Best Ways to Use Keywords for Boosting Website Traffic
Correctly using keywords is one of the most critical parts of an effective online marketing strategy. Optimizing and developing content for specific keywords is one of the most surefire ways of generating organic traffic.
Keywords are words or phrases used within a certain topic. It also defines the problem or topic and provides an entry point for the searcher. They use a specific keyword to describe the problem, question or a certain subject that they wish to get more information about.
It is why search engines such as Google operate based on keywords and many other factors. To help searchers and provide them with high quality webpages and content that is truly relevant to their search. Using keywords is your way of helping the search engines do that. You provide them and users with exactly what they are looking for and get a high rank and loads of organic traffic in return.
Keywords are very important for many reasons. Without them nobody would know what you’re providing.
Keywords help users and search engines understand the exact purpose of your website and its pages. People land on your page with an intention. Search engines work to make sure that the right people, with the right intentions land on the right webpages. They do it by crawling your website and checking its keywords and other factors.
So, to put it simple, keywords create the foundation of your website’s content. They define all the text and media that is uploaded onto your site.
Although during recent years, the importance of keywords has been greatly reduced, since there were too many exploits. Many webpages spammed their keywords, misleading search engines and visitors alike.
But keywords should definitely not be disregarded and they are still a very important factor for Google in how they rank their websites. Still, optimizing for keywords isn’t enough. You’ll have to do a lot more to get on top of the search engine ranking page. Building an authority website and gaining trust it is a really time consuming but effective process. It is also a delicate process because if you don’t comply with certain rules you can end up getting penalized by Google, which will smash your website rank in the face. So be sure to avoid using spam techniques and keyword stuffing. Keep your keyword use as straight forward and relevant as possible. Find the right keywords and optimize!
Here, we’ll only be focusing on the initial phase of your SEO efforts, which is developing a strong keyword strategy and implementing it throughout your webpage. So let’s dive into the topic without further ado!
To help you gain more organic traffic that you can convert into customers or returning visitors, we have created this guide. So keep reading to know how to use keywords on your website!
Plan Your Keywords
Once you have established what your website will be about or even if you haven’t really done that, it is time to pick your keywords. You’ll want to pick some high-performing keywords that will drive relevant traffic to your website. This is a separate art in itself.
Choosing keywords and developing keyword strategies is an essential part of any successful search engine marketing campaign. You’ll have to decide how many keywords and key phrases you will target. You’ll also have to decide which keywords your website will target based in commercial intent, relevance. The keyword’s competitive potential is also very important, because there are probably a lot of other websites ranking for the same keywords or key-phrases. It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond then a small fish in a big pond. This means that it’s better to aim for keywords with less competition than keywords with a lot of competition.
Once you have this established, it’s time to correctly use these keywords on your website. It is done by optimizing the webpages and content of your website. The fact that you did it shouldn’t be noticeable by anyone who doesn’t have knowledge in SEO. They will just see a high quality webpage that provides them with the information they were looking for. By achieving this, you’ll be favored by both your visitors and Google as well.
Creating Your List of Keywords and Key Phrases
There is a lot to look through and brainstorming keywords can get quite confusing sometimes, so it’s good to stick with a couple of anchors. Answer these questions to keep your focus on the straight road and to find your most relevant and most competitive keywords. Your task here is to find relevant and searched for keywords and come up with a comprehensive and competitive set of keywords. It’s important to invest time, effort and plenty of research into this phase, because it creates the base of your SEO campaign. To put it simply, your main task is targeting people’s intent and interest.
So first, we set out to create a list of starting terms or Seed Keywords. It can also be described as “Naming your Niche”. This will be the foundation of your keyword research.
Ask Yourself the Core Questions and Answer Them
What question will you answer? – Nowadays, people are making more and more specific searches and type questions instead of just keywords. The content you publish should be able to answer these questions and provide the information they’re looking for, first and foremost. It’s a way of providing value to the visitor first. Once you have identified your perspective visitors’ most frequently asked questions, create a list of keywords and key phrases that match the various search queries users would type.
