Introduction to SEO and Keywords


First, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. In the most basic sense, a “keyword” is a search term Google uses to index your web pages. Keywords can be single words or short phrases. These words are used to describe the content on the page. Keywords are used in the opening paragraph of your webpage and can also be used in header or page in naming conventions.


Some website content management systems have third-party widgets that help in creating evergreen content with your specified keywords. First, identify which keywords are relevant to your page, then the widget will walk you through how to create content that will be indexed using those terms.


Without the use of software, the simplest way to create keywords relevant to your site is to think like your customers. For example, say you own a diner that only serves breakfast and lunch. What search terms will a potential customer use to find your diner? Make a list of all these terms, their synonyms and combination of phrases to come up with your initial list. You can then rank them by relevance and then by importance. This should provide you with an initial list to shape your content writing. 


Oftentimes, deciding which keywords to use is the hardest part. Most recently, I began working with a client who owned a bookkeeping company that works exclusively with law firms. After doing extensive keyword research, I found that their search rankings had a few different issues. First, law firms were not necessarily using the term “bookkeeping” to find a bookkeeper. Instead, they were searching terms like “financial manager” or “payroll specialist” in an attempt to find a financial manager or accountant to do their books and payroll. Secondly, I noticed they had a large amount of traffic to their website, but users immediately left the site after visiting the homepage. This traffic immediately dropped off and went to another website in the UK that had a similar name. Updating content on their website to include relevant search terms and using their company name more frequently in text has resulted in attracting better quality leads to their website.


Once you have identified your keyword targets, it’s important to watch the competition for that one particular keyword. This competition is your ranking in Google search results. More popular keywords oftentimes have a dollar amount associated with each term indicating you must invest in Google ads or create more authentic content with those keywords. This is where content creation in a marketing mix really pays off. Depending on which keywords you are going after, sometimes blog content can be an economical way to increase your rankings for certain words.

This article is intended to be a basic introduction to what keywords are and how to best incorporate them into your online content. There is a lot of research and management that goes into keyword rankings. Google is rumored to change their search algorithm frequently. best practices for keyword research, selection, and usage is your best bet in creating content that gets properly indexed. 

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