Gone are the times when using lots of keywords were your key to rank in Google. According to Google’s Hummingbird algorithm 2013, keyword stuffing is prohibited and you might get flagged for it. But that doesn’t mean you should not use keywords anymore.
Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a far more complex process, keywords are an essential part and they are highly valuable for optimization.
This article is a guide related to the relationship between keywords and SEO. Such as the importance of keywords in SEO and how to choose keywords for SEO. Here is a detailed account of keyword and SEO optimization that will boost your ranking:
What is keyword research in SEO?
Keywords are a group of words that people use to search on the internet for their queries. These keywords can be used to find any content such as video, images, blogs, etc. on the web.
Website owners or content creators use such relevant keywords to make it possible for the users to find their relevant content via search engines and web. Using keywords higher the chance of users finding your content for their query.
Why are keywords important?
Even Google’s different algorithm banned the stuffing of Keywords, but it didn’t cancel the use of keywords. Keywords are an important factor for web bots to recognize your content and rank it.
Without the use of keywords, users will not be able to find the relevant content and nor the web crawlers.
Keywords in SEO is an organic formula that helps bring in organic traffic as well. Keywords also help your site rank among your competitors.
Pro-tip: When keyword in SEO is used for a targeted audience that is called the target keyword.
Types of keywords in SEO
There are different types of Keywords in SEO and they help you determine how to use keywords in your content.
1: Short-tail keyword is short composed up of 2-3 or fewer words, also called head keywords. They are highly competitive, high in volume and hard to rank for.
2: Long-tail keyword is made up of more than 3 words and more specific to search a term. They have lower competition and search volume as compared to short-tailed keywords. They have specific search intent and used for targeted products, pages and audience.
3: Evergreen Keyword is all-time relevant keywords, that trend all the time. Its search volume might vary from time to time, but it provides consistent traffic.
4: Trending Keyword is a fresh keyword that trends in a short time. It has a peeked search volume, medium competitive rate and is used for specific intent for up-to-date content.
5: LSI keyword (Latent Semantic Indexing) is related to your main keyword and helps in avoiding keyword stuffing and ranking. It has a low search volume as well as a low competitive rate but has a high conversion rate.
How to choose keywords for SEO?
Choosing keywords for your content that also hypes your blog can be complex. Some keywords are obvious, such as “Pasta Recipes” and these obvious keywords should be avoided. As such easy keywords high in volume, they are searched a lot as well as have high competition.
You must go for a unique, low volume, less competitive yet rankable keyword. Now you are thinking about how to choose such keywords? Here is the answer:
1: Explore your targeted audience
Your content must carry relevant and natural keywords. To use such keywords, you must know your audience as well as what they must think when they search. Create topics that you know your targeted audience are interested in. Along with that, what would they write to search for it?
2: Use keyword research tools
Another easy and convenient way to choose keywords is a free keyword tool such as Keyword Finder and Google Keyword Tool. Such free keyword tools would not only help you find the right SEO keyword list but also help you find the volume and competition a keyword carries.
You can also use a Google-related search page link as keywords.
3: Voice search
Voice search is a new factor that users constantly use, besides typing and the search count. Use phrases used to find content via voice search as your keyword.
Pro-Tip: Volume tells you about how many people are searching for the same keyword in a month.
How to use keywords
Once you have collected a list of keywords for SEO optimization, it’s time to use them naturally. Using them naturally means you must use them as they are relevant to your content and up to a certain density.
You must not add irrelevant keywords or else your website will be penalized. So is that case with keyword density in SEO, you must include the keyword for a certain number of times, not much. Use the keyword density formula to calculate your density.
Your keyword density in SEO must not exceed 2% and it’s better to keep it 1.5%. Along with the main keywords, you should also use LSI keywords and Long-tailed keywords for a higher chance of ranking.
You can use more than one keyword, but using fewer keywords is preferable. You should use up to three keywords per content.
Apart from content, you can use your keyword in the following areas to avoid stuffing and rank better:
- Use keyword in URL of the page
- A keyword must be in the title of the page
- Include the keyword in title tags and meta description
- Use keyword in images’ ALT text, anchor text and conclusion of the content
When optimizing your web pages, keep in mind that keyword relevance is more important than keyword density in SEO.
According to the SEMrush report, “over 75% of the top-20 pages have keywords in their body and over 60% have them in their title.”
Keywords play an important role in SEO optimization. They help bring in the organic traffic and boost your ranking to the first page. They must be used naturally to keep the quality of the content.
You can use different keyword tools, to find a suitable list of keywords for your website. Use them resourcefully throughout your content along with other SEO guidelines.
You have more tips to share? Let us know about them in the comments!