Before understanding what are keywords in digital marketing, let us first understand how do you search on internet. When you want to search about anything on the internet, what do you do?
1. Simply type your query in the search box
2. Get relevant websites about your query (Search Engine Results)
3. Click on a website (result) and
4. You are good to go!
Sounds magical right?
Do you know what created the actual magic?
“THE QUERY YOU PUT IN THE SEARCH BOX”
This query was your “keyword” for the search engine.
What are Keywords?
The words which are used to search about something on search engines are the keywords. For example, If a consumer types “buy books” in Google search box, then the keyword or key phrase is “buy books”. On the basis of searched keywords, Google will display the search results. Hence, it becomes very important to understand what are keywords in digital marketing and their importance in SEO.
Keywords form the basis for the digital marketing campaigns and are not just restricted to Search Engine Optimization. They are the building blocks for your digital marketing and a very important On-Page SEO factor.
The goal of businesses is to get discovered on internet. People use search engines to find about products and services. And, a digital marketing strategy for a business is successful if it is discovered.
Different people have different ways to search, but the concept of search remains the same.
A person might search “Electric Vehicle”. What do you understand by the this? Is the person willing to buy electric vehicle? or maybe he just wants to know about what electric vehicles are? or even maybe he wants to repair the electric vehicle which he has.
The intentions can be multiple, but when a person queries the search engine with keyword “Electric Vehicle”, the search engine will provide the most relevant and optimized results for the searched keyword.
But, a wise person will search as per his intentions. Suppose, he wishes to buy an electric vehicle, then one of the possible search which he might make is by using the phrase “buy electric vehicle”. You can see the search results below.
Here, the google lists the local dealers located in the vicinity. And, any business will like to be discovered here. As you scroll down, you can also see the various websites. The websites discovered here were optimized for the keyword “buy electric vehicles” and hence ranked higher.
Importance of Keywords
By now, it is very clear that Keyword is a word which describes the content of the page. It let the visitor and search engine know what the page is all about.
Search engines look at the quality of the content on a page and this also includes the words used on that page. If a website is not having proper keywords, it will not be treated as a good website. Also, if a website is stuffed with just good keywords, without any good quality content than too the website is treated as a bad website.
Not using proper keywords or using wrong keywords would mislead people. And, Google hates when your website misleads. Who would not hate it?
So, proper keyword research should be done before finalizing the keywords and the “target keywords” must match the content and the goal of the website.
A good combination of content, proper keywords and good website architecture can boost the SEO of a website.
Using Keywords for SEO
Many people still get confused between keywords and meta keywords. The meta tags in HTML are used to describe the content of the page. They tell the search engines what the page is all about. They provide metadata (data about data) of the content of the page. But, they are not visible on the page.
The meta tags has several attributes like description. keywords, author, viewport, etc. Out of the several attributes, the meta keywords was widely used for SEO. But, then people realized that Google is not using meta keywords. Though, Google considers the meta description tag, but meta keywords are ignored.
Should you use meta keywords?
The answer is NO. Because, Google has officially announced that meta keywords are not being used by it for ranking websites.
But, this doesn’t mean that Google does not use meta tags at all. It uses certain meta tags and the various meta tags which Google understands can be found here – Meta tags which Google understands
How to use keywords?
Though keywords cannot be used in meta keywords section, they can be used at several other places. Keywords can be used in Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Subheadings, URLS, Content of the Page, Link Anchor Text, within descriptive alt attribute for images and so on.
Using keywords at these places doesn’t mean you use them excessively. Excessive usage of keywords in web content and meta tags is known as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword Stuffing is an unethical practice and should be avoided. Use keywords wisely and at the right place.
This was about using the importance of keywords and using them, but how to find them? By doing a keywords research.
Knowing the fact that keywords place a key role in SEO, one would love to use them in a proper way. In order to use keywords, you must discover the best keywords for your website or blog. This process of finding the relevant keywords for your website is known as Keyword Research.
The research starts by listing down the keywords related to your domain or the keywords for which you want to rank. For example, if you are selling square pizzas in Mumbai, you would love to be discovered when someone searches for “Square Pizza in Mumbai” or “Best Square Pizza in Mumbai” and so on. Make a list of such phrases.
The next step is to find out how feasible it is to rank for the keywords listed by you. There might be other competitors who are already ranking for some keywords.
So, how to identify this and how to proceed?
A keyword research tool comes to rescue. There are several keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, UberSuggest, etc. You can also use Google search result suggestions & Google Trends for the research.
Short tail keywords vs Long tail keywords
The keywords entered by a person on the search engine reflects his intention of the search.
For example, if one enters “jacket” , it doesn’t specify whether he wants to buy a jacket , sell a jacket or simply know what a jacket is.
On the other hand, a person with a specific intention of buying a jacket will rather search for “buy leather jacket” or if more specific “buy best brown leather jacket under 3000 rupees”.
The first keyword “jacket” is a short tail keyword while the other two are long tail keywords.
Short tail keywords don’t give a clear idea of the intention of the user as they are brief and usually contain a general, non- specific term. This leads to lots and lots of results that maybe irrelevant to satisfy the requirement of the user.
Long tail keywords are detailed and specific terms which give a clearer picture of the intention of the user. This helps the search engine in displaying more accurate results rather than what it does in case of short tail keywords. Long tail keywords should be a part of your keyword strategy.
You learned about what are keywords, their importance, research and usage & the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords. This is good to start but not enough. Identifying the right keywords as per the domain is an art and it comes with practice.
Learn to use keyword tools, analyze the search volume and competition of the keywords and select the best keywords. Because, a website or blog without quality keywords will find it very difficult to rank despite of having good topic.
Download and read a free kindle version (ebook) on Keyword Research from here – https://amzn.to/2X02Erk