What are keywords and how to use them to improve SEO?
SEO keywords

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Have you heard about keywords for SEO and want to start using them more effectively? Take a look through this short article which will introduce you to keywords and tell you how to apply them in your website to drive the best results.

Have you researched improving your website SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) yourself or reached out to an SEO agency to help you? If so, you’re likely to have come across ‘keywords,’ one of the most powerful SEO strategies you can use to boost your site.

Using the right keywords in your website content can be a simple and effective way to vastly improve your site’s performance and ranking on search engines. However to get the best results, you need to ensure your keywords are well-researched, carefully chosen, and used in the correct context.

But what exactly are ‘keywords,’ how do you get them to work for your business, and how do they improve your SEO?

Why is SEO so important in marketing?

Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine? However, 75% of people searching don’t look past the first page of results. If you want your business to get noticed, your website must rank highly.

Neglect SEO, and your offering won’t get the attention and success it deserves. Educate yourself about SEO, or engage an SEO agency to help, and you’ll be able to make your website more visible. This means increased visits from prospective customers and, therefore, greater opportunities and potential sales. You can find out more about SEO in our previous blog.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words and phrases that your potential customers are using right now to search for content online. If you can work out what they are, you can use these keywords to ensure that you are visible on search engine results – ideally on page one. This gives you a much better opportunity to connect with prospective customers looking for businesses just like yours. That's why keyword research and planning is among the most in-demand SEO services from an SEO agency.

How do keywords help your SEO?

When a potential customer uses a search engine to find the service or product you offer, you want your company to be top of the list. You need to drive as much organic traffic to your site from search engine result pages (SERPs) to get the best ranking.

The keywords you include in your content really matter because they directly influence what kind of traffic you get and how relevant it is to your individual website.

When you write a product description or design a page describing your services, it’s not just about making them sound as attractive as possible. You need to include the right keywords to make your content more visible to potential customers. Think of keywords as signposts that will direct future clients to your website.

Why are they so important and why might you need an SEO agency?

Keywords are essential to make your website pages more relevant to what people search for. Use the best performing keywords (an SEO consultancy can help identify these), and your potential customers will be much more likely to find your content in their search results. The more relevant traffic you get to your site, the higher you’ll rank on search engine result pages.

But there are pitfalls to avoid. For example, imagine you run a sports shop and choose ‘golf club’ as a keyword. You’ll end up with searchers looking for somewhere to play rather than buy new equipment. An SEO agency can help you sidestep this type of mistake by identifying keywords which are less generic. This will ensure there are no ambiguous keywords to send you off course.

How do I work out what keywords I need?

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Keyword research brainstorm

Have a long hard look at everything on your website page: What do you do? What are your main products and services? If a customer or client had to describe your business in a few simple words and phrases, what would they says? It is always good to do this as a team or something outside of your business to get a more varied insight.

Think about what your audience will be searching for. Which words might potential clients use to search for the service you provide? To find the right keywords that will rank well organically and drive visitors to your site, research the language your potential customer is most likely to use.

Look back through your customer correspondence, try a customer survey, and keep an eye on the forums and social media your target audience use. An SEO agency can undertake keyword research for you to pin down the most effective words you can use for your business. Or you can use one of the many websites that offer SEO services tools like Keyword Explorer.

How to apply keywords:

Once you’ve identified the right keywords to improve your website’s SEO, it’s time to start incorporating them into your site content. Here’s a helpful list of where to apply keywords to get the maximum benefit and supercharge your site SEO. It’s important to note that these SEO technics work together holistically on your website.

1. URLs

Always try and include the primary keyword in the page’s URL. Any SEO agency will tell you that using a URL including keywords can significantly improve your site's search visibility.

2. Headings

Headings make your website content easier to read and digest, but make sure they include your keywords too.

Google works out what’s most important in your content by using the HTML tags used to identify H1s, H2s, and H3s. Adding keywords to the headings in your content is a great way to try and rank for multiple keywords.

3. Page copy

Aim to include your primary keyword in the first sentence or paragraph of your page copy. Then distribute your keywords as evenly as you can throughout your text. Moderation is key; your copy should sound natural, not spammy. Don’t try and squeeze a keyword into every sentence! It is better to just have one keyword and support keyword within the copy just once rather than make the copy read badly. Google AI is now showing preference to sites with well written copy so keyword stuffing must be avoided.

4. Alt tags

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Adding Alt Tags for Keywords

Another SEO agency tip: always use images in your content. They are essential to drive engagement and hold your prospective client’s attention. Make sure you use your keywords in the image alt-tag, which improves visibility during image searches and improves your content ranking.

5. Meta tags

Remember to add your SEO keywords to your meta descriptions too. Use it at the beginning of the description if possible and only include the keyword once to avoid over saturation.

6. Anchor text

Want another SEO consultancy quick win? Use a keyword as anchor text. This builds an internal link structure that shows Google where the most important articles are for exact keyword phrases. And remember not to link to another page if you’re using a primary keyword in anchor text (this tells Google to look for the keyword in the page you’re linking to, rather than the current page).

7. Page strategy

If you have updated all your pages and added keywords to the different sections but feel that you can’t add all your keywords in a natural way you need to take a look at your overall website and page strategy for SEO. Perhaps you need to develop some new pages to support your local SEO. For example if you have a cleaning company maybe you need to develop page/s which show the areas you cover which will give you the opportunity to use keywords like ‘Cleaning Company East Sussex’.

All done? Once you’ve applied your keywords to these areas, it’s a good idea to contact an SEO agency and get them to run a website check for you. You can register for ours here. This ensures you’ve included enough keywords in all the right places. Essential if you want to be certain your keyword strategy is going to pay off.

Keep your keywords relevant and beware of ‘stuffing’

It’s important to mention relevant keyword as much as possible, but make sure what your writing makes sense. As a rule of thumb, using a target keyword in 500-words of copy more than 15 times is a big no. It will get flagged by Google as stuffing and could harm your SEO ranking.

Speak to an SEO agency if you’re worried you’ve been too heavy-handed with your keywords. They can use a keyword density analyser to give you an audit, and you can then reduce the keyword usage if necessary.

Keyword grouping

Keen to increase how many searchers find your content? Keyword grouping could help you. It works by creating groups or clusters of related keywords, which you then use to create content optimised for multiple search terms.

By using a group of keywords instead of just one, you’ll increase the visibility of your content, attract more potential customers and avoid keyword ‘cannibalisation.’ This is the term used to describe the use of the same keyword for multiple pages of content. Which can result in your content essentially competing against itself to rank for that search term.

How can a digital marketing agency help you get more from keywords?

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Keyword Planning with a specialist agency

Wondering how your target keywords are performing? A digital marketing agency can help you find out by tracking them. Monitoring how your website ranks for target keywords will allow you to see if your SEO strategy is working. It can also help you track how your competitors are ranking and provide valuable insight into their SEO practices.

If you want to get the most from keywords, you need to continually expand the keywords you are using. Be sure to keep adding new relevant keywords to your current keyword list, enabling you to rank for more keywords and gain more web traffic. An agency can help you find keywords you might not have thought of, with less competition and higher conversion rates.

How can SEO agency Prophecy help you?

As industry experts, Prophecy are specialist in using innovative SEO consultancy techniques to vastly improve your website ranking. We’re an SEO agency with the right experience to get your brand the exposure it deserves, stay ahead of the competition, and boost your business prospects.

Curious to find out how your website currently ranks? Click here for a FREE website check audit.

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