What Are Keywords? Definition and How to Use for SEO
November 11, 2021 •DJ Team
Keywords are individual words or phrases that help represent the content of a website. They are beneficial to both users and web page owners because they help organize a lot of information into manageable, searchable words and phrases that allow us to connect.
User: I’m looking for [keyword x].
Website: I provide [keyword x].
A keyword example like this might be simplistic, but it represents the ideal relationship between the audience and the website. It shows intent from both sides.
As business owners, we know there are a lot of others who provide [keyword x]. In SEO, it’s our job to ensure our website appears first—or top ten, at least—when any audience is looking for [keyword x].
This requires more than just picking out the most appropriate, representative keyword. Instead, we have to consider the intent behind a search term, how search engines rank words, and how we improve our SEO ranking.
What Are Keywords?
Website owners use keywords to improve their rankings on search engines like Google to increase their traffic and, consequently, drive new business.
A keyword definition can include a single word or a phrase, often referred to as a keyphrase. But the purpose is the same: words or phrases used to find relative, relevant websites.
You create a keyword list by generating primary and secondary keywords relevant to your business—considering what a user might search for.
But where (and how) do you include them on your website? Keywords are valuable additions for you:
- Title (page title, heading)
- Subheadings (H2, H3)
- Image text
- Meta description
- First paragraph
When you can incorporate keywords into more than one of these areas, you increase your chances of improving your search ranking.
(DemandJump's SEO Keyword Research Tool prioritizes the keywords to include.)
What Are Keywords in SEO?
For online search engines, keywords are the connection points between users and websites. The types of keywords you use can vary within your strategy to connect with a larger audience. Let’s look at a few types of keywords in SEO:
Broad in scope, these are phrases (no longer than three words) used to search for a topic. These are used to generate a broad appeal, for example: “court lawyers,” “used truck,” “wedding dresses.”
Long-tail keywords help users specify what they’re looking for with a longer keyword phrase, for example: “Defense lawyers in Connecticut,” “Toyota Tacoma 2012 under 100,000 miles,” “European laced detached sleeve wedding dress.”
Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords
These are keywords relevant to your overall topic conceptually. So if “basketball” is your keyword, LSI keywords might include “jump shot,” “buzzer,” “foul,” or “backboard.”
These help searchers find content that’s relevant to their location, and often geo-targeting keyphrases can be adapted to your primary keywords, like “used cars near me” or “used cars in Franklin, KY”
These types of keywords are brand-specific, and they’re helpful if you’ve already established your brand to any degree. “Nike tennis shoes” and “Clorox bleach” are examples.
What Are Examples of Keywords?
Everyone uses keyword search terms to locate websites with the product, information, or service we’re looking for. Website owners are tasked with the job of identifying which search terms we use to look for those products, information, or services.
Search engines are increasingly good at recognizing the intent behind searches. And they will connect a keyword search with relevant content.
In SEO, we want to have the largest appeal to different audiences, so we use primary and secondary keywords to connect.
Check out these keyword search examples that represent this connection:
If you were to search “school backpacks” in Google, one of the top results is a website that sells laptop bags. While laptop bags weren’t the primary keyword, the intent of the search matches. It makes sense that someone looking for a school backpack might also be interested in a laptop bag.
If you are in the business of selling school backpacks or laptop bags, you would want to include both keywords in your strategy.
Keywords can help you connect with an audience that’s interested in your product, service, or information. But putting keyword strategy into practice can be difficult. That’s where DemandJump can help: we help you develop keywords and SEO keyword research to get the results you want from your content and SEO strategy.
DemandJump understands the importance of keyword strategy, and that it can mean the difference between you connecting with a larger audience or never even getting the chance.
Quit wasting time creating content that does not drive results. Start creating content that ranks on page 1 - fast!
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