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What Are Keywords and Why Are They So Important?

When talking about SEO (search engine optimization) the word “keywords” gets thrown around a lot. But what are keywords exactly? In this article we are going to tell you what keywords are, why they are important, and some need to know types of keywords.

What Are Keywords?

In general, keywords are ideas and phrases that represent the content on your page. This includes any content, such as words, videos, and pictures on your webpage. The idea is to match the keywords on your website to what users are searching for, which is referred to as users “search query”. The more closely your keywords are related to what users are searching for the more likely it is that your webpage will show up when people use search engines. 

Why Are Keywords Important? 

Keywords are so important because they are the link between your business and potential customers. The only way a website will be found through organic (i.e. not paid ads) search is if your website uses keywords that match up with the specific words used in queries on search engines. As a business owner, you want to appear as high up in the results on the search engine results page (SERPs) when users are seeking your type of business. For example, we are a digital marketing agency in Troy, NY so if a user was to type in “Digital Marketing Troy, NY” we would want to be the number one search result on Google (or any other search engine). 

Keywords are equally important in terms of content and your audience. Some of the services a business offers may be described differently by you compared to your customers. That is why it is important to create content that ranks well organically. By having content that ranks well organically you will get more website visitors. 

Understanding the needs, preferences and behavior of your customers is paramount for success, and this is especially true in digital marketing and search engine optimization. The better you can learn and understand what your customers want and need, and how they use search engines, the better you will be able to strategize the development of new content (blog articles, special offers and other good content) along with improving your SEO performance. 

7 Types of Keywords to Understand

There are 7 primary keyword types that every marketer or small business owner should have in their toolbox. These keywords types are:

  1. Short-Tail Keywords: This type of keywords consists of 3 words or less. They are highly competitive but have a huge amount of search volume. They should be used as a theme keyword throughout your website. 

  2. Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords consists of more than 3 words. They are a lot less competitive but have a lower search volume. They should be used for targeted pages such as blog posts.

  3. Short-Term Fresh Keywords: Short-term fresh keywords are all about something that happened recently and exploded in the media. A good example is the presidential election. They have an explosive search volume and are moderately competitive. These keywords should be used for current content and may have a short shelf-life. 

  4. Long-Term Evergreen Keywords: Evergreen keywords are keywords that we expect to be relevant for a long period of time. These keywords typically have moderate search volume and are moderately competitive. You should use them for information that you update regularly.

  5. Product Defining Keywords: These keywords are specific to products and help them stand out from the generic products. They typically have low search volume and low competitive rate, but they are good for highlighting very specific products.

  6. Customer Defining Keywords: Customer defining keywords are keywords meant to target your specific target market or customer persona. These keywords are great because they are specific to the type of customer you want to reach. They typically have low search volume and a low competitive rating.

  7. Geo-Targeting Keywords: Geo-targeting keywords target a user based on their specific location whether that be a city, zip code, region, or state. Generally, they have low search volume and a low competitive rate. These keywords are extremely important for local businesses who want to increase their SEO performance and can help drive immediate new users and foot traffic to your store, restaurant, shop or other real-world location.

No matter who you are trying to target finding the right keywords can be challenging, time-consuming work. Importantly, the most successful SEO strategies are based on iterative, on-going research and accurate website data. For SEO and keyword data, there are a number of good SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz. We are also here to help. If you have questions about SEO or want some help, please contact us or book a meeting online


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