve the readability of your content.
When you use keywords in a natural and meaningful way, it can help to break up large blocks of text and make your content easier to read and understand.
However, it’s important to note that focusing too much on keyword density can have a negative impact on your website’s search engine ranking.
Overusing keywords can lead to keyword stuffing, which can harm your website’s reputation and ranking.
Search engines like Google are constantly updating their algorithms to deliver the best results to their users, and they recognize keyword stuffing as an attempt to manipulate rankings.
Suppose you run a website that sells hiking gear, and you want to optimize your product page for search engines.
You decide to use the keyword “hiking boots” 20 times on your product page, hoping to improve your search engine ranking for that keyword.
However, this leads to keyword stuffing, making your content difficult to read and understand.
As a result, search engines may penalize your website for using this tactic, leading to a drop in rankings, decreased traffic, and even a ban from search engines.
Keyword cannibalization and How to avoid it?
Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on a website are optimized for the same keyword or phrase.
This can cause confusion for search engines, as they may not know which page to rank for that particular keyword.
As a result, it can negatively impact your website’s search engine ranking and lead to a decrease in traffic and visibility.
How to avoid keyword cannibalization?
Firstly, conduct keyword research to identify the most relevant and profitable keywords for your website.
This will help you understand which keywords you should be targeting and which pages on your website are the best fit for those keywords.
Secondly, ensure that each page on your website has a unique focus and target keyword.
By doing this, you can avoid having multiple pages competing for the same keyword, which can lead to confusion for search engines.
Thirdly, ensure that your website’s structure is optimized for search engines.
This includes creating a clear hierarchy of pages, using descriptive URLs, and linking to related pages within your website.
Fourthly, monitor your website’s analytics to identify any instances of keyword cannibalization.
If you notice that multiple pages on your website are competing for the same keyword, take steps to consolidate the content into a single page or adjust your optimization strategy accordingly.
Suppose you run a fashion blog, and you have multiple pages on your website that are optimized for the keyword “fashion trends.”
As a result, search engines may have difficulty determining which page to rank for that keyword, leading to a decrease in visibility and traffic for your website.
By consolidating the content into a single page and optimizing that page for the keyword “fashion trends,” you can avoid keyword cannibalization and improve your website’s search engine ranking.
Link Whisper is the plugin that we use for auto internal linking and for avoiding keyword cannibalization.
Keyword clustering for better SEO results
Keyword clustering is a technique used to group related keywords together to improve SEO results.
By organizing keywords into clusters, you can create a more focused content strategy and help search engines understand the context and relevance of your website’s content.
How to use keyword clustering for better SEO results?
Firstly, conduct keyword research to identify related keywords that are relevant to your website’s content.
For example, if you run a website that sells shoes, you might identify related keywords such as “sneakers,” “running shoes,” and “dress shoes.”
Secondly, group related keywords into clusters based on their relevance and intent.
For example, you might create a cluster for “sneakers” that includes keywords such as “high-top sneakers,” “low-top sneakers,” and “athletic sneakers.”
Thirdly, create content around each keyword cluster.
This can include blog posts, product pages, and other types of content that are relevant to the keyword cluster.
Fourthly, interlink between pages within each keyword cluster.
This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your website’s content, and can improve your website’s search engine ranking for those keywords.
Suppose you run a website that sells hiking gear, and you want to improve your search engine ranking for keywords related to hiking boots.
You identify related keywords such as “hiking boots for women,” “hiking boots for men,” and “best hiking boots.”
By creating a keyword cluster around hiking boots, you can create a more focused content strategy that includes blog posts, product pages, and other types of content that are relevant to those keywords.
By interlinking between pages within the keyword cluster, you can help search engines understand the context and relevance of your website’s content, which can lead to improved search engine rankings for those keywords.