Updated: Dec 2, 2020
You've most likely heard about keywords on your online adventures. You might even have been prompted by your website provider to type some in when you first set it up. This is all well and good, but what are keywords? What do they do? And, is it something you need to worry about?
Keywords are the main