What is a Keyword?
If you have a website, sooner or later you are going to hear the term “keyword” bandied around – especially if the discussion is about getting more visitors onto your site.
So what is a keyword? And why is it so important?
For starters, you may be surprised to learn that a keyword is rarely just one word; usually, it is a phrase.
It is the phrase that a person might enter into a search engine like Google, when they are looking for something online. Often it will include the location. For example:
For those more familiar with social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, think of keywords as being the SEO version of hashtags.
Important Note: Keywords are also used in Google Ad campaigns (otherwise known as Search Engine Marketing or SEM, in contrast to Search Engine Optimisation or SEO). However the keywords used may be completely different to the ones you target for SEO. While both are chosen based on what search terms your customers are likely to use, that’s where the similarity ends.
It’s also worth remembering that in this day and age many people use voice search, so keywords might come in formats like questions, eg:
- “What are manuka honey eye drops used for?“;
- “Do colour blind glasses really work?”;
- “Is podiatry covered by Medicare?”.
Another Name for a Keyword
You might also come across another piece of jargon called a “search term” – but don’t panic, it can be used interchangeably with “keyword”.
There are quite a few things to consider when selecting which keyword or keywords you should be using on your website, with the main one being: What keywords are your customers likely to use, when looking for a business like yours?
Choose Keywords that your Audience Will Use
It’s important to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, and think of what search terms THEY are likely to use. For example, most psychologists dislike the term “split personality”. It’s outdated and incorrect. Yet what keyword is a person from a non-psychology background likely to use? Yup, split personality. Which is why you will still find plenty of web content optimised for this search term.
There are a lot of other factors which come into play when doing keyword research, including:
- What keywords are your competitors using?
- How difficult will it be for you to rank for your chosen keywords?
In the video below, Front Page Founder Janet Camilleri covers all of these points and more, to help get you started with choosing the right keywords …
Of course there is a lot more to keyword research than what we’ve highlighted in this blog post.
While it’s something you can try to do yourself, the advantage of using an SEO professional is that we have access to highly specialised tools and software such as Keysearch and SEMRush to conduct in-depth keyword research. There are limited and/or free trial access available with both of these, if you’re interested in seeing more of what’s involved when you’re on the hunt for great keywords.
If you’ve come to this page because you had no idea what a keyword is, contact us to discuss optimising your website with the right keyword/s. Keywords are an integral part of any SEO Strategy!