SEO Content Basics: Understanding Keywords

SEO Content Basics: Understanding Keywords

Keywords contribute massively to successful on-page SEO. Therefore, it’s pretty damn important to have a firm understanding of exactly what keywords are, and how to use them to improve your small business sales. 

I know it sounds boring, but it’s important. And you won’t be bored when you’re counting all the fat stacks of cashola that comes your way once you start riding that SEO content train. So read on!

In short, ‘keyword’ refers to a word or phrase that search engines use to identify the meaning of a website or webpage. Let’s think about how we all use the world’s most popular search engine: Google. When you need something from Google, you will write a word, or group of words, into the search bar. You want to buy unscented soy candles = you write “unscented soy candles” in to the Google Search.

That stuff you just wrote into Google? Them’s keywords, baby. 

-me, just now, with a terribly affected Texan accent

So, you’ve clicked that Google search button, then BAM, instant results that match exactly what you wrote. What’s more, these results are neatly ranked by relevance – or what Google believes is most relevant (sponsored posts notwithstanding – I’ll get into that later in another article). 

How does Google decide which results are the most relevant? Well, it uses fancy schmanzy algorithms that scan through all of the information on a website – text, images, links etc – and decide based on that website content whether or not said website will provide the most comprehensive answer to your query.

One of the things that the algorithms look for during that instantaneous scan is a keyword match. For example, if you wrote “unscented soy candles” into the search bar, Google will quickly read every piece of text on every website to see if the phrase “unscented soy candles” has been written there. The logic is that a website which uses the exact phrase in its content will be far more likely to be relevant, than a website that does not use those words. 

As such, it follows that if you are a small creative business selling unscented soy candles, it would be wise to include the phrase “unscented soy candles” in appropriate places on your website – ideally by including keywords in your product descriptions, headlines and alt texts.

Correctly using keywords on a website requires factoring in a lot of complications, such as keyword density, synonym usage, search volume and anchor texts. Understanding what a keyword is, and what it does, is just the first step in understanding how to improve your website content using SEO best practice to gain more traffic.

If you’ve made it this far, well done! In my role as an expert in SEO for small creative businesses, I’ll continue to explain various SEO basics step by step in this blog, so stay tuned for my follow-up articles on longtail keywords and user intent. If you’d rather just have me do it for you, contact me now!


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