keyword rankingWith millions of active websites on the internet, it can be difficult for the average small business website to make an impact. But in order to survive in the digital age, you need to make sure that potential customers can find you — and that’s where SEO services come in. The websites listed on Google’s first page of search results generate a staggering 91.5% of traffic share on average, which means you’d ideally like your site to be among them. While search engine optimization is quite multifaceted, we’ll be covering one component in today’s post: keywords. Understanding a bit more about keywords can help inform your SEO strategy and allow for better brand visibility.

What are keywords, exactly?

In the simplest of terms, they’re words, phrases, topics, and ideas that define what your website content is about and what people on the internet want to know more about. Ideally, they’re what users type into search engines in order to solve a problem, answer a question, or learn additional information. By using keywords on your website, you’ll help both Google and human audiences that your site can provide relevant and interesting information to them.

Can keywords contain more than one word?

Yes! These are often referred to as “long-tail keywords” and they may end up being the best keywords for you to focus on. Single keywords have a high search volume, but this could actually work to your disadvantage. Unless you’re an extremely well-known business, it may be tough for you to obtain a high keyword ranking on a generic and singular word. In many cases, more specific keyword phrases may produce better keyword ranking results. Keywords may also contain a reference to a specific location (known as “geotagged keywords”), which may help you if you’re focusing on local traffic.

How are keywords used?

You might assume that if you place a bunch of keywords on your homepage, you’ll be good to go. But this uninformed tactic could actually hurt your ability to secure a coveted keyword ranking. You can’t throw some keywords into your web copy and call it a day; they need to be used organically on your website pages and utilized thoughtfully in specific places. For example, incorporating carefully chosen keywords into your page’s title tags or a page’s meta description is far more effective than trying to use a keyword as many times as possible in a blog post. There are definite methods that should be followed, which is why most businesses enlist the help of an SEO agency to create a comprehensive strategy.

Why does your keyword ranking matter?

Some businesses think that as long as their website looks good and they have the basics covered, that’s all they’ll really need. But that helps only those who already know how to get to your site. Existing customers might be fine with it, but you won’t have much luck reaching new audiences. SEO can make sure that your site is sending all the right signals out to both Google and to internet users — and part of making sure those signals are being received correctly is keeping track of your keyword ranking. While it’s not the only measure of a great website, understanding your keyword ranking and tracking those changes over time can give you a better idea of whether your strategy (if you even have one) is actually working.

How do you go about choosing keywords?

Choosing the right keywords for your site is both an art and a science. Focusing on the wrong types of keywords could result in wasted time and money, not to mention potential penalties from Google. While you may have a loose idea of the keywords you want to target, it’s typically best to consult with an SEO analyst or firm. They can conduct the necessary keyword research to determine which keywords you should be prioritizing in order to obtain great results.

Ultimately, choosing and using keywords represents just one portion of an excellent SEO strategy. To ensure all of your digital marketing components are working cohesively, it’s recommended that you work with SEO professionals. That way, you’ll know your site is optimized correctly, that it’s designed well, and that you’ll see some real progress.

Brennen Bliss

Brennen Bliss

Brennen Bliss is the founder & CEO of PixelCutLabs. Since founding PixelCutLabs in 2014, Brennen has been recognized as a leader in the search engine marketing & SEO spaces, with recent nominations for both the US Search Awards (2018) & the Forbes 30 under 30 List (2018). Brennen has also been featured on Ted.com, USAToday.com, Forbes.com. In addition to leading the team at PixelCutLabs, Brennen travels to conferences across the US as a recognized keynote speaker. You can find Brennen on Twitter @brennenlb.

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