All of your SEO efforts are more than likely going to come down to keywords. After all, people who are searching for something are using just a few keywords in their searches. So, you’re going to be filling the content on your website with those keywords in the hopes of ranking high for those keywords words and getting those clicks from those searches.
When I first started to write this video, I intended to focus more on keyword research. But it started to become a much, much larger video and I realized that it was something that was suited for a longer series or maybe even a course. And it didn’t seem like a good suit for an introductory course like this.
So today, we’re going to take a high-level overview over keywords, why they matter for SEO and even touch a little bit on keyword research.
Why keywords matter in SEO
So how do you search on Google? You probably use just a handful of words. “Web developers Dallas Texas”. “Small Business shipping.” “How to start a business”. You’re just using keywords. And so is your target market.
You need to rank for those keywords that are vital to your business. If you’re a golf store, obviously you want to rank for golf related items. And if you’re a floral store, you want to rank for those related keywords as well.
If you’re able to create content for your website like posts, pages and other resources, that are filled with those keywords and that the content is good, you’re going to start to show up in those searches. And people hopefully will start to click on your result in those searches and go to your business.
So finding those keywords that your target market is using and then ranking for those keywords is basically the entire point of SEO.
As I mentioned earlier, keyword research is something that deserves a much larger series. It’s really a big thing, and it’s probably one of the most important parts of SEO. But I do want to discuss it here briefly just to get you started.
Keyword research is essentially looking up what keywords your target market is probably using to find what they need. The real trick here is finding keywords that are popular but aren’t so popular that it’s almost impossible for you to rank for them quickly.
There are a number of tools out there that will help you to do this and I’ve left a list of them down in the description below. But know this: this is probably the hardest part of all of SEO. It takes time to figure out what keywords are going to work for you and what won’t.
So I highly encourage you to take some time and really take a deep dive into keyword research and really gain a deep understanding of it. Again, slow and steady is going to win this race.
Use keywords on the page
Where should you be placing these keywords in your posts and pages? Well, there are a lot of places.
First, you want to make sure that your keyword is in your page title or headline. This is one factor that search engines take when ranking pages for searches. It’s not everything — no one thing is everything — but, you know, it definitely helps.
Next, you’ll want to have your keywords in your subheadings as well. Meta descriptions ought to have keywords. Plus, the alternative text in images is a great place to for keywords.
And of course, you want to make sure that keyword appears a number of times in the text of your post or page. But make sure you don’t overdo it. We’ll talk about that here in about five seconds.
Don’t overuse keywords
You really want to avoid overusing keywords in your posts and pages. There is definitely an upper limit on how many times you can use it in your posts and pages before search engines start, you know, to hurt your page’s rank. If you keep using that keyword over and over and over, search engines might see that page as spammy, and it will knock it down the rankings because of that.
So it’s best to use those keywords kind of sparingly. Unfortunately, I can’t really give you a percentage on the number of times you should be using that keyword in your text. Although personally I would say at least under five percent. That in all likelihood would probably be pushing it before it starts to hurt that rank.
But instead, just write normally. If the keyword fits the sentence you’re writing, then use it. A good way sort of just to check is to read through the text again and see how it reads. If sentences start to sound clunky because you’re forcing a keyword in there, then rewrite the sentence. Keywords might help you get results, but usability and readability are going to keep people coming back.
You can also use web tools like SEO Review Tool’s Keyword Density Checker to check for keyword density and other things. And if you use WordPress, SEO plugins like Yoast can also do this for you right there in the editor.
So that’s it for keywords for today. Again, this is just a high-level overview look of keywords in SEO. And really I’m just touching the surface of it. You know as I said before, I would love to circle back to talk more in-depth on keyword research and really explore that topic for you. Especially since that’s where a lot of your SEO efforts are going to be.
In the meantime, I’ve left a number of links to outside resources and LinkedIn Learning courses so that you can take that deeper dive on your own.
If you do have any questions, feel free to leave them down in comments below or you can reach out on social media.
Next time we’ll be talking about links and how they affect SEO. But until then, I wish the best for you and your business.