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What Are Keywords in SEO?

Understanding the importance of keywords is essential in your quest to rank higher in search results. In this article, we will explain the basic principle of a keyword, why it’s important, and how to use them effectively.

What Is a Keyword?

A keyword, also known as a focus keyword, is a search term entered into a search engine. Anything searched via a search engine is considered a keyword. These search terms are used by SEO professionals to optimise a website in hopes of getting it to rank for said keywords.

Why Are Keywords Important?

Keywords are important because of their ability to be targeted through marketing.

On a deeper level, keywords help us to better understand search intent, or why people are searching for certain things. Knowing why people are searching is key to being able to provide the answers they’re looking for.

Without keywords, the process of creating and publishing content would simply be a ‘spray and pray’ approach; casting a wide net and hoping to catch as much as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very effective digital strategy as today’s audiences have become extremely hyper-focused: they know what they’re looking for, and if they don’t find it on your website, they’ll gladly find it elsewhere.

As your marketing plan grows and develops further, you will need to do keyword research to uncover specific keywords to target with your website. Through a synergistic approach of SEO and content marketing, you can organically acquire high rankings.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of what keywords are, and why they’re important, let’s take a look at how to use them effectively.

How To Use Keywords Effectively?

As marketing has shifted more toward a user-centric approach, gone are the days of keyword-stuffing a page and watching the rankings flood in.

Today, the focus has shifted from solely being on search engines to a blend of user and search engine. Keywords today need to be used within your content in a natural way; the user must not be able to identify what is a keyword within your content.

Here are some best practices for using keywords in a natural, non-invasive way that pleases both search engines and users:

  • Use keywords as direction
  • Use keywords in moderation
  • Know where to add keywords
  • Choose keywords strategically
  • Cluster keywords around a certain topic
  • Understand the intent behind chosen keywords