This is another thing that sounds a little more complicated and confusing, but once you dig below the surface, you will find it is not. Keywords in SEO. What are keywords, how they work and why do people care so much about targeting the right ones?
Keywords are the entire foundation of SEO. You need to grasp the importance of this before you can get started. This is why I have dedicated an entire section of this guide to keywords. I want to go over them as part of this introduction to SEO as I have already mentioned them a few times. Here is a quick overview of keywords in SEO.
What Are SEO Keywords?
The term “keyword” would suggest a singular thing, but this is not true. A keyword is almost always multiple words. The keyword is just another way of describing the search term. When you go to Google and type something into the search box, that is the “keyword” you are searching for. It doesn’t matter if that is multiple words, in SEO, this is referred to as the keyword. Over the years, I have started to see more and more people use the term “keyphrase” instead and I feel this is a much better word to use.
The origin of the term “keywords” likely came from the old, and no longer used a meta tag called “keywords”. Back in the day, people would put the keywords into this box and Google would rank them. So simple right?! This meant that people started putting in random keywords that were not relevant to their page in order to get more visitors and Google eventually ditched this, killing the meta keywords tag in the process.
I will go into this topic in far more detail in the next section. For now, all you need to know is that a keyword in SEO is the term that someone types into the search box on a search engine. The length and amount of words do not matter.
What are Long Tail Keywords?
This is something that comes up a lot. There is no exact size where a regular keyword becomes a long-tail keyword, but generally, you can guess. Say you want to rank for “ladies fashion” but it is proving too hard. Lots of big websites are already up there and will be impossible to beat. You can alter the keyword to be a bit longer such as “ladies fashion for 25 year olds”. These keywords might only get 100 searches per month, but if you target 100 of them, you have the potential to get 10’000 visitors per month very easily and with little competition. Long-tail keyword research normally requires you to use tools such as SEMRush or AHrefs to get some decent metrics. I will go into further detail on this later on.
What is a Target Keyword
Every web page should have one or more target keywords. A target keyword is simply the term you want people to use in search engines to discover your website. If you run a second-hand car website, you may want the home page to have multiple target keywords. Here is an example of some “Second-hand cars”, “Used Cars”, “Cheap cars”.
Every search term is a keyword, only those that you want your web page to return for are considered target keywords. They are the keywords that you are trying to target with the content of the page.