SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving the quality of a website to make it rank higher in search engines, and be found by those searching particular terms or keywords. The higher the ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), the more likely users are to see and click onto the website.
The first step in the SEO optimisation process is to ensure that SEO keywords are used sufficiently and appropriately. But what are these keywords, how can you identify the relevant ones for your business and how should they be used?
What are SEO Keywords?
SEO keywords are words and terms users type into a search engine as a search enquiry. These same keywords in website content help the algorithm programs behind search engines understand the theme or topic of the website: which they can then match up with the same enquiries being typed in by users to display the most appropriate search engine results.
In more traditional terms, keywords are the index terms of the internet. Index terms are the theme or essence of a topic in a document, making up a controlled vocabulary for use in bibliographic records. Libraries and informational retrieval services collect, organise and disseminate documents in this way – and the use of SEO keywords is simply the same practice, but digitally.
Why are Keywords important?
Search engines have become a way of life for all of us and to ‘Google’ something has entered the everyday lexicon. With over 8.5 billion searches on Google daily (and plenty others on other search engines), businesses need to ensure that they’re present and prominent in search engine results to gain and maintain competitive advantage.
Many people default to an online search when looking for a product, service, experience or brand – making it a crucial marketing tool. There are few very businesses who will never be searched for online and so it’s critical to show up as a solution where customers are seeking one.
Different types of SEO Keywords
While the use of such themes online is usually referred to as keywords, there are a variety of different types of vocabulary used and they’re often not just single words. There are four types of intentional SEO keywords; that is, those defined by the intent behind the searching of them. These are:
- Informational keywords – used to find the answer to a specific question or general information
- Navigational keywords – used to find a specific webpage or website
- Commercial keywords – used to investigate brands, products or services
- Transactional keywords – used to complete an action of purchase.
For the words or phrases themselves, there are eight different types of SEO keywords:
- Short-tail SEO keywords – keywords made up of three words or less. The most popular type of keywords by search volume but also the most competitive
- Long-tail SEO keywords – keywords made up of more than three words. More specific searches than short-tail, but less popular by volume and less competitive
- Fresh SEO keywords – a short-term and current keyword or phrase; that is, something that will be searched for a lot at a certain time (ie. For a news story or film release), but then will drop in searches sharply thereafter
- Long-term evergreen SEO keywords – keywords that are relevant all the time. Search volume may fluctuate but not extremely
- Product defining SEO keywords – keywords that explain and describe products
- Customer-defining SEO keywords – keywords that reflect the person searching them
- Geo-targeting SEO keywords – keywords that specify a geographical location
- LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) SEO keywords – thematic keywords that are closely related to the main keyword used.
All SEO keywords need to be used and targeted adequately and appropriately to best ‘tap in’ to the search engine’s programming and rank well in results.
Finding the right Keywords for your business
It is imperative that businesses research properly into the keywords relevant for their brand, products and services in order to ensure that what they’re presenting matches up with what real customers are searching for.
This is achieved through the specific practice of SEO keyword research, which investigates and establishes exactly what is being searched and by whom.
There are a variety of keyword research tools available but their relevance and focus differs. Moz Keyword Explorer is considered a good ‘all-rounder’, and Semrush is favoured by SEO professionals. RankIQ focuses more on providing SEO-driven content and Jaaxy is a specialist service for affiliate marketers. Keyword Surfer is a newer tool that works as a browser extension for non-SEO professionals.
Keyword research needn’t be a lengthy process but it should be done properly to avoid the onward SEO strategy presenting incorrectly and resulting in little to no benefit. It is always best to consult with professionals before embarking on an SEO strategy to ensure that the keyword research has been done accurately and will inform the work positively.
Get support with Keywords and SEO Services
Woya Digital are always on-hand to help support with SEO services. We carry out a thorough SEO keyword research process before making any recommendations and will establish the target audience and ideal persona with customers before any work is initiated.
Our team work on a continuous learning cycle to keep abreast of all the latest Google updates and algorithm changes. SEO can be a tricky discipline to master but we thrive on the challenge!