What Are Keywords
SEO Jargon Explained
Even if you know nothing about SEO Keywords is a term you have probably heard many times, they are very important and lie at the heart of SEO.
What are Keywords?
When someone is looking for something on a search engine they type a word or set of words into the search bar.
These words are the search term.
If the search term matches with text on your web page, your page is listed in the SERPS. (Search Engine Results Pages)
The words making up the search term are the keys which get your pages seen so we call them keywords, any word can be a keyword.
A keyword can be thought of as a word or short phrase which sums up the content of you website or web page.
Because most people will use the same words when searching for the same thing, the words they use the most often are the most 'valuable' keywords.
eg:- Most people looking for football boots will use 'football boots' somewhere in their search term. So most businesses selling football boots would like their web pages to be listed on page 1 of SERPS for the keyword 'football boots'.
Organic (Natural) Keywords
In 95% of all searches people do not click on the paid ads, they click on the Organic (natural) search results.
Google will automatically list in the SERPS every single page which has text matching the keywords in the search term. Those with the highest page authority* are listed highest.
These are not paid advertisements
Example :- If you type in "football boot"s you will find about 11.5 million pages with text matching "football boots" listed in the SERPS.
With common or valuable keywords (like "football boots" or "cheap Flights" or "online blackjack") the companies listed in the Organic results on page 1 are big players and either have their own in-house SEO & marketing teams or are spending £1000s per month with SEO agencies.
Realistically, with a few hours DIY SEO a week you will never beat teams of highly dedicated SEO professionals on getting your pages listed for these common keywords, but there are ways you can compete with those big companies and get a page 1 listing when people search for your product or services by carefully selecting which keywords you include in your websites content see our Article on Keyword Planning.
Paid for Keywords (PPC)
In paid for campaigns you bid for keywords. Who is willing to pay the most for a certain keyword will get their Ad listed on Google page 1 (as long as the page also has good page authority*) when the chosen keywords are entered in the search bar.
Every time some one clicks on that ad the winning bidder pays Google the bid amount, this is why it's called pay-per-click (PPC).
Keywords associated with online gambling cost well over £100 per click, with ones for legal and technical services costing over £50. Some businesses are spending more on single clicks than some of our clients total monthly SEO budget!
This is one reason we tell our small business clients to think long and hard before embarking on PPC campaigns.
How to use keywords
You want your web page to appear in the SERPS when people look for your product or service using a search engine, to do this you need to put words into the content of your web pages matching the words people will enter when searching.
If you provide gardening services in Cardiff you need to put the words "Gardening services Cardiff" into the content of your page, you need to include it in the page title and in the short description which appears on the SERPS under the title (the Snippet).
"Gardening Services Cardiff" will be your keyword for your home page. You may use variations of this on other pages eg:- "Local gardener in Cardiff" as the keyword for your services page.
You try choosing keywords to get at least one of your web pages listed for any search being made for gardening in your local area. "Hedge cutting in Cardiff", "Garden clearance in Cardiff" etc...
Repeating the same keywords hundreds of times on the same page will not increase your chances of being listed higher, it is called keyword stuffing and Google will penalize websites who do it. See this Article from Google on Keyword stuffing.
For a more in-depth look at keywords and how to find and use them see our article on Keyword Planning
*Page Authority: This is the rating Google gives to pages that comply with its SEO guidelines, the higher the authority the higher the listing in the Organic search results. To read more about this see our article on How To Do Your Own SEO For Free