When I started blogging 5 years ago, after launching my first blog the only thing on which I have been focusing was quantity of posts instead of quality.
Because I have been thinking that having lots of post on my blog will make my blog more reputable, also I will generate tons of traffic from search engines.
I was not at all aware of the importance of keywords in SEO at that time.
The next step after finishing up my blog post, all I did was a random keyword research and sprinkle all the high-ranking search terms into my post, just like any other beginner blogger would do.
And I repeated this step in almost all my other posts.
The end result I got was absolutely horrible, I was only getting 20-50 visitors per day and I was expecting it to be around 1000 – 1500 at least.
When I dig deeper into this, I find out the reasons why it sucked:
- Targeted the keywords that are very competitive already and very difficult to rank for
- I have selected the keywords that people don’t search for
- I have no idea which search terms are most popular among customers
But after finding out my mistakes, I’ve corrected it later on.
I learned this the hard way. But luckily, you don’t have to.
Today I will explain you the most fundamental concept of Search Engine Optimization – the importance of keywords.
Let’s start with the basics.
What are keywords and why are they important?
What are keywords in SEO and do I really need to bother about them?
Are they really that important to my business?
Everyone says that it’s all about the quality of content, so if I write a really good article, people will surely find it, right?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people search on the search engine (such as Google or Bing), to find out results they are looking for.
For example – “Blog” is a seed keyword, but “blogging tips”, “start a blog”, “online business ideas” is a keyword phrase.
Some keywords get 1000 of unique searches a day while others get as low as 50-100.
There are some keywords which are very competitive because various business tries to get traffic from search engines when users search for those keywords.
While choosing a keyword for your website, it’s very important to understand their importance and put some effort as well as time into keyword research.
If you do not target the right keywords to optimize for then you will fail on the first step itself.
For instance, If you have a website about shoes, do NOT try to optimize for the keyword “shoes”, “black shoes” or “Men’s shoes”.
Instead, you could try to focus on keywords like “Adidas Originals sneakers for men”, “Adidas men’s originals superstar shoes”, “Adidas sports shoes for men” etc.
Obviously, you know your business well and can correctly guess what different types of keywords people are likely to use to search for you.
But this is just an example, all I want you to do is to focus on less competitive highly specific keywords because they are more profitable and your chances of ranking on the first page are much higher.
There are many ways by which you can find out which keywords to optimize for but I will show you the basic yet effective way to find out keywords that you feel describe your business best.
Go to the semrush.com and type any keyword to get the related keywords idea.
And if you want to find out which keywords your competitors are targeting then just enter their URL and click on “Start now”.
Here is an example of the keyword “email marketing”.
I will recommend you to start focusing on topics instead of keywords and exact keyword phrases.
If you are not aware of the fact let me remind you that Google doesn’t care about the keywords anymore.
Don’t take me wrong – all I want you is to create high-quality content that actually attracts your readers instead of getting obsessed with keywords.
Doing Keyword Research For SEO
Keyword research is the process to find the right keywords in your niche that people enter into search engines.
By doing it properly it can lead to driving lots of traffic from Search engine.
The best way to do a keyword search is to spy on your competitors. Check out their website, and identify the keywords & topics they are ranking for.
If they have a blog, read their articles closely to learn more about them.
You can also take advantage of the Google keywords planner to find out more keyword ideas.
Just enter your keyword into the search box and click on “Get ideas”.
It’s worth mentioning that keywords with high traffic will have more competition than lower searched terms.
While selecting the keywords to target for, you need to consider not only the expected monthly number of searches but also the relevance of these keywords to your business.
For instance, if you are someone who provides SEO services then instead of spending lot of money to rank higher in searches for “SEO” you could rank better if you focused on “SEO services” or “SEO services in UK or US”.
The more narrow you’ll go while doing your keyword research, the more targeted traffic you will receive on your website.
Apart from using Google keyword planner tool, you can also use Google Instant Search to find your targeted keyword.
Just head over to Google and start entering your keywords but don’t hit the “enter” yet, Google will show you related keywords to what you have just entered.
For example, I have written the keyword “importance of keyword” and Google has displayed some most related keywords automatically such as “importance of keyword research”, “importance of keyword in SEO”, “importance of keyword density in SEO” and “importance of keyword in domain name”.
You can repeat the same steps while doing research on your website.
Because some of your targeted customers may like to visit these sites, If people are asking questions on those sites, it’s safe to assume that other users want the information.
You can write a complete solution for that and publish it as a blog post.
There are some more ways that you can add to your current action plan, but the ones I have shown you are sufficient for beginners to get started with keyword research.
Once you have found your ideal keywords, start writing a quality article around your target keywords.
After you have chosen the keywords that describe your business, the next step is to make your website keyword-rich and what I mean to say is to have a good keyword density for your target keywords.
Generally, the idea is that the higher the keyword density, the more relevant to the search string a page is.
I suggest you keep in between 3-5% for the major 2 or 3 keywords and 1-1.5% for minor keywords.
There are no strict rules about keyword density, different SEO experts have different thoughts about it, but all I want to convey is to optimize it reasonably and stay away from keyword stuffing which is the overuse of keywords on a web page because it’s simply not possible to have a good keyword density for more than a few keywords.
This is considered as an unethical practice and it will ultimately be harmful to your ranking including ban from the search engine.
Here is a link to one of my favorite LSI keyword finder tool, give it a try. (It’s free to use)
Keywords in Special Places
You can also use your targeted keyword in the page title, headings, the first paragraphs, it will further help you with ranking.
While writing articles use proper H1, H2, and H3 tags but don’t overuse heading tags, as improper headings and too many H2 or H3 tags makes long headings which are bad for page readability.
Ending it up, the one advice I want to give you is to put yourself in the place of potential customers and think how they would search for your business, rather than what you want to be found for.
That’s enough from my side, now I want to hear from you.
How do you come up with topic ideas?
If you have a different approach, tell me about it in the comments section below.