How would you describe your website and what it provides to absolute newcomers? – This is similar to a sales pitch. What is the most straightforward, short and simple way that you would use to describe your company or website? Not everyone will know the keywords of what they are looking for, so it’s important to think outside of the box. Usually, their search query originates from questions, a problem or their core interests. Also, keywords vary in different languages, so you should always keep the nationality of your target audience in mind. So your core task here is finding out what people search for under your niche topics. Understand what your audience wants to see and what they type into the search engine on a daily basis.
What are your website’s goals? – Do you want your website to gain more authority or exposure? Will you convert your visitors into leads and sales? You have to align these with the amount of resources you want to invest and your deadlines. This way, you can get a much clearer image of the strategy you have to work with. Sometimes, it’s hard to relate to the SEO strategies you come across, because you’re not taking much of what resources and materials you have to work with into account. So your main task here is to set goals and your framework based on available resources and time on your hands. This way, you’ll have clear objectives and will be able to determine your competitiveness and run a more focused campaign.
Generate Keyword and Key Phrase Ideas
Once you have established your niche and figured your seed keywords out, you have taken a small but an important step. Now it’s time to let your brain run free and generate keyword ideas. Take your time to brainstorm and write down everything that comes to mind.
Sometimes, the most unlikely combination and the most unusual idea proved to be the most successful. So even if you’re at your 20th combination, keep going until your well runs dry. You’ll also grasp a better understanding of what people are most frequently searching for in Google.
The Two Types of Keywords
To generate useful keyword ideas, it’s important to grasp two concepts. You probably noticed that I’ve been using the terms Keyword and Key Phrase. This is because there are two types of ‘keywords’. We can use Broad Keywords (keywords) and Long-tail Keywords (key phrases).
Broad Keywords are one or two words at max. They are usually general and are the main words that would apply for a niche or an industry. They could also apply to each and every website within your niche, because they grasp a broad selection of websites.
Broad keywords are simple words such as:
As you can guess, these five words alone grasp tens of thousands of websites. They also have a very high search volume and a huge competition. So, coming back to my previous metaphor, you would be a small fish in a big pond if you would rank for these keywords. They are very general to your niche, so you’ll have to be more specific and focused, which brings us to Long-tail keywords.
Long-tail Keywords are phrases composed of more than two or three words. They are more specific to any kind of niche or industry and also easier to rank for. By using the right variations of words or the right key phrase, you can create a more powerful and focused SEO campaign.
Long-tail keywords are phrases like:
- The fastest sports cars
- Mobile technology
- Android smartphones
- Travel to Cuba
- Good investment opportunities
- American football teams
As you can see, long-tail keywords will be much more specific to your website or business. They also have a much lower search volume of course but a lot less competition as well. So optimizing for these keywords will be much easier. You’ll get visitors more easily and they will also be a lot more likely to convert.
Analyze Your Competition
Your competition (other websites built around your topic or niche) has probably invested a lot of work into ranking for their chosen keywords. You can research all the keywords they’re ranking for and choose the best ones for yourself. It’s not theft, it is just information! You can also generate a lot more keyword ideas this way.
A good way to check your competitors out is to do a Google search based on your chosen keywords. Just look at who comes up on the first page and maybe the next one.
It’s best to analyze your competitor’s websites, not the keywords they use. Think of their domains as a big basket of keywords. A single website can optimize for hundreds, maybe even thousands of related keywords at once. Once you’ve found enough keywords, target as many out of them as you can.
Once you’ve found out who your competition is and what keywords they are ranking for, it is time to use as many keyword research and SEO tools as you possibly can. There are a lot of free SEO tools that you can use online, but you will be much better off with investing into paid software. That way, you’ll get your hands on even more information and will be able to make better choices.
Use Keyword Research Tools
This part would deserve a huge heading in itself, but we’ll keep it more subtle. Keyword research tools will give you reports of your competitors and of keywords. Good ones will give you highly accurate, hands-on information that will help you look through what people are searching for the most and how you can leverage that.
