What Are Keywords and How Do They Affect Your SEO?

By Sarah Giometti | Local SEO

Jan 10

Everyone who’s ever Googled anything (aka everyone who’s ever used the internet) knows how important keywords are for SEO, even if they don’t recognize the term. Keywords are the phrases and terms we enter into a search engine to find information. Search engines then use those keywords to rank websites likely to be relevant to your needs.

Essentially, keywords determine whether or not someone sees a website when they look for a particular subject. They are how we find answers to a question or more information on a topic. The keywords that we put in a search bar determine what kinds of results we pull up, which means they are vital for SEO. Of course, simply knowing the fact that keywords impact SEO isn’t enough to guide the way you use keywords because, unfortunately, how keywords affect SEO isn’t simple.

How Keywords Relate to SEO

A long time ago, simply repeating the keyword over and over on your website was enough to increase SEO and drive traffic to your webpage. Obviously, that’s no longer the case. This practice sent too many people to spam websites with no real useful information.

Instead, search engines now look at whether keywords are used in useful contexts to determine whether or not it will rank you high in search results. They also will use location tags to make your keywords more relevant to searches close by-- and rank you lower for people searching for you far away. In addition, search engines monitor to see if your keyword seems to be relevant to the people making searches. In other words, if people who search for a phrase click through and spend some time on your website, your SEO will improve. If people using a keyword often ignore your results or simply bounce right back to the search, your SEO rankings fall.

How Do I Use Keywords to Improve My SEO Today?

For any business, it’s important that when someone is searching for your product that their keywords send people directly to your website. This requires you to both choose relevant keywords and place those keywords strategically so your SEO strategy is effective. Both of these tasks can feel overwhelming.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. You can do four simple things to leverage keywords to improve your SEO today.

  1. Use Google Webmaster tools and Google Adwords to pinpoint common search queries that people use to get to your website.
  2. Compare those keywords to the keywords that seem be used to find your competitors. You want to make sure that customers are just as likely to see you as the competition.
  3. Decide on a few keywords (or keyword phrases!) that you want to use and place them in prominent locations across your website, including in page titles, metadata, and copy. Make sure the keyword fits wherever you place it, though. Nonsensically inserting keywords wherever actually hurts SEO!
  4. Get a SEO professional to improve keyword targeting and placement. If you’re reading this even weeks after this was posted, some information may be out of date. Google improves (i.e. changes) its algorithm daily. The best way to ensure your keyword use is up-to-date is to let a professional help you develop a cohesive strategy.

Keywords are vital for SEO success, so you’ve got to use them well. Come talk to us at Provaro Marketing today to see how we may be able to help you improve your SEO through keyword use and more.

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