Simply put, a keyword is anything you can type into a search engine and generate results. So basically anything you can search classifies as a keyword. But when it comes to using keywords, there are definitely good ways and bad ways to do this – especially if you’re trying to build organic traffic!
The term was – a long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away – called “keyword phrases” but has since been shortened to just “keywords”.
Even if the keyword includes 4-5 singular words it’s still only referred to as a keyword.. Unless you ask me, then I’ll probably say keyphrase and confuse everyone.
Trying to build organic traffic?
Then things get a little more complicated because you have to start to predict what people will type, without accidentally targeting a keyword that is heavily saturated, or already flooded with others targeting it.
What do I mean by heavily saturated? I mean that if a keyword has 1000 other websites targeting it, your chances to rank go down exponentially when compared to another keyword targeted by only 100 websites or so.
There is really one 1 sure-fire way to determine how saturated any keyword is, and that is by using a keyword search tool like Jaaxy or Google’s keyword planner. Anything that sounds awesome under 3 words is probably out of the question right off the bat.
The Long Tail Keyword
The term “long tail” generally refers to keywords longer than 3 words. For instance, “what is a long tail keyword” is a good example of a long tail keyword, but “long tail” wouldn’t fit that category – make sense?
So why does this even matter? Well… Long tail keywords receive 70% of all search traffic.
It’s definitely 100% worth your time to research and target long tail keywords.
Not only do they generate more searches, but the people who use long tail keywords usually have a more specific problem they want solved – making them a more targeted and higher value person to get on your site and reading what you have to say.
You’re going to want to target long tail keywords for the best results – especially if your website is new or you’re just learning the ropes of SEO.
It’s definitely possible to rank for the saturated and more potent 1 or 2 word keywords, but there are a lot of outside variables that come into play then, which gets away from the purpose of this post.
How Do Keywords Work?
For you!.. Hopefully.
When it comes to actually using keywords, people tend to go overboard right away by trying to use too many, or using 1 too much.
Keywords are great, but too much of any good thing is always bad.
You’re going to want to limit your usage and be tactical about it. You’re should only be aiming for about 1-3% keyword density, so that doesn’t leave you much to work with in an average sized post.
There are some important places that your keyword should definitely appear, and they are:
- Meta description
- Image alt tags
- link descriptions
- Title (if possible, it helps but sometimes it can’t be done naturally)
- 1st & last paragraphs
When placing keywords in paragraphs, try and do so as naturally as possible.
It’s a pretty simple idea, but effective usage of keywords is essential if you want to build organic traffic.
Knowing what a keyword is, and how to leverage them will make all the difference when it comes to driving traffic, and ultimately sales.
Keywords aren’t just important to generating organic traffic though, they’re also going to be essential in any kind of advertising campaign on Google Adwords or a related ad agency.
Knowing how to consistently find awesome keywords is possibly one of the most valuable skills an IM could practice.