What are keywords? A question many new niche website owners will ask at some point in their affiliate journey.
There’s the technical way to describe them and the layman’s way. I’ll cover both in this article to cater to everyone (I’m more of a layman myself).
Why are keywords important? A keyword or focus keyword is a word or term that describes to search-engines exactly what your content is about. It is important because it helps search engines like Google guide people directly to the content that best matches their search query.
A keyword can be made up of a single word or a short sentence which is often referred to as a Longtail Keyword. Many people first starting out mistake Keywords & SEO, they both do similar things ie: Direct visitors to your content. However, keywords are made up of a single focus word, phrase or term, whereas SEO is a combination of many things and is more difficult to get right.
Here’s how Google describes keywords:
Keywords rank in popularity, some keywords are searched millions of times a day and some, hardly ever. There’s a fine balance for choosing the right keyword for your content to enable you to rank for that specific term. We’ll go into more detail about how to rank for them in future blogs.
This article is all about understanding what keywords are and how you should use them. A simple keyword guide; to help you choose the best content to target, that you realistically have a chance of ranking for.
This is a service we offer at Keywordcare. We understand from experience that many people struggle to find keywords that are easy to rank for. They often waste time and money writing content that simply won’t rank, or they target the wrong keyword for their niche.
If you’d like more information about our service Click Here!
Types Of Keywords
There are three versions of keywords and many search terms used to split them into more targeted keywords, to help the reader find the best match for their search query.
- Short-Tail Keywords
- Mid-Tail Keywords
- Long-Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords are usually made up of just one or two words maximum, which target broad topics that get high traffic. Often called Broad or head keywords.
Example: Estate Agents
These keywords are very competitive and are therefore difficult to rank for. Most larger websites and companies who rank for these terms have spent large amounts of money to get to page one and the coveted number one position. New websites and blogs should stay well away from these types of keywords.
If you have a small dog website that specifically targets ‘Golden Retriever’, then you would not target the keyword ‘DOG’ – you will never rank for it without a huge marketing budget behind you.
As you can see from the example above this short-tail keyword rules out thousands of search terms to leave a more specific term which makes it easier for Google to pick a perfect search match.
These keywords still get high volumes of traffic but are more defined and narrowed down. They are less competitive than head keywords (short-tail keywords) but still should be considered difficult to rank for. Newbies and new domains will struggle to rank for these keywords.
Example: Estate Agents In London
These keywords are usually two to three words and are slightly more descriptive than head or short-tail keywords and are classed as hard to rank for.
These are longer terms or sentences that are very specific and easier to rank for. They are classed as low competition keywords that are less competitive, making them ideal for new bloggers and niche websites to target.
Even websites less than a year old can rank for these search terms within weeks, if not days.
I posted a 1000 word blog three days ago that had a search volume of 180 per month. I managed to get it to rank on position 3 on page one of Google within 72 hours. This was thanks to a long-tail keyword that was low competition.
Example: Estate Agents In Covent Garden London With Low Fees
Test your competitor’s website and see which keywords they rank for!
Which Keywords Should You Use?
This is a simple one to answer – Long-Tail Keywords!
If your niche website is new or at least under one year old, you should focus on building your authority by trying to rank low competition keywords. Get some posts on page one of Google. Even if they don’t bring in many views at least Google can start to rank your content which will improve your Domain Authority (DA).
DA is how a search engine looks at your site and determines how good or relevant your content is. This, along with other factors, will help search engines to decide how high up in the ranking your content should be shown.
The higher your DA, the quicker your content will rank.
How can I improve my DA I hear you say?
This is a whole topic all on its own and one we’ll save for another day but to give you a quick tip…
Build authority and brand within your niche. Focus solely on your drilled down niche. To use the dog example; if your site is all about Golden Retrievers then stay focused on this breed of dog. Don’t stray off topic and write articles like ‘Best small dogs’; it will not do anything to build you any authority in the Golden Retriever world.
Go after low competition keywords within your niche that you actually have a chance to rank for. I would always go after a long-tail keyword that only gets 70-100 searches a month – if I knew I had a chance of ranking number one. Compared to a head keyword that gets thousands of searches a month that I know I’ll never rank for.