These keyword research tools will help you fill your page with a massive load of relevant keyword ideas. But you’ll also have to be looking for keywords that none of your competitors have ranked for yet. Doing good keyword research is a time consuming and attention demanding process, so do take your time and do it right.
Here are some popular keyword research tools to use:
Once you’ve established a long list of keywords, further your research with Google Keywords Planner. Copy each of them in and see how many people have been searching for them. You can get traffic estimates for those keywords and their search volume as well.
But remember that each and every SEO marketer uses Google AdWords Keyword Planner, so the program displays the same “keyword ideas” to them as well. You’ll still get your hands on valuable data, but it’s up to you to make the right conclusions and decisions.
After smashing the search button, you can download your results and see the number of average monthly searches for your keywords.
Once that’s done, you have data you can use and a list you can choose your keywords from.
Look Through Your List and Choose the Best Keywords
Once you have your fine little keyword list ready, it’s time to prioritize them and weed out the ones that wouldn’t be good to rank for.
So, we finally got to the part where we pick the keywords you want to go after.
Your perspective keywords should comply with the following criteria:
- They have to work well with your website’s niche.
- Use long-tail keywords with more specific intent.
- Use key phrases that have 100+ or a couple of thousand searches per month.
- Don’t use keywords that don’t have at least 100 monthly searches or are too competitive.
Usually, high volume keywords with high competition have the most searches with the most buying intent, but it’s really hard to rank for them. The lane is crowded with sites that have been ranking well so far and it takes a lot of time to optimize for them. But if these are the ones you want to or have to work with, you definitely can.
Medium volume keywords that have medium competition and an unspecified level of buying intent are usually the best to go after. It’s worth putting in some extra work to get traffic from these searches and you’ll definitely make some money off them.
Low volume keywords with low competition usually don’t have as much buying intent as the others, but they are easy to catch and rank for. You can make a small amount of money with these, which is still good if you rank for them along medium volume keywords.
Always Keep it Fresh
SEO has many moving parts and one of those parts is the searcher’s intent. As I see it there is still a lot of untapped potential in many keywords that are yet to be tapped. Also, keyword volume is in constant change and is driven by many unpredictable factors, such as trend. Over the years, the number of long-tail keyword searches will definitely increase, so it’s best to be ready for them.
Once you develop and create your website’s content, it’s important to always implement new keywords and rank for them.
Be sure that this isn’t the only guide you read and that you come up with your own research techniques. Brainstorming and using keyword research tools is only the tip of the iceberg and there are a lot of other places on the Internet, where you can search for good keyword ideas. Take Reddit for example.
You can produce a much more in-depth keyword analysis with your own methods. Don’t be shy to put some work and effort into it.
But if you want to stick with something that works, you have plenty of already developed keyword research methods.
- If you’re doing SEO to boost the awareness of your company, have a strategy for branding as well. Keep your keywords consistent by using a consistent terminology for describing your business and what it has to offer.
- Always have keywords that are relevant to your website’s content. What kind of keywords would you have anyway? People will also read your keywords as they do their search and decide whether they want to see your stuff or not.
How To Use Keywords On Your Website
Finally, you can feel like you haven’t been fooled by the title. We’re going to get down to how you can actually implement your chosen keywords into your website.
Once you have chosen the list of keywords you’re going to be optimizing for, it’s time to actually optimize for them and earn yourself a better rank. Although, do keep in mind what I’ve mentioned before. SEO has changed significantly over the years and your keywords have less importance in your overall optimization process.
There are three questions to answer once you start the optimization process. All of them are quite technical and have some well-established methods when it comes to answering them.
- Ideally, how many times should you use a certain keyword within a webpage?
- How to vary your keywords?
- In which parts of your website should you use your keywords?
These questions are all tackled from an on-page SEO perspective and don’t require much in depth understanding.
How Many Times Should You Use a Keyword within a Webpage?
