Needless to say, the words people type into a search box of a search engine are important! These words are called keywords, and it is necessary that you optimize your web page accordingly with the best keywords to be able to rank better in the search engine results pages (for organic traffic).
Proper keyword optimization not only helps your website rank better, but would also help in attracting the right kind of traffic, which is in line with your products and services.
In this article, you will learn more about SEO and how keyword research is an important part of on-page SEO optimisation.
What is SEO, Anyway?
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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which simply means driving traffic, both in terms of quality and quantity to the website. If you wan to learn more about SEO in general head over to this page.
No matter the niche of your website, whether it be business, or a charity or a simple blog site, SEO plays a vital role in establishing the existence of the site by boosting its visibility and enhancing its reach.
What SEO Does?
SEO provides the ability for the search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex or DuckDuckGo to index the site better so that, for the incoming users, the relevant links become useful.
For example, if you are searching for some subject on the internet, any search engine will try to provide you with the result which will be more relevant to you.
As per a report from InternetLiveStats, Google receives over 67000 searches per second in a day. While doing so, the search engine robots have to “understand” the site properly. This is where SEO comes into the picture and helps the search engines understand and reach your website.
Benefits of SEO
There are multiple benefits of SEO which makes it an important marketing effort. Here are a few ways in which SEO helps you:
- Bridging the gap between your content and your audience
Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Let’s say, you own shoesselling ecommerce store in Oakland. Thus, whenever a user searches for online shoes in Oaklandor any other similar query, SEO helps you by popping your website on top ranks. The only condition is that your website should be well-optimized for your target keywords.
This is how SEO attracts right kind of traffic to your website.
- Increased sales
In business, letting people know about your product is very important. If people don’t know about the product that you are selling, obviously they will be less inclined to buy it. SEO helps you bring the right set of audiences who are in search of services and products similar to yours.
As per a recent report, 82% ofthe marketers agreed on the effectiveness of the SEO, and this is what makes it an effective sales strategy.
- Building trust
The better you rank in the search engines results; the more trust people would have on you. As the search engines themselves have gone through a range of evolutions to spot between the authenticated links and the shady ones, people have started to trust more on the results of search engines.
- Increasing brand awareness
Needless to say, when people start building trust over your brand, this increases your brand awareness and benefits you positively.
- Better than even paid advertising
No one likes advertised products. Free and natural publicity is the best kind of publicity. This is what SEO equips you with. SEO drives organic traffic to your website, thus proving better than paid advertising.
Do’s and Don’ts for SEO
There are few things you could do in order to bring a greater presence in search engine. But there are also other aspects you should avoid as much as possible.
Here are a few aspects that you should probably take care of:
- Creating a unique and accurate page title is very important. Most search engines will put more emphasis on the title and Meta description (though not in every case) while showing the search result. Hence, you should provide the glimpse of your content in these sections though without overwhelming the users.
- Using headings to emphasize on important points helps the crawler to index the page better.
- Further, it is highly recommended to keep your content updated from time to time. As per a report, rephrasing and republishing your older posts can increase traffic by about 111%.
- Structured data markup is a structure based upon which the search appearance could vary. There is a different markup for blogs or movies or kitchen recipes and if you will follow that, the search engines will also be able to provide more relevant content.
- Easy navigation is a must from both user and crawler perspective.
- Simplify the address of the site so that both the user and the crawler could understand it easily.
But there will be few aspects which you should avoid as much as possible.
- Copying large content could actually harm your site more than benefiting it. Copy means you will lose the gravity that comes with unique content. And hence, on the same subject, the search engine will prefer more to those sites which give unique content than those which have duplicated ones.
- Keywords doplay a pivotal role in search engine optimization. But, overusing could yield negative results. As it has been said above, in recent times, unique quality content is what search engines thrive for and hence, keywords though play an important role, but overusing them could lead to negative page ranking than a positive one.
- Linking to an external site far too often could trigger the search engines in a negative way. There have been cases where sites are penalized for following an unnatural pattern of outbound links. Hence you should be very careful about what links you put in your site as Google or other search engines could see it as trying to manipulate the search results.
- Last but not the least, don’t try to cheat the system. In this aspect, you will probably have heard two terms very often. White hat and Black Hat SEO.
What are Black and White Hat SEO?
- White Hat SEO
White hat SEO is search engine optimization with a view to providing rich quality content to the audience which is also preferred by the search engines. In white hat techniques, the target is to provide the human audience with content that will be more and more relevant to their requirement.
- Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is search engine optimization when one uses technique merely to go higher up the ranks via manipulating the algorithms but little or no importance is put on how it will be useful to the human audience. It is used more by those who want a quick shortcut way to go up in the ranks at the cost of getting penalized at any point in time.
Keyword Research is an Important Part of SEO
Like we already discussed, it ultimately zeros down to the right choice of keywords. Now, the next important question is – how to find the right keywords?
- Ask yourself
One of the best ways to judge if you have chosen the right keywords is to ask yourself. Are the keywords in line with your website content?
Will your target audiences be happy when they land on your website and would your website be able to provide what they are looking for?
- Search the keyword in the major engines
Once you have shortlisted the keywords, do not forget to search forthem in the search engines. This would help you understand which websites are already ranking for the given keywords and if they are in the sameindustry as yours.
- Make use of keyword research tools
There are various resources which can help you in this regard. You can make use of online tools like Moz Keyword Explorer,Google Trends, Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand, Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tooland Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence.
- Focus on long tail keywords
Long tail keywords provide better related traffic. Going back to the online shoestore, chances are high that your website would rank better for ‘online shoes Oakland’ rather than for ‘shoes’.
Recent SEO Case Studies
The most used search engine, Google, has gone through several updates in order to establish an environment where the results will be more relevant to the users.
The panda update was related to the quality of content. During this update, many sites were penalized for contents which were of low quality, yet by manipulating the algorithm and black hat SEO, were higher up in the ranks.
After this update, more and more quality content started to appear in the search results than those from the content farms.
This major update was related with link quality. In this update, those sites were penalized which used some shady practice for acquiring low-quality links in order to manipulate the algorithm that is used by Google.
This update revolves around providing more specific results to the queries. If the query is more specific, Google will also try to dig out results as relevant as possible. For example, if you are searching for a specific section of an organization, instead of showing results to the landing page of the organization, Google will try to dig deeper to bring results that deals with that specific section.
Thus, search engines have come a long way since inception and so is the search engine optimization in order to bring a more user-friendly environment to the audience.
This was all about SEO keywords in brief! So, what are your views on this? How do you take care of your website SEO? Do let us know in the comments below!