What Are Keywords? How to Use Them for SEO

  • Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.

    For example, if you were looking to buy a new jacket, you might type something like “mens leather jacket” into Google. Even though that phrase consists of more than one word, it’s still a keyword.

    Of course, nobody outside of the SEO industry tends to use this terminology. Most people would call them Google searches or queries. Just know that keywords are synonymous with both of these things.

    Keywords are important because your website can show up when people type them into search engines.

    For example, if you Google “how to do SEO,” we appear at the top:

    Because this keyword gets an estimated 1,700 monthly searches in the US, showing up at the top of Google

    Showing up at the top of Google for a relevant keyword might send lots of traffic your way, but how do you do that?

    sends many visitors our way. In fact, we’ve had over 900 visits from this keyword in the last month.

    Pay-per-click (PPC)

    PPC is where you pay Google to show your web page in the results for specific keywords. For example, if you sell email marketing software, you could bid on that term and appear at the top of Google’s search results when people search for it.

    That’s what Campaign Monitor does.

    This is known as PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. Google has a platform where you can choose keywords to bid on. Google then displays your ad in the search results. Every time someone clicks that ad and lands on your website, Google charges you money.

    You can tell paid results apart from organic (non-paid) results because they’re marked as ads.

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages to rank in Google’s organic results. And Google’s job is to rank the best, most relevant results for every search query.

    If Google deems your page the “best” result for the right terms, you’ll get a consistent stream of ‘free’ visits to your website.

    For example, the Ahrefs blog gets an estimated 383,000 organic visits from Google every month.

    Given that we sell SEO tools, all of these keywords send potential customers our way and contribute to our bottom line.

    Most people have some idea of the keywords they want to rank for in Google. But it’s impossible to know everything people search for. That’s why it pays to do some research to find more keyword ideas.

    There are many ways to do this, but the easiest method is to use a keyword research tool.

    Most of these tools work in the same way. You enter a few broad keywords related to your industry called seed keywords, and the tool kicks back some related keyword ideas.

    For example, say that you sell headphones online. Your seed keywords might be “headphones,” “earbuds,” “earphones,” and “beats.”

    Let’s pop those into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, then take a look at one of the keyword ideas reports.

    Right away, we see over two million related keyword ideas complete with monthly search volumes, the average cost per click (CPC) for paid ads, and tons of other SEO metrics.

    Nobody can rank for every keyword, and nobody can bid on every keyword. For that reason, it’s important to choose your battles wisely. Let’s look at a few keyword metrics and attributes to help you choose the best ones.

    Does that mean it’s better to rank for “how to post on instagram” than “how to get backlinks?” Not always. There’s no point ranking for that first keyword if you sell SEO software like us. It might bring lots of visitors, but none of them are likely to buy what we sell.

    You need to find keywords that bear some relevance to what your business does, then judge them relatively.

    For example, there are 2,200 searches for “SEO tips” every month vs. 350 for “image seo.”

    How useful was this post? 5/5 - (1 bình chọn)