Here are the seven places where you can place your keywords. How many of these you use is up to you, but you should definitely use at least four. If you decide you want to use all of them, you can, but you should use multiple variations of your keyword. If you don’t use different variations and write the same keywords for all 8 of these, you’ll soon have Google knocking on your door with a nice over-optimization penalty.
Also know that if your readers notice too many of the same keywords within a post, then they’re likely to see it as spam and even search engines might come to that conclusion too.
If you’re doing blog posts or producing articles, focus on only one or two key phrases within the post. Don’t do the nasty thing called keyword stuffing; placing too many keywords within a post. You’ll have to focus your keywords on the first 200 words of an article and the end of the article and of course the title. You’ll have to find a subtle balance between using your keywords and creating a title that motivates readers to click and read through the entire post.
To make things more straight forward and technical, see the parts where you’ll have to use keywords.
You should use your keywords or variations of it two times within either of the following:
- The main content, body content of your webpage.
- The URL of the page.
- The main header H1 Tag of the webpage.
You also have to use them twice within these:
- The Image Tag or Image Alt-tags.
- The Meta Description.
- In any link text used within the content.
- Site Navigation Link Text
How To Vary Your Keywords?
A page can be ranked for multiple keywords at once, but those keywords have to be in the same context or close relation to one another, so the whole thing makes sense. You can’t use the keyword “banana” and “television” within the same context but you can definitely do it with “banana” and “syrup”.
So use your main keyword with some additional keyword (like syrup, review, cheap and so on), something that is relevant and something you can use “banana” with.
Where to Place Keywords on Your Website?
Within the H1 Tag: Also known as the main header. It usually contains the title of the post. The main header tells the reader what the post or page is about. It is the first thing you lay eyes on when you come across an article in a social media site or any other website.
The Title of the page (<title>): One of the most important places to add your keywords. But remember to implement your keyword into a short phrase or combination of words, not just your keyword itself.
The Page Content: The main content of the page. It is the written text which contains your article, post or the description of your product and service. Your keywords should make up 1% of this written content. Meaning, your ‘keyword density’ should be 1%. You can check the keyword density of your content with an online keyword density checker. But if you’re just writing your text naturally, that will work as well.
The URL of the Page: Here, you can easily add your keywords without having to add them into a unique sentence or phrase. You can finely place it within the page slug like so “www.AnEpicWebsite/page-and-the-keywords”. But it’s not possible to use keywords when you’re trying to rank your homepage.
Meta Description: The meta description of your webpage is more important for users than it is for search engines. It is the text displayed under the title of your website, when it is displayed in the search results.
Although, search engines don’t use it in their ranking algorithm, they do bold your keywords if they find it to highlight any relevancy.
The Image File Name: You shouldn’t just give random names to your photos like “picture32.jpg”. Instead, include your keywords within the image tag as well, like keywords.jpg.
So, it should look like this <img src=”image-name-and-keywords.jpg” title=”The title of the image with keywords included” alt=”Description of the image with your keywords included”>.
Text in the Site Navigation Link: You should implement your keywords into the links that form your main navigation bar. But use different variations of it and don’t spam these links with the exact keywords that you used in the previous places.
That’s all for today folks! This doesn’t cover the entire SEO process of course, but it sure does cover the beginning of it. These are the first things you have to do, in order to start your journey towards a good ranking. If you want to get to the top, there is a lot more to read, to look through, to understand and to implement, so be sure to read our upcoming articles as well. We will describe more useful SEO tactics and the ones that you should avoid, namely black hat SEO techniques.
Optimizing your webpage can be a long and timely process, but it can help your company or website get to the ROI you want out of it. It will take time, devotion and effort, but you can definitely do it by doing the right things. Be sure to read this article thoroughly and to read others as well, so you can grasp a more complete understanding of what you have set out to do.
I hope that you’ve learnt more about SEO through this article. Also, that you’ve enjoyed reading through it and that we’ll see you again in the next one! Stay safe!