When someone lands on your website, you only have a couple of seconds to tell them who you are and why they should do business with you. If it isn’t obvious, you are unlikely to convert them from being a site visitor to a customer. By understanding and implementing a strong keyword strategy, you can emphasize the aspects of your business that are most important to you.
The way we are exposed to businesses on the web differs from more traditional media, such as radio, tv and print. Unless someone is already aware of your business and simply Googles the name, they are probably going to search using keywords. They’ll think about what they need and they’ll type a corresponding word or phrase into the search engine. (There are many search engines, but for the sake of simplicity, in this post, I only mention Google.)
All day, every day, Google is scanning websites and indexing words and images to create a giant directory.
When someone types a word or phrase into the Google search bar, Google immediately scans all its results in search of websites and images that they think will match what the searcher is seeking. If Google doesn’t have enough information about your site, they won’t be able to index it properly. Therefore, you may struggle to get traffic if you don’t use enough words, if you don’t use the right words, or if you don’t understand page structure.
WHAT IS A KEYWORD?
One basic element of web development is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And a key element of SEO is the keyword. Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. To be successful, you need to learn what keywords are and how to use them.
Keywords are also the words and phrases entered into search engines.
When someone searches using a word or phrase, Google says “Hey, what results can I provide that are most likely to be the answer they’re looking for?” You want the words on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for. This will make it more likely that your potential customer will find your content among all the results.
THE VALUE OF KEYWORDS
There are two types of pages: those meant to support deeper understanding of your business and those that are meant to drive traffic.
For the purpose of this post, let’s call a page that is meant to support a deeper understanding a Basic page. This page would contain information that is less likely to be searched for. For example, most websites should have an About page. This page typically explains how and when a business began and what the mission statement and philosophy are. Once someone is on your site, they may visit the About page. However, the information on that page is unlikely to be something someone does a web search for.
The second type of page is called Cornerstone Content. It is especially good at driving in-bound traffic. Rather than looking for information directly related to your business, the person searching is looking for a particular thing and are hoping that their search with match them with a business that can meet their need. You get this traffic by providing information that people are looking for.
For example, let’s say you own a sewing store that carries Janome sewing machines. You will probably mention “Janome” on more than one page. There will be a page that lists all your sewing machines. The keyword for that page might be “sewing machines.”
Additionally, you may devote an entire page to Janome machines. In this case, optimize the page for the word “Janome.” With an entire page optimized for “Janome,” Google will likely rank your website higher for “Janome” than if you simply used “Janome” as regular text throughout the site.
The technique for optimizing a Basic page, as compared to a page meant to drive traffic, does not differ. However, by understanding the purpose of every page, you can develop content that is appropriate for its purpose.
Factors contributing to site visibility.
Some of these include Keyword:
- Frequency. Use the keyword frequently enough to be clear about what you do, but not so much as to be unnatural. (Google penalizes keyword stuffing.)
- Location. Distribute the keyword evenly throughout the page.
- Formatting. Use heading tags to boost keyword importance.
- Synonyms. Use a variety of words that have a similar definition to your keyword.
What are the words you would associate with your business?
Make a list. Then rank them in order of importance.
Every page should have one unique keyword.
Once you get good at this, you’ll start giving a single page more than one keyword, but for now, concentrate on one unique keyword per page. (Unique: optimized for search on just one page.)
Where to learn more about keywords
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to learn more on your own, we recommend the courses that Yoast offers.