SEO – What are keywords?

advice | business | copywriting
seo what are keywords

If you’ve spent time on the internet, building your website, or running your business online, then you are certain to have come across subjects relating to SEO from time to time. One of the most prominent words you may have stumbled across on your travels is ‘keywords’. But what are keywords? How do they relate to your business? How do you utilise them? And what can they do for you? Let’s find out!

What are keywords?

Simply put, keywords are words used to describe what the content on your website page or blog post is all about. Keywords relate to search engines and search terms. So those phrases you punch into Google when you’re looking for the “best coffee shop near you”? Those are keywords. Somewhere, someone (or many someones) will have used the phrase “best coffee shop” to describe their business on their website or blog. And it is this that Google is searching for so it can show you the most appropriate results.

So it is with the keywords you use on your website. You want to use the most appropriate keywords to describe your business or what the content on that page is talking about for it to be searchable online.

How do keywords relate to your business?

Every business that has an online presence utilises keywords. Let’s say, for example, this website you are gracing right now to read this blog post. The blog post itself features the keyword ‘keywords’. That, and the phrase ‘What are keywords?’ is how I want this blog post to be found. 

Each of my blog posts features for different keywords. Each page of my website features for others. There are a great many keywords that can be used to find my website online and so it is the same for yours.

seo what are keywords

How do you utilise keywords?

Whether you’re choosing to use keywords or not, your website will be being found for them. It’s far better to use keywords with purpose though than to throw content out there and hope, at some point, it will lead people back to you.

Typically, on the main pages of your site, such as your home page, you want keywords to feature for what you do and where you are. That way, when someone punches in ‘thing’ + ‘location’, yours is one of the websites that pops up, right? 

It’s not only a case of writing the keyword once on your page though. No. You need to show Google that those keywords are the important terms that your page is featuring for, so it needs to appear more than once. Generally speaking, you should include your keywords in your page heading, then have them appear in the first paragraph of text on your page. Good practise is to have the keywords making up 1-2% of all the content on your page.

Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ though! 

An old practice used to be to write the keywords as many times as possible in a variety of different sentences throughout the page. What resulted was unreadable, clunky text that interested no one. Google has got wise to this practice so only include your keywords where it feels natural in your text. Remember, you’re writing for the reader, not a search engine algorithm!

What can keywords do for you and your business?

At the end of the day, good use of keywords, along with good content which has value for your readers, is going to drive more traffic to your website. More traffic = better ranking from Google. Better ranking = more traffic… and so on! It’s a nice little loop to get caught in.

What’s important to remember, though, is that using keywords is just one more tool you have at your disposal. It is not the overarching answer to drive traffic to your website. So do keep writing good blog posts. Do keep utilising social media and your mailing list. Combining all these factors means you are creating a greater online presence, which increases your chances of being found and getting more business! 

If you have any questions about keywords or anything else to do with content, copy or your business, do drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer!