Tips for Using Keywords in Online Content
  • 3-minute read
  • 26th March 2019

Tips for Using Keywords in Online Content

Every business needs a website nowadays, so knowing how to use SEO keywords is vital. But what exactly is a keyword? And how does this factor into writing copy for your website? In this post, to help out, we look at the basics of using keywords in online content.

What Is a Keyword?

At its most basic, a keyword is a term that someone enters into a search engine to find a website. When creating your website, then, you should always think about which keywords will make it easy to find. In other words, your website content should be built around these terms.

To develop a list of keywords to use on your site, you may want to:

  • Use Google Analytics to see how people are currently finding your site.
  • Look at which terms your competitors use on their websites.

You’ll also need to know the difference between short tail and long tail keywords. We will look at these below.

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What Is a Short Tail Keyword?

A short tail keyword (otherwise known as a ‘head term’) is a single word or short phrase related to your core business activities. Examples for our website could include terms like ‘proofreading’ and ‘copy editing’. These are important because a lot of people search for them, but there is a lot of competition for most short tail keywords.

What Is a Long Tail Keyword?

A long tail keyword is a longer, specific phrase closely related to some aspect of your business. In our case, for instance, we might identify phrases such as ‘formatting for business documents’ or ‘Australian English essay proofreading’. People may search for these terms less often, but you can use them to target a very specific audience or market segment.

5 Tips for Using Keywords in Online Content

Finally, we have five handy tips you may want to use in your writing:

  1. Quality beats quantity – In the past, you could sometimes trick search engines by using a keyword on a single page many times (this was known as keyword stuffing). However, modern search algorithms penalise websites that do this, so don’t do it! Instead, focus on writing good quality content with keywords scattered occasionally throughout.
  2. Use keywords strategically – Use different types of keyword on different parts of your website. You would typically use short tail keywords on important pages (e.g. the home page or where you describe services). But using a range of long tail keywords elsewhere on the site (e.g. a blog or news section) will give you a repository of specific terms and phrases that potential customers can use to find you.
  3. Readability above all – Never force a keyword into a sentence where it doesn’t fit. After all, if someone clicks on your site and gives up after reading the first awkward paragraph, SEO counts for nothing. Make sure all content on your website is well written and error free first.
  4. Clever formatting – You can boost SEO results by formatting keywords so they stand out (e.g. with bold or italic fonts). It is also important to use keywords in headings and subheadings.
  5. Use meta descriptions – Don’t forget to write meta descriptions for each page on your site. These are page summaries that potential customers will see as a preview in search engines, so it’s vital to use the most relevant keyword for each page in these descriptions!

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