Just how Important are Keywords?

keywords how to rank-how important

You can find and write for terms that millions of people are already looking for. OR! You can continue writing random articles, hoping your brand will get discovered.

 

Too many writers don’t comprehend the potential impact of consistent use of SEO techniques.

 

It is understandable that many bloggers don’t realize the search engine science governing success online.  

 

Targeting keywords offer you the chance to appear for specific search quests.

 

But let’s start discussing keywords by cleaning up a common misconception.

 

 

The <META KEYWORD> MYTH

keywords how to rank-include in meta

Many webmasters are under the false assumption that telling search engines which keywords to rank for will contribute to success. No, no, no, no , no! That’s not how this works.

 

That’s not how any of this works…anymore.

 

These days search engines believe in ‘SHOW,’ not ‘TELL.’

 

<Meta keywords> are irrelevant to SEO success. But that only means you won’t rank higher by hard-coding a keyword into a page.

 

You may still, however, research and apply strategic key phrases to help shape content.

 

Search engines will rank you for the key phrase queries that your content naturally caters to.

 

Plus, catering to a key term means understanding the search intent you aim to satisfy. Your blog post will attract related terms entered by users looking to research the product. While your product page will include facts that improve conversions.

 

The keywords your page content addresses best, are the terms you will likely rank for.

 

 

INCLUDE KEYWORD IN META: Comments From The SEO Ranking Factors Study:

keywords how to rank-include in meta

  • The trend curves are flat across all volume groups, which means that the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings.
  • The higher the keyword volume is, the more pages include keywords into their meta description.
  • Less than 50% of the pages that rank for a high-volume keyword have a keyword in their meta description.
  • Of the pages that rank for a low-volume keyword, only 15% have a keyword in their meta description.

The Value of Targeting Keywords for Quality Web Content

keywords how to rank-value of targeting

If content is king, keywords are your knights in shining armor. Rank well for a popular search term with high search volume and you may conquer traffic.

 

You have to accept that you are merely one of millions posting blog content daily.  

 

And as soon as you hit publish on your blog post, you are out there against giants. Your passionate editorial on ‘inequality’ will be drowned out by larger publications (The BBC, The Washington Post, Vice Media, etc).

 

Likewise, Amazon and eBay will continue to dominate your E-commerce site.

 

You’ll find it more difficult for your blog content to stand out online unless you choose topics that are worth your time.

 

 

INCLUDE KEYWORD IN TITLE: Comments From The SEO Ranking Factors Study:

keywords how to rank-include in title

  • The trend curves for keyword occurrence in the title are flat for each keyword volume group, that is, the number of pages that have a keyword in the title remains on the same level within a volume interval.
  • The higher a keyword’s volume, the higher the percentage of pages that include the keyword in their title.
  • In the high-volume keyword group the majority of pages add a keyword to their title.

 

How do you know if a piece of content is worth your time?

keywords how to rank-content

From the keyword perspective, here is a quick checklist:

 

  • Keyword competition: Low
  • Search Volume: High
  • Personal Interest in creating content: High
  • Understanding of  search intent: High

 

If you want Google to pick you for the first position of a keyword search query then you have to show the search engine why you deserve all that traffic.

 

Start with research. What is your primary keyword?

 

Which three to five secondary keyword can you target (Tip: They typically make great subcategories for your blog posts)?

 

Which three to five tertiary keywords can you touch on in the body of your copy?

 

If you haven’t yet, conduct a structured keyphrase analysis for your site and blog posts.

 

Keyword analysis? No clue what we are talking about? Read this article on: How to Use Google Keyword Planner and Uber suggest to select Keywords.

 

INCLUDE KEYWORD DENSITY: Comments From The SEO Ranking Factors Study:

keywords how to rank-density

  • The trend curves are flat across all volume groups, which means that the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings.
  • The higher the keyword volume is, the more pages include keywords into their meta description.
  • Less than 50% of the pages that rank for a high-volume keyword have a keyword in their meta description.
  • Of the pages that rank for a low-volume keyword, only 15% have a keyword in their meta description.

 

With Google’s keyword planner you can make a decision on which keywords you would like to focus on. After entering your website category and filtering for your specific niche, choose keywords with relatively low competition and a high search volume.

 

The general rule for deciding how to approach content based on keyword search volume:

 

 

  • For low volume phrases:
  • Not enough people are looking for these search terms, certainly not enough to make thorough research a priority.
  • Feel free to broadly discuss the low volume target terms.
  • Copy dedicated to this type of keyword ought to be supported by other closely related key phrases, preferably of low volume as well.

 

  • For high volume phrases:
  • Narrow your scope. Stay as close to your primary keyword as possible while being thorough.
  • Supporting target keywords should revolve around the main idea, adding important details to content.
  • High volume keywords attract plenty of attention from webmasters like yourself. If you keep your eye on the prize and solve as many problems as the internet may come up with then you won’t have to worry about what the competition is creating.

 

If you feel good about what you intend to write; if users are looking for that bit of information; and if no one else has contributed a high-quality piece to address the same issue, your idea is worth your time.

 

Write to fill a need! But choose your primary keyword first.

 

Using Primary Keywords

keywords how to rank-primary keywords

  • Primary Keyword: Choose one!

SEO writing is an art and a science. Use an exact match of your primary keyword throughout the body of the page copy, when it makes sense.

 

However, web visitors shouldn’t realize you are simultaneously playing a game with search engines.

 

Finding clever ways to elaborate on different aspects of your primary keyword is crucial to your ability to rank for that term.

 

  • Use variations of your primary keyword like plurals and synonyms.
  • Your primary keyword should also be included in its respective page title
  • Include your primary keyword in your  meta description
  • Mention your primary keyword in the slug your page URL
  • Repeat your primary keyword in the first few words of the opening paragraph,
  • Introduce your primary keyword in the last paragraph of long-form content.

 

Ah, and P.S, while we are at it, don’t try to get clever by simply repeating your keywords multiple times in the same sentence. You can safely include exact match keywords once per  250 words.

 

Search engines frown on the blackhat technique referred to as ‘keyword stuffing’ (a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in the content of a web page in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines – Wikipedia).

 

 

Using Secondary Keywords

keywords how to rank-secondary keywords

  • Secondary keywords: Choose three to five!

Your second tier keyword is really there for the sake of search engine glory. The more you are able to touch on keywords that search engine catalog, the better you are able to provide indications of how search engines can better classify your work.

 

But secondary keywords also offer the added bonus of giving some readers context to your piece.

 

Find phrases that are closely related to your primary keyword and use your secondary keywords to help structure your piece.

 

These terms deserve a subheading, so if you can create subcategories of your topic which allow you to explore your topic more deeply.

 

Repeat your secondary terms and their synonyms one to three times throughout your page.

Using Tertiary Keywords

keywords how to rank-tertiary keywords

  • Tertiary Keywords guide: Choose three to five!

 

These are essentially meant to be sprinkled into your blog posts. Since you aren’t actively trying to rank for these terms (though you very well might), regard them as extended context for search engines.

 

Read over your written copy and complete the puzzle by finding ways to seamlessly weave your tertiary keywords into your copy. Then you can consider yourself in the upper echelon of SEO copywriters.

 

 

KEYWORD IN BODY: Comments From The SEO Ranking Factors Study:

keywords how to rank-body

  • 18% of domains ranking for high volume keywords don’t have the keyword in the body.
  • The trend curves for each keyword volume group are almost flat, showing no drastic difference between position values.
  • Over 75% of the pages that rank for a high-volume keyword have a keyword in the body of their text.
  • The higher a keyword’s volume is, the more pages include the keyword in their body copy.

 

 

A Final Word on Meta Keywords

keywords how to rank-final word

We cannot emphasize this enough: Hard coding meta keywords onto your pages has no impact on your rankings.

 

So why do plugins like wordpress’ Yoast ask you to enter a keyword if search engines don’t care? Because your SEO optimizer has to scan over your content to make sure you are giving yourself a fighting chance online.

 

Search engines may not be bothered, but plugins like Yoast will check to see if you have repeated your keywords enough times in the body of your copy. These plugins will notify you if your keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of your blog.

 

Without knowing key phrase you are targeting, it’d be a bit impossible for Yoast to tell you what’s missing from your post.

 

So yea, when it comes to meta-keywords. Don’t obsess over telling search engines what you are want to rank for. Obsess over showing them.

 

INCLUDE KEYWORD ON PAGE: Comments From The SEO Ranking Factors Study:

keywords how to rank-onpage

  • The trend curves for the page rankings are flat for both short-tail and long-tail groups; that is, there is no drastic difference between the positions.
  • Pages that rank for long-tail keywords repeat those keywords less often than pages that rank for short-tail keywords.
  • The pages on the first positions (for both long-tails and short-tails) have noticeably more keywords than all other pages.

 

How To Rank Your Pages Higher of SERP For Difficult Terms

keywords how to rank-rank higher

Link Building will help boost your web performance for terms you rank for.

 

You will eventually start writing content that goes toe to toe with the big dogs, regardless of keyword competition. But first. you need to read up on the importance of domain authority.

 

To rank higher on search engine results pages, you’ll have to attract links to your site.

 

Domain authority? No clue what we are talking about? Read this article on: Domain Authority

 

Until search engines trust your site, until you have built up enough relevant backlinks to your site, we will bide our time.

 

Take advantage of the low hanging fruit, for now.

 

As soon as search engines regard your website as authoritative, work on pieces that would have been too difficult to rank for before.

 

These competitive key term topics tend to be more fun to write as they are more popular and lucrative concepts.

 

Keyword Search Engine Optimization Tips:

eywords how to rank-SEO tips

  1. PRIORITIES: What are your primary, secondary and tertiary keywords.
  2. PRIMARY POTENTIAL: Choose a primary keyword with relatively low competition and a high monthly search volume.
  3. URL: Include primary keyword in the slug of the URL
  4. TITLE: The earlier the primary keyword appears in the page title, the better.
  5. META DESCRIPTION: Mention the primary keyword within the first sentence.
  6. HEADINGS: For blog copy, your title ought to be optimized as stated above and tagged with the <H1> HTML attribute. Related key terms and secondary keyword should be modified with the <H2>  HTML attribute when they are featured as titles of subcategories.
  7. BODY OF COPY: Keywords should appear in the first paragraph and spread throughout body of copy.
  8. IMAGES: Modify the alternate text to include the focus keyword term when relevant
  9. SECONDARY KEYWORD: Use one to three times per blog post
  10. TERTIARY KEYWORD: Use once per blog post