Why Are Keywords Important? [Series: How To Rank #1 on Google]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You’re a business owner and you’ve spent time and money building a beautiful website, but when you search for your company on Google you don’t show up until the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th page.

With up to 92% of clicks going to results that show up on the 1st page, it’s no surprise that you want your business to be at the top of the search results. 

But, how do you get there?

One important search engine optimization (SEO) tactic for improving your ranking on Google and other search engines is the use of keywords on your website. 

Why are keywords important?

Keywords are what Google and other search engines use to determine what your business does and whether or not they should show your business when people search for various topics. 

For example, If you own a boutique clothing store it’s probably not important for you to show up when someone searches for “coffee shop”. However, you probably would want to show up when someone looks up “clothing store near me”. 

That’s where keywords come into play!

We will answer the following questions:

  1. What keywords are
  2. How to find keywords for your business
  3. How to choose which keywords to focus on
  4. How to implement keywords into your website
  5. How to track your success
small and medium sized businesses can use keywords to improve Google search engine rankings

Use keywords to help your business rank higher on Google and other search engines

 

What are keywords?

You’ve probably heard the term before but are likely still wondering, “What are keywords, and how can using keywords help my business rank higher on Google and other search engines?”

A keyword is simply a word or combination of words typed into search engines to help a searcher find their desired topic.

Think about your business — how would people describe the services you offer or the products you sell? The words they use to describe you are likely keywords!

There are 2 different types of keywords, simple keywords (or short-tail keywords) and long-tail keywords. 

Simple keywords refer to single words that would be used to define a topic. An example of a simple keyword would be “Dentist” or “Running”.

A long-tail keyword is a group of multiple words that work to define the user’s search intent. An example of a longtail keyword would be “Orthodontics Dentist in Abbotsford” or “Running shoes for trails”.

Now that you understand why keywords are important and we’ve discussed the different types of keywords, it’s time to find some that are relevant to your business, and learn how to implement them on your website.

Small business owner researching keywords for Google rankings

Use a mixture of short-tail and long-tail keywords in your content

 

How to find keywords for your business (keyword research)

A great place to start is with brainstorming and creating a list. You’ll eventually want to target a few different keywords for each page on your website so be sure to keep that in mind.

Write down a list of words that are relevant to your business and more specifically to the webpage you plan to use them on.

For example, a restaurant would want to list out various words such as restaurant, take-out, daily happy hour, sit down restaurants near me, etc.

It’s important to have both simple and long-tail keywords so make sure to mix it up!

Next visit websites like Quora, Reddit, and Facebook to understand the types of words your customers are using to inquire about businesses in your niche.

Take a look at your competitors and even the customer reviews people are leaving to get a better idea of the common terms that your customers use.

You can also use tools such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, or even Google’s free keyword planner to get you started. These tools not only help suggest keywords but also show the volume of searches those terms receive and how difficult it would be to rank for them.

Keyword research is a key component of search engine optimization

Start by compiling a list of keywords you think are relevant to your business

 

Choosing the keyword you want to focus on

Hopefully, by this point, you have a list of relevant keywords for your business, but just because there are lots of keywords doesn’t mean you should start scattering all of them throughout your website.

So, which ones should you use?

You’ll want to start by choosing a single keyword for each page on your website (once you see traction and results from that keyword, start targeting multiple keywords per page).

You can use tools like UberSuggest to get a better understanding of your keywords search volume and how difficult it will be for you to rank for them. 

There’s no point in working hard to rank for a keyword like “running shoes for flat-footed people” because as you can see from the “search volume” column below, this search term gets zero searches per month.

Google keyword results showing low search volumes and keyword difficulty

 

On the flip side, you also don’t want to be too broad with your keywords. As you can see the search term “runners” has a relatively high search volume but it’s also much more competitive and would be quite difficult to rank for.

Google keyword results showing high search volumes and keyword difficulty

 

It’s important to choose the best keyword for each of your web pages and put your effort into ranking for those rather than trying to rank for hundreds of different keywords.

Google search results for Abbotsford coffee shops

Implementing the keywords 

Now that you’ve built your list of keywords and refined it down to the ones you want to target, it’s time to put them in place.

The first and most obvious place to put your keywords is in the body copy for your webpage. 

Use the keywords where they make sense and don’t keyword stuff.

There’s no need to put your keyword in every sentence or even in every paragraph. Instead, strategically place your keywords so they form natural sentences. Not only does this make your content more enjoyable to read, but it’s shown that Google penalizes content that has stuffed keywords.

You’ll also want to implement your keyword in a few other places on your website as well:

  • Page Titles
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Content Headers and Subheaders
  • Image Alt Tags
  • Embedded File Names
Small business owner using keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and website content

Use keywords throughout various areas of your website

 

Tracking your keywords and success

You’ve put in the time but how can you tell if your SEO efforts are paying off or not? 

Well, it’s important to track your keywords to determine where you’re ranking over time and which keywords are performing best for your website.

Taking control of your keyword success from the start minimizes the guesswork and helps to ensure you’re reaching your goals.

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free and although they only show statistics on the keywords you’re already ranking for (and not necessarily the keywords you are targeting), they can give you a good idea as to where you’re at.

Other more advanced, paid tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs allow you to add and monitor specific keywords and are something to consider if you’re planning to take your SEO to the next level. 

Knowing where you rank for keywords can help in a variety of ways including:

  • Troubleshooting traffic drops
  • Monitoring competitors
  • Identifying key opportunities

Tracking your keywords helps you stay on top of your SEO, monitoring which keywords are likely driving the most traffic and which are not producing the results you’re after.

This allows you to make the necessary adjustments to continuously improve your website and rankings on the top search engines.

Google analytics tracking and monitoring keyword results

Be sure to monitor your SEO results

 

Conclusion

And there you have it!

Now you know why keywords are important and how you can start utilizing them to help your business stand out on Google.

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