When I first got into designing websites and building a business online I didn’t even take much notice of keywords or how to use them. I was happy to just create a site for a client using their content and hope that they may get spotted somewhere on the web. But keywords are really important and they are something that everyone should be thinking about when they attempt to gain a presence on the web.
So what is a Keyword?
A Keyword is a phrase or word that you may type into Google or another search engine to find results for what you are looking for. So for instance if I was looking at buying a pair of shoes, I might put in “Mens Shoes” and then I would see a list of websites all with content to do with men’s shoes. Sound simple?..well that’s because it is but the bit that people get wrong is using them correctly on their websites.
The Problem with Keywords
The problem with keywords is that a simple phrase like “Mens shoes” probably has so many websites with that simple phrase in them the chances of you getting ranked ( that means appearing on a certain page of google, so hopefully page one) is slim to none. There will be many sites that have been around a long time and businesses like Amazon and Ebay that you just can’t compete with.
What you are really looking to do is narrow down your keyword or “Keyword Phrase” for your particular business. A keyword phrase would be something more like “Mens shoes size 7” or “Mens shoes size 9”. But you do not want to stop there. What you really want to do is go for what are called “Long tail Keywords” these are longer phrases that maybe don’t have so many people searching for them but will be easier to rank for. So for Mens shoes you could use your location and maybe a few other words like this “Where to buy mens shoes in Glasgow”. By doing this you have narrowed down the results and hopefully will get ranked for that keyword.
How to use Keywords
At the moment Google considers content king..in other words the more content you have on your website containing the keyword you are trying to rank for the better. So with that in mind you probably want to include the keyword you have chosen in your title and then maybe 2 , 3 or 4 times throughout your content.
Don’t overdo it and don’t cheat!
Try not to overuse the keyword throughout the text so that your content doesn’t make any sense to the reader as Google will not take kindly to this. That’s easy I hear you say..I’ll just have white text on a white background and put my keyword on there hundreds of times. I hate to say it but Google has become pretty clever over the years and that type of thing is a big No No..and could even get your site listed as spam or taken off google all together.
Do Some Research
There are a number of great tools you can use for keyword research like Google Analytics or maybe Jaxxy, but a simple and quick solution that is free (but takes time) is to simply put your keyword in quotation marks into Google and go to the end page. This will give you an idea of how many other sites are ranked with that keyword. you want to look at the numbers as in the picture. As you can see we are on page 28 and there are 280 other websites that use that keyword phrase.
It won’t tell you how many times people search for that keyword but for a beginner it is a useful exercise in Keyword research. As you progress you should really start to look at Google Analytics or Jaxxy and then you will be getting tons more info..so much so that you will feel like your brain is fried!
So this is just a short post to describe what are keywords for a website and how you can use them. This is very basic stuff but at least it gives you a starting point. It really isn’t that complicated once you understand their relevance and how to harness them for your website, I hope you found it interesting and if you are just starting out and would like to know how to build a website for free then please check out my post about it here.
If you have any comments on keywords i would be pleased to hear them..just drop me a comment below.
Thanks for reading.