It’s a waste of time and money trying to rank for these keywords until you have an established domain and a high backlink profile and strong DA
I use Ubersuggest to find ‘low hanging fruit’, which I like to call them. Long-tail keywords with up to 200 searches a month that have poor content already ranking at number one, that I know I can beat.
Even a new website can rank for these terms if you have better content and answer the search query better than what’s already out there.
How Do You Find Low Competition Keywords?
I use a number of tools to find these easy to rank for keywords. Google search is one of the simplest and cheapest (free) options out there.
Type a long-tail keyword into Google search and see what comes up. Drill down to find easier keywords to rank for. I have shown an example below.
Short-tail search example:
139,000,000 search results with some very big and authoritative website ranking in the top 5 results. There is no chance that a new website will ever rank for that short-tail keyword. Ubersuggest tells us the keyword Golden Retriever gets over 450,000 searches a month. WOW!
As you can see from the search above, we have started to narrow the search down and the monthly search volume has come down to 8,100 so this too has the difficulty to rank. From 55 which is very difficult (Short-tail Keyword) to 31. Still difficult to rank for but you have a much higher chance of ranking for this mid-tail keyword.
Now, we’re talking! Easy to rank for long-tail keywords with a very low difficulty rating. Yes, it only gets 70 searches according to Ubersuggest but I can guarantee this keyword ‘Golden Retriever Lifespan’ gets more than 70 searches a month.
The data and numbers this type of software produces are not 100% accurate but they are a good indicator of how hard or easy a keyword is going to be. We use Ubersuggest, designed and owned by the keyword and SEO Guru, Neil Patel. We use it every day and love it!
Try it yourself. We highly recommend the paid premium version. The amount of money you’ll save by using this software far outweighs the cost.
Type a keyword or article idea into the box below and see the results for FREE.
Why Are Keywords Important?
Adding the correct keyword to your article, blog or review is vital for Google and other search engines to understand exactly what your content is about which allows them to direct the right people to your content.
If someone is searching for a Golden Retriever care guide, there’s no value for the reader and the content owner if the search engine sends them to Jack Russell Care Guide.
Using the correct keywords, especially in smaller websites and new blogs, is the only way (ethically) to get the right traffic to your site. Add a specific and targeted keyword that is relevant to your topic or niche and the search engines will find your content.
I would rather have 5-6 visitors a day that really want to read your content than 100 a day that just bounce instantly off because it’s not what they were searching for and it didn’t answer their question.
Do Keywords Still Matter In 2019-2020?
In 2019-2020, keywords will play a vital role in targeting the right visitor to your site. A lot has changed in the last few years ie: Tags and the latest E.A.T (which stands for)
In basic terms the Google E-A-T means:
Here’s a great video from Income School explaining better than I can what E.A.T means in 2019-2020
Nothing, however, has changed as far as Keywords go. Search engines will still crawl your site and will rely on keywords to help them decide which visitors to send to your content.
It’s still the same for WordPress blogs and is still relevant for video content.
You’re simply telling Google… Hey, I have a great article on Golden Retrievers.
Google will thank you for this and rank you higher in the listings, hopefully number 1 or even giving you the ‘snippet’. Below is what a great snippet looks like.
Often the snippet can be more valuable than the number one google search result. They are sometimes called position zero on search engines. The best possible result would be the number one search position and the snippet.
The only difference with a snippet and number one spot is that the snippet often changes. Google tries different snippets to see if the reader prefers one over the over. Whereas once you get the number one search result you normally keep that spot for some time. Maybe dropping to number two when your content becomes old and not updated. However, you can have the snippet one day and it’s gone the next. But they’re still great to see.
I still get a thrill from seeing one of my articles gain a snippet.
Should You Have Your Keyword In The Title?
Adding keywords to a piece of content is like baking a cake. You need to get the correct measurements and ingredients to make the perfect cake.
Too much and no one will like it, too little and no one will want to try it.
It’s the same with keyword optimization. You can’t overdo it or Google will smell a rat. Google doesn’t like to be tricked. Work with Google, not against it.
