Back to Basics – Keywords in SEO

What is SEO? SEO – short for search engine optimization – makes your website more visible for potential users on Google. If your website is more visible on Google, there is a higher chance that you’ll get more traffic to your website. With the expansion of online marketing and many companies moving their business online, the competition for products and services has grown accordingly – it is crucial to optimize all elements of your SEO strategy to put your brand right in front of the user, right when they need it. 

One of the main narratives in SEO is that “Content is the King”. Google shows user the results based on the query that they type in their search bar, and what Google shows on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) depends on whether the content of the website answers the question of the user. How can we ensure that Google understands that our content aligns with what the user is typing and how we can show that our content answers the user’s question. The key to this is only one word – keywords. Let’s dive deeper into what keywords are and how they should be used for SEO purposes. 

What Are Keywords? 

Keywords are the words that you use in your content, which describe your brand, product / service or value proposition. These keywords should be consistent within your content, your headlines, your meta titles and descriptions, and your schema markup (to tell Google what your photos, videos or other graphic content mean). The usage of keywords help Google to align the search query with your content and if Google thinks that your website is relevant to what the user is searching, your website will be ranking higher. “Keywords are as much about your audience as they are about your content, because you might describe what you offer in a slightly different way than some people ask for it.” as described by MOZ. It is not enough to know how you can describe what your business offers, it is crucial to know how users are looking for what your business offers. And here is when keyword research comes to play. 

Keyword Research

Why is doing keyword research important? As we have already discussed, we need to know how users are looking for what we offer. What word combinations are they using? Are these combinations mostly short or long-tail? Do these keywords translate the intention that you want your user to have? These are just a couple of questions that you should carry in your hed when you start conducting keyword research. 

Keyword research will also allow you to see the volume and competition of the keyword that you want to use on your website. You want to understand what is the search volume of your keyword a month in your desired location and how competitive is this keyword. Imagine the high monthly search volume for a keyword, however the competition for it also is very high – meaning that many other websites are using that keywords as well and your website can get lost among other with high rankings for this keyword. Spend time doing keyword research to understand the intentions and how the user is searching for what you have to offer. You can use various platforms to conduct the research, one of the most popular ones are SEMrush and MOZ. 

Primary Keywords VS Secondary Keywords  

Let’s cover the difference between primary and secondary keywords now. After you have finished your keyword research, you shortlisted the keywords that are essential for your business and you decided that you want to use them in your website content. And here comes another shortlisting that will be beneficial for you to do. 

We have primary keywords – keywords with high volume, high intent and low competition. These are the primary keywords we want to target. Primary keywords are usually used in meta titles and descriptions and H1 headings, in other words these are the main places to put your primary keyword to tell Google exactly what your business is about. 

Secondary keywords, on the other hand, are keywords with less search volume and less relevance, but they are semantically similar keywords that can supplement the content of our webpage. For instance, if we are writing a blog post – we’d want to use these secondary keywords to provide Google with even more ideas about what we offer. 

Still Got Questions?

Do you still have questions about keywords, how they are used in SEO and what are SEO best practices? Reach out to our marketing agency in Vancouver and we will be happy to chat with you about it! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – we would love to hear from you. 

Thank you for reading and keep it cool!