Keywords are the words used in searching for a subject on the internet. In the early days of search engine optimization, keywords were the most powerful tool in getting your site found when search engines were not as sophisticated. Up until a few years ago, webmasters sated a large number of keywords into the pages’ HTML code. Back then, this would have resulted in high rankings in search engine result pages, and internet surfers not getting the best content.
Today, keywords do not hold the same value in search engine results pages, but are still very valuable while conducting business online.
[tweet_quote]Consistency in the use of a keyword strategy is a powerful base for an overall content strategy.[/tweet_quote]
How do you decide on your keywords?
Think about your business in the most simple of terms. What do you sell or what service do you offer? What words do you use to describe them? If we use Starbucks as an example, words such as coffee shop, coffee beans, instant coffee, coffee drinks, latte and espresso may come to mind. Each of these terms reflects a major offering of the company. The keywords you select should do the same.
Avoid Selecting 1-Word Terms
Unless the term is something completely original to your brand, it may be difficult to win top placement for the term; not because it is a bad choice, but because there is too much competition for the term. A more popular approach is to select a number of other keywords that relate to the one-word term. In the Starbucks example above, “coffee” is really what they are about. Selecting the terms including “coffee” will build authority for that keyword over time.
Google and Bing only know what you tell them
If you want to be found on the top two search engines, you need to have content dedicated to talking about the subjects (using keywords) that are important to your business. In an optimal situation, Starbucks would have individual pages that talk about “instant coffee” and “coffee shop.” Sites with higher authority and brand equity, like Starbucks, will deal with this concept in a different way. They may be able to skip some portions of a SEO strategy that will have much greater impact on a smaller business.
What is your area of service? Do you have multiple locations? Localized keyword strategies can be very effective. This is when you mix a location name with a keyword. For Starbucks, examples would be “Seattle’s best coffee” or “Indianapolis coffee shop.” Google takes into account what location you are searching from. If you are searching in Indianapolis for a “coffee shop,” a result for Starbucks would come up if they were optimizing for “Indianapolis coffee shop.”
Keywords should still be used within page/blog titles and meta descriptions. This helps to ensure users are finding a reliable source of information related to their keyword search. Currently, Google does not use meta keywords to rank pages, but it still holds some value on Bing. For this reason, if you are creating new content it would be worth the smallest bit of effort to add a few keywords to your meta information.
Use Keywords Outside of Your Website
Remember, search engines attempt to index everything on the internet and provide the best results possible related to user search queries. Whether it is your account bio or your listing on a review site, using keywords will have an effect on your company being found. In addition, using keywords when posting on social media channels allows for more potential results for searches within those sites. Also, keep in mind that hashtags and tagging are essentially another way keywords are used.
Do you need help identifying or using keywords in your internet marketing efforts? Contact us online and we’ll be glad to discuss the possibilities.