What Is An SEO Keyword?
What is an SEO Keyword?
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called "search queries." If you boil everything on your page — all the images, video, copy, etc. — down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.
As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
Why is Keyword so important?
Keywords are important because they are the connection between what people are searching for and the content you are providing to fill that need.
Your goal in ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages (SERPs), and the keywords you choose to target (meaning, among other things, the ones you choose to include in your content) will determine what kind of traffic you get.
If you own a golf shop, for example, you might want to rank for "new clubs" — but if you're not careful, you might end up attracting traffic that's interested in finding a new place to dance after dark.
Keywords are as much about your audience as they are about your content because you might describe what you offer in a slightly different way than some people ask for it.
To create content that ranks well organically and drives visitors to your site, you need to understand the needs of those visitors — the language they use and the type of content they seek. You can do this by talking to your customers, frequenting forums and community groups, and doing your own keyword research with a tool like Keyword Planner.
What Are Short-Tail & Long-Tail Keywords?
Singular keywords (short-tail keywords) might appear to be your ultimate goal as they often have a temptingly high search volume. However, they usually have extremely tough competition.
You may want your boutique clothing store to rank for "clothes," but it's going to be tough to rank above Zara and Uniqlo.
On top of that strong competition, singular keywords can be infuriatingly vague. If someone is searching for a "dog," you don't know if they want a list of dog breeds, information about dog food, a place to buy a dog collar or just a site with cute photos of dogs.
Long-tail keywords usually have more clearly defined intent. For example, "best organic dog food for a puppy," or "inexpensive dog walkers Seattle."
You'll also find that long-tail keywords have less competition, with room for a smaller site to break in and make their mark on the SERPs.
What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword Difficulty (also known as “SEO difficulty” or “keyword competition”) is the process of evaluating how difficult it is to rank in Google’s organic search results for a specific term.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization (SEO) or general marketing.
Keyword research can uncover queries to target, the popularity of these queries, their ranking difficulty, and more.
Keyword research helps you find which keywords are best to target and provides valuable insight into the queries that your target audience is actually searching on Google.
The insight that you can get into these actual search terms can help inform your content strategy as well as your larger marketing strategy.
People use keywords to find solutions when conducting research online.
So if your content is successful in getting in front of our audience as they conduct searches, you stand to gain more traffic. Therefore, you should be targeting those searches.
What is Keyword Stuffing?
Keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into Web content and meta tags in an attempt to artificially increase a page's ranking in search results and drive more traffic to the site.
Keyword stuffing is considered an unethical SEO technique at best and an attack technique at worst. The practice is often used to drive traffic to fraudulent or malicious websites.
Keyword stuffing in content is known as spamdexing. Keywords may be hidden in the content through a number of methods, such as matching font color to the background, setting font size to zero, or putting it behind an image.
Words and phrases used for keyword stuffing are typically relevant when visible to the reader but when keywords are hidden they are often just a list of common search phrases, such as sexual terms and celebrity names.
According to Google, keyword stuffing is not only unethical - it's also ineffective.
Meta tags are no longer used to rank websites, so keywords placed in that field are ignored. Increasingly sophisticated algorithms help Google identify not just when terms are irrelevant but also when they are out of context or overused.
Furthermore, if the hidden text is detected in content, Google may remove a site from its index so that it doesn't appear in search results at all.
Google offers some advice: "Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context."