The Importance of Keywords

To ensure visitors find your website among the sea of results provided by search engines, it helps to understand the importance of keywords. Before the introduction of the internet, if people wanted to find a product or service, they often first looked in the telephone book. This was the “go-to” place because it listed all local businesses grouped by category. Now, if someone wants to find something, he or she heads to the internet. If you have used keywords effectively, your website will rank high in the search engines and visitors will click through to your site first.

It does not matter if one is looking at a website, online magazine, blog post or article, any word used multiple times is a keyword. A specific phrase used multiple times is a keyword phrase. The goal for any business is to use the same keywords or keyword phrases on their website that potential customers are using in the search engines.

To ensure a business is using the same keywords as a potential customer, they will need to do some research. Their first priority is to understand what keywords their audience is using when they search online? Are they searching for “online marketing” or “internet marketing?” It is possible to know rather than second-guess the audience.

  • Research the keywords used on search engines.
  • Research the keywords used by the competition.
  • Research related keywords that are not as popular

The goal is for visitors to find your Bay Area business at the top of their search results. By using highly competitive keywords, it is unlikely you will succeed. Another factor to consider is that search engine algorithms change frequently which makes this task difficult. If you have someone on your team that understands the importance of keywords and SEO, they will also understand how fickle the algorithms can be.

What is a business to do if they do not understand keyword research? Rather than trying “hit-or-miss” to find the right keywords, it may be helpful to hire a team of SEO experts. They will meet with you to learn about your business, what your goals are and conduct an extensive keyword research to find the best ones for your company. Once completed, they will help you create an online marketing plan incorporating these keywords strategically on your website.

To obtain the best results from using SEO and keywords, it helps to know all the locations on a website that keywords can go and search engines still find them. Most people think the only place to put keywords is in the text of the website. However, there are at least five other locations that can make a big difference in how well your website ranks on Google.

  • Title tag – This the title the search engine uses in the search results and is often the title seen on the browser window. It should be less than 70 words long, the most important keyword goes first, and customized for the page to avoid duplication issues.
  • URL – This is a prime location to add keywords for things on the page. It should be readable and concise.
  • H1 tags – This is the most important heading on the web page. It will be larger than the rest of the text and is often a different font or color.
  • Body text – This is the main text on the web page. Obviously, it makes sense that you will want to use keywords here. Be sure that their use makes sense rather than sounding forced. 4-5 keywords for a page with a lot of copy are fine, but it is also all right to use it if it makes sense within the context of the page.
  • Image names and Alt tags – Most people do not think about adding a title or tag to the photographs they use on a website. These should be logical and readable; if you can add a keyword here, you should. Even though visitors may not see these, the search engines can and it can make a difference in your website on search engines.

As you can see, there is more to using keywords than you might have thought. Keywords are vital to the success of search engine optimization. In fact, these words or phrases are so important, it is hard to imagine a website have any success at all without them. Once you know the importance of keywords, you can learn to incorporate them into your own website.