NEVER TRY TO TRICK GOOGLE!
There are some obvious places to include your keyword so we have listed them below. These are the basics of inserting keywords.
- Headings and Titles
- Content (First Paragraph if possible)
- Image file names
- Title Tags (not as relevant in 2019) but still worth doing
- In the URL
- Meta Description
Less is more in keyword optimization. Simply adding the word Golden Retriever to a 1000 word article 50 times will not help Google send any love to your content.
In fact you’ll annoy Google and make it angry! Don’t do it.
Stick to the guidelines that Google and other search engines have set out. It’s not a mystery, Google tells us how to add keywords which helps them find your content easier. Google goes out of their way to say ‘Hey if your content is good we’d love to share it. Help us match the right content with the right visitor’.
That’s the whole point of a search engine.
Can you imagine using a search engine that didn’t work? You typed in best car tires for winter and you get results for a vet?
You simply wouldn’t use their search engine. So they need to match the right content with the right people, so they ask for our help.
Keyword In Content
Stuffing your content with keywords – or “over-optimizing” as it’s often referred to – can have a negative impact on your search rankings; while not targeting the right keywords at the appropriate volume will hurt your visibility as well.
I get asked all the time…. ‘How many times should I mention the keyword in my article?’
I always answer… When it’s relevant and makes sense.
I have some rough guidelines which I’ll simply tell you. Stop beating around the bush! Hardly anyone answers this question in layman’s terms so here you are:
- 1000 word blog = 3 times in the content
- 2000 word blog = 4 times in the content
- 3000 word blog = 5-6 time in the content
I will also give you an example of ‘stuffing’ or over-optimizing a short paragraph with keywords.
BAD EXAMPLE ⬇️
” If you’re looking for a pet dog you should look at getting a Golden Retriever. Golden Retriever are beautiful dogs which are suitable for families with children. Golden Retriever have a loving nature and gentle personalities. Unlike some dogs Golden Retriever love to be around children which makes Golden Retriever the perfect family dog”
As you can see from the BAD EXAMPLE above, the word has been over-optimized and repeated too many times. It has distracted away from the intention of the article. Which was to say that Golden Retrievers make great family pets. Google will now be confused as to what to rank the content for it at all.
GOOD EXAMPLE ⬇️
” There are many breeds of dogs that make wonderful family pets. One of the first pet dog breeds that springs to mind is the Golden Retriever as they make great family pets and are gentle and loving around children. Their calm personalities and loving nature makes them the ideal family pet dog “
The example above is perfect for keyword optimization. It lets Google know exactly what the content is all about. It’s about Golden Retrievers and how they make great family pet dogs.
Simple and effective. The opening paragraph may also win snippets for the search term ‘Do Golden Retrievers make good family pets?‘.
Keyword F.A.Q Quick Answers
- How many times should you insert the keyword in content? Where and when it makes sense. Don’t force it. Only add the keyword if it flows with the content.
- Do Keywords help you rank better? Yes, however, a keyword alone will not help your content rank. Great content with good on-page SEO is also important.
- Should the keyword be in the title? Yes, It is a good idea but it’s not always the most important place to add the keyword.
- Where’s the best place to add a keyword? In our opinion, it’s the opening first few lines. Let Google know from the first second it crawls your site what your content is about and who are the best people to show it to.
- Is keyword research important? Absolutely, you can use a service like ours or simply do your homework – but targeting the right keywords could make or break a website.
- Can you target multiple keywords in one piece of content? Here’s something you may not realize. All of your content is targeting many keywords. In fact hundreds within a small blog. It’s your job to make sure Google understands which ones you want to rank for.
Conclusion: Why Are Keywords Important And How To Use Keywords
I hope we have cleared up some keyword myths and helped you understand the importance of targeted keywords. It’s not magic and no one can sell you a formula that will propel all your content to that number one search result on Google.
You can, however, simply use some basic guidelines that will help you rank faster and higher.
No magic, no witchcraft, no tricking Google, just basic keyword optimization and good on-page SEO alongside great content and you’ll do just fine.
If you would like our help then please read all about our keyword research service here.
Good luck and rank well!