How to Use Keywords Effectively
The dreaded over-complicated world of SEO has you scratching your head and throwing your
hands up. We get it. It can be a daunting task to create intriguing content and use strategic
keywords relevant to your content. But, how do you find keywords? Why do you even use
keywords? What is the deal with long-tailed vs. short-tailed keywords? Well, we are here to
break it down to you like a five-year-old. We will use easy, and simple-to-understand language
throughout this beginners guide so you too can master the art of SEO and keywords.
SEO and Keywords:
Before we begin, it is essential to make some things clear. The reason why SEO and keywords
might make your head spin because it can be an in-depth topic, especially for someone new to
the topic. This is not a leave it and forget it approach, and there are no guarantees this SEO
strategy will work for you and your website. SEO can be tricky, so if you are serious about SEO,
you need to be in it for the long haul. There are many moving parts regarding SEO and
keywords; what might work one day but not work the next.
Please do not get discouraged by the lack of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. On the contrary, this
only opens up opportunities for creativity and plenty of room to adjust to find what works and
what doesn’t. Having this freedom is more appealing than making sure your to-do list is checkedoff, and if you miss something, your article is doomed! So now that we got that out of the way,
let’s break the world of SEO and keywords down in a way that won’t make your head spin, shall
Keyword Research: Where Do We Find Keywords?
We know we need keywords, but where do we find them? Instead of pulling possible keywords
out of thin air, let’s look at your business and what it offers.
● What is your product, and how can you describe it?
● Who is the ideal audience you want to reach?
● What would this ideal audience search for?
● What keywords are your competitors using, and is it working?
Answer these questions and make a list.
Why Make a List?
Answers to these questions are significant in pinpointing the right keywords to use. These
answers are often called seeding keywords, and we need to establish the intention for your
customer. When a potential customer starts searching the internet for any of these terms, are
they ready to purchase, are they just doing their research, or are they comparing prices? What
is their intention? If you are using keywords that would show up for only customers doing their
research but not yet ready to buy, that data should tell you that you need to adjust and pull
keywords for customers with their wallets in hand.
Google Keyword Planner and How to Use it
We want to make this process as simple as possible and not hurt your bank account in the
process. The Google Keyword Planner is entirely free, but please note this program is based on
your location, so you would need to set it up for the type of audience you are trying to reach,
whether it’s regional, national, or international. The goal of using Google Keyword Planner is to
find out what your ideal customers are calling your product or service. For example, you might
describe your service as a Social Media Manager, but your ideal clients might be searching the
keywords, virtual assistant. Google Keyword Planner will show you the data.
Once you choose your keywords, jot them into Google Keyword Planner, and it will show you
the search volume for those keywords every month. Ensure to use the tool, ‘Get search volume
and forecasts’ and use multiple keywords. This will allow you to compare the different terms and
help determine which one to use. In simple terms, the higher the search volume, the more traffic
you will most likely have and, in turn, will hopefully generate more sales. That is the basic idea
of a high search volume.
Maybe you are stuck and only have a couple of keywords, but you want to generate more.
Google Keyword Planner has a feature where you can have it create more ideas for you. The
tool is called ‘Discover new keywords,’ and it makes it easy for you to see what else people are
searching for. Knowing how to properly research keywords, you are armed with the knowledge
of placing these keywords throughout your business strategically. They can be used in ad copy
or in your blog posts; either way, it should help generate more traffic for you
A few ways that can help you generate some ideas for keywords to check what keywords your
competitors are using, type in some words into google and notice what options come up in
autofill, or scroll down ‘Related Searches.’ There are a variety of ways to pull new keyword
ideas, and you simply need to throw them into Google Keyword Planner and read the data if it is
a good keyword or not.
A few quick tips to remember.
● Do not only use keywords that rank high in your searches. It is wise to use some
high-ranking keywords and keywords that are niche-specific for your business so that
when somebody searches that term, you will still come up in their search.
● Google some keywords and review the top searches that appear. Are the top search
businesses that are in your niche? If they are, then use the keyword; if they aren’t,
Google is not identifying that keyword with your type of business.
Types of Keywords: Long Tail and Short Tail
I bet you just got the hang of keywords, and you were feeling good, but then I threw a curveball
at you. I am sorry, but this is important, I promise! Knowing the terms long-tail keywords and
short-tail keywords can up your SEO game in a big way. Let us explain.
Long-tail keywords are just how it sounds. They are longer. Let’s use the keyword ‘ice cream’ for
example. Ice cream has a massive search volume, but it can mean many things. Are they
searching for ice cream shops, ice cream ingredients, ice cream decorations for a party, etc.?
Now the customer searched ‘ice cream local shop.’ The search volume is less but more specific.
If you own an ice cream shop, then your website will want to have the long-tailed keyword, so
you come up in their search. The same is true if you have an online shop for party decorations
and one of the themes is ice cream; you would want to use the long-tailed keyword ‘ice cream
party decorations.’ The critical takeaway is that your long-tail keyword is specific enough where
someone will search for ‘ice cream local shop’ or ‘ice cream party decorations.
With the knowledge you know now, go to your site and look at what you have currently. Does
the content you have now fit the proper keywords. If your content is aligned with your
customer’s intention, you will want to map the keyword to that page. In simple terms, mapping
ultimately means assigning a keyword to a specific page. The content you are posting, the
keywords must match up, giving Google a clear message of who you are trying to target and
what you offer. Using this strategy is a great starting point for getting your content recognized in
search engines. Once you get comfortable with these beginning stages, it is ideal for moving on
to learn about implementing your keywords correctly and knowing what to adjust to get your
website performing the best it should be.