How to identify the most effective keywords for your SEO strategy

Keywords are phrases on a site that allow people to find your website through search engines. These are at the heart of any SEO strategy.

How many keywords should you include?

It is vital to include keywords in order to boost your SEO strategy. However, you must include the correct amount. If you use too few keywords, there is a risk that they might not be highly searched for or, if they are too highly searched, it will be more difficult for search engines to favour and display your website at the top, over others. On the other hand, including too many keywords (also known as keyword stuffing), is just as bad as it can damage the website’s ranking on search engines and can lead to your website being penalized. It is commonly agreed that the optimum keyword density should be 1-3% and this can be achieved by aiming to include at least one keyword on each page.

Head keywords and long-tail keywords

There are two different types of keywords you will need to incorporate: “head” keywords (or short-tail keywords) (or short tail keywords) and “long-tail” keywords. Head keywords consist of 1-2 words and have a high search volume whereas long-tail keywords are usually a combination of 4+ words with a lower search volume. Using short tail keywords results in a higher number of visitors on your website as the search is broader. Long-tail keywords are more specific therefore fewer people will visit the website, however those who visit are more likely to make a purchase or find what they are looking for. In order to optimise your selection of keywords, it is important to focus on long-tail keywords, however, to include some head keywords too. Long-tail keywords account for 70% of all searches. This concept is depicted by the image below.

Source: www.smartinsights.com

Keyword research tools:

In order to stand out from your competitors and find niche keywords they haven’t targeted, it is vital to use a keyword research tool. There are numerous research tools available to use and many of them are free. These tools give you insights into user search patterns and help you with the focus of your website’s content. The most popular tool is Google’s keyword planner and specifically designed to provide the most relevant keywords for your website. Other popular sites include: SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Moz and Answer The Public. Keyword research will aid in identifying a wide range of possible keyword opportunities, including less evident terms.

Analysing and updating:

Once you have selected your keywords, it is important to continually monitor and analyse the results. Companies are frequently growing and many concepts and data will become outdated as new ideas emerge. If you are not regularly carrying out keyword research or updating the website’s keywords, you will miss out on newer and more relevant topics while your website continues to focus on less relevant topics, therefore you are missing out attracting potential visitors/customers. Updated keyword research is vital as it allows you to discover new information and see gaps in your website’s content.

To summarise, keywords are essential to get your business in front of your target audience. However, Identifying the most suitable ones cannot just be left to instinct. You need to work on it to ensure that you give your business the best chances to stand out from the crowd.

About The author

Fatma Al-Ameri is a second year Accounting and Finance student at Kingston University. Prior to this degree, she completed a-levels in Maths, Psychology and Film Studies. In her free time, Fatma enjoys watching football, playing the piano, and eating burgers. Currently, Fatma is completing a Consultancy in Practice module and in this role she has started blogging about branding and marketing.

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