When I first started blogging I often wondered what the fuss about keywords was all about. Was it really important? How do they benefit me? Do keywords really matter?
Do you find yourself asking the same questions?
In this blog post we will answer these questions.
First let me state .... I'm not a keyword or an SEO expert. But I do a lot or reading and studying on the subject and I find that being a student allows me to share what I'm learning. I learn better and remember longer if I turn right around and teach what I learn.
I started my research by typing in the phrase "do keywords really matter" into Google Search. It seems I'm not the only one asking or writing on this topic. It's actually quite popular.
Maybe not quite to the degree that they used to, but yes, keywords really do matter. When used properly..
A very important key thing is HOW they are used. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone.
There was a time that a person could get an article or post ranked simply by inserting a bunch of their main keywords into the article in any way, shape, or form. Not only does that not work any longer, it will work against you if you do it.
Your keywords need to be strategically placed. Not only in the title, the URL, and the meta description, but throughout the post as well. But it has to make sense. The keywords must fit accordingly, so as to flow with the content.
Google is now looking more for high quality content that has value and that reads well. Therefore, the keywords must be integrated and a relevant part of the article.
There is a difference. Keywords can make you or break you. That's why I say there are profitable keywords, and there are junk keywords.
If keywords are used correctly, they can be very profitable. But if used incorrectly, they are junk. And sometimes worse than junk. They can give you a black eye with Google and lead to you being penalized.
If a person is trying to trick Google with improperly used keywords they will be sorry. You may have heard of Black Hat SEO vs White Hat SEO. That's a whole other subject and post, but we'll only be talking about and recommending White Hat SEO. Doing it the right way.
I will say this much on the matter. If you are using Black Hat SEO methods, you are playing with fire. Google will get you sooner or later.
There are tools and methods of keyword research that will help you learn to choose good relevant long-tail keywords.
Keyword Tool is free and it's easy to use you. Type in the main keyword and the tool will show you a lot of variations of that word. They are listed in order by how often they are used in searches. This will give you ideas.
You can also use Google Search itself.
First you'll get the SERP results (Search Engine Rank Page) so you can see what others are doing, and secondly you'll see at the bottom of the SERP page Google's "related searched" listing which is a great way to revise keywords.
Google Search can also tell you how popular a keyword is. Realizing this can help you deter from trying to compete with words and with bloggers that are just too big and too competitive to even mess around with.
To find out start first with a general and popular keyword and note the number of pages of results.
Now try a long-tail keyword. Use "quotes" around the phrase so the results are only for that particular phrase or set of words. Look at how many pages of results you get. Do you notice the difference? Would you rather compete with words that bring back 100's of pages, or a handful of pages?
Do you think it would be easier to get on the first page of Google using long tailed keywords?
If you answered yes, you are correct.
If you have expanded to the level of doing some Google Adwords advertising, you can use the tools for deeper research. They will show you search volumes, costs per click, even who the competitors are and how many.
Choosing the right keywords for PPC Adwords will save you money and get you better results with your campaigns.
You might have to upgrade into a paid version of the Keyword Tool to get the information you want. This is a more advanced keyword research.
When doing your keyword research, always make note of the companies and domains that are ranking at the top.
Are the top page rankers huge companies and bloggers that have tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of website visits each month? You would want to stay away from even trying to rank with those giants.
This is why we say that it's advantageous, especially when you are getting started, to go after a much narrower niche and target market. The narrower the better.
This is also why we talk about long-tail keywords. You use those to narrow your niche.
Keywords must be used correctly. Place them in page and post titles, preferrably at the beginning of the title.
Also place your keywords in the meta descriptions and "sprinkle" throughout the post content where it makes sense.
If you are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will make your life easy when it comes to placing these keywords. Yoast is a free SEO tool that is a favorite for most WordPress bloggers and marketers.
Make sure you keep the flow and that it reads naturally. This is a big thing for you to learn and use in the right way because a lot of your competitors will not be doing it correctly. You can fill a void and jump over them in the page rank results.
The use of keywords and SEO is not an exact science. It's not a black and white picture. There are some grey areas and it will require some testing and tweaking as you go.
No one really knows the exact Google algorithm. There are indicators to learn however and you can do well if you follow those indicators. Google is constantly changing so it is something you will want to keep track of.
But it's a learned skill and once you have it, it's with you for life. It can be very worth it. Learning SEO is a good investment of your time and your money.
Getting ranked on the first page of Google for your chosen niche can bring lots of additional traffic to your website and result in a steady growth of your business.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully now you realize and understand that keywords really matter with Google and SEO ranking. I didn't think about it too much when I was new to online marketing, but now I'm fascinated with it all. There's a lot involved but worth it to learn. Check back often as I'll be adding to this post with updates and additional information.
Get on my newsletter for more Internet Marketing for Beginners Tips and Tricks.