A guide to Keywords

Keywords are the search terms that you want specific pages on your website to rank for in the SERPs. They are generally regarded as one of the most important components of SEO as the correct keyword management will lead to more prospective users finding your site. Some of the best places to include your keywords are your within your meta tags, the content of your pages, content rich blogs about your keywords and within the anchor text of hyperlinks.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of finding the most effective keywords to rank for. Some keywords will come naturally to you, for example if you run a second-hand car dealership in Cardiff, you’ll want to rank for “buy second hand cars Cardiff”, as well as variations of this keyword featuring the popular cars that your dealership sells. However you are likely to face some stiff competition because every second-hand car dealership in Cardiff will also fight to rank for these keywords. So whilst focusing on these keywords is important, it’s also a good idea to route out any keywords that have a low amount of competition but would also be relevant to your website. Conversely its also important to avoid using keywords that could be used for a separate industry or niche.  There are many paid for services that offer keywords research but one of the best tools I’ve used is a free service offered by Google called Keyword Planner, it’s designed for paid search but you can still use it for ideas and measure how competitive a keyword is.

Keyword Planner

Keyword Spam

Keyword spam, or keyword stuffing is where a keyword is overused to the point that search engine bots perceive there is an attempt to manipulate the search rankings.  Keywords spam is something you should avoid at all possible costs, examples include placing the keywords irrelevantly and continuously on the pages you wish to rank for, overuse of the same anchor text when interlinking, hiding keywords in the same background and stuffing a private blog network with your links.

Long-Tail Keywords Vs Short-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are long keywords that are aimed at targeting niche demographics, whereas short-tail keywords are shorter keywords aimed at more general demographics. It’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly a short-tail keyword becomes a long-tail keyword but most SEO experts seem to agree that its three or more keywords. Long-tail keywords are the most used keywords in terms of search queries as most search engine users are looking for something specific. For example “SEO services” is a short-tail keyword whereas “SEO services in Cardiff” or “SEO services for small businesses” would be long-tail keywords. Long Tail Keywords also have the least amount of competition so it is paramount to undergo the correct keyword research to find the long-tail keywords that people are using the most for your prospective users.

Long Tail Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI’s are keywords that are related to your primary keyword, whether they are synonyms or related terms. The reasons LSIs are so important is because they are a way for search engines to see if your just stuffing keywords or if your site features content that is about your keywords. An example of this would be a piece of content discussing “electric guitars” featured keywords such as or a “Gibson”, “Fender”, “Ibanez”, “Yamaha”.

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