What is the importance of keywords when writing the page contents for your company’s website?
The relationship between SEO and content is very close. It could not be otherwise, since what we write on our website is the main indicator that Google and other search engines have to understand and value what we offer; and to decide, ultimately, if it is relevant enough to serve it in a list of results.
Keywords are, in this process, a primary signal. A few years ago, it was only through them that we could help search engines interpret our content. Today, Google has a much richer reading capacity than ten years ago, they continue to be a fundamental roadmap to reaching the top of the SERP Mountain.
The best way to describe the purpose of keywords is this: “Think about the words that users might enter to locate your pages, and make sure those words are included on your website.” The quote is from Google, specifically from its guidelines for webmasters, and it is clear: what it is about is connecting the searches of our audience with the contents of our site.
Working With The Keyword Planner
Google logs and analyzes every query people make to it, no matter how insignificant. Then, it makes part of that information available so that users of its ad platform can learn which keywords are most important when writing advertising pieces.
That same information helps SEO writers to find relevant keywords for our content.
The Google Ads keyword planner allows us to know how much search volume (how many times the term is used in the search engine in a month) a keyword has, and discover related terms that may be more strategic to use.
- The good thing is that it’s completely free, and it gives you access to detailed keyword information, including current and historical search volume on both desktop and mobile.
- The bad thing is that it is not an independent tool, but it is included within the Ads platform; This means that if you don’t use Google Ads, you’ll need to set up an account to use it.
To start working with the keyword planner, we can put together a list of topics that we initially consider relevant to our business. Then, as we run them through the tool, we’re going to see what search volume each one has, and what kind of similar searches users in the area are doing.
When choosing keywords, it is important to keep this in mind:
- It may be easier to rank well for terms with low search volume, as there is often less competition; but that implies less potential traffic.
- In turn, it can be more difficult to rank well for terms with a very high search volume, because they tend to have more competition; but if it succeeds, that usually translates into a lot of traffic.
- Long-tail keywords (for example, “marketing automation platforms”) tend to have lower search volume than short-tail keywords (“marketing automation”), but not always. That is why it is important to check it.
Once we have passed all the keywords through the tool, all that remains is to choose the ones that best suit the strategy or the particular piece of content that we need to create.
A common strategy is to work texts with long-tail keywords that link to another more general piece, where there are short-tail keywords and with a higher search volume. This can help you rank better for more competitive search terms.
Using Keywords In Writing
Once we have the keywords ready, we can start with the writing task itself. In general, for a single piece, it is advisable to have a main keyword and use it naturally throughout the text.
What exactly does “naturally” mean? In essence, it means that a text should always be written for people, and not for search engines, so the inclusion of keywords has to make sense and coherence.
Additionally, it implies that the keywords must be subject to the subject of the text, and not the other way around; that is, it is more effective to write thinking about how to develop a topic well, than to do it only to give context to a keyword. Especially if we consider that Google has become much more competent when it comes to interpreting the meaning and relevance of a text, beyond the search terms used.
With that said, here are some tips on keyword usage and copywriting.
- Try that your text has no less than 400/500 words; longer texts are usually more likely to rank high.
- I included the main keyword throughout the text whenever it is relevant. Don’t force the structure of a paragraph just to make it appear.
- Make it easy to scan text by including subheadings, and important terms highlighted or in bold.
- Use the main keyword in the header, in the URL, and also in some of the subtitles. If possible, include it in the meta description as well.
- Link the keyword to other pieces of content on your site that contain related search terms.
- Write concise paragraphs to stimulate reading.
- Use lists (like this one) to highlight important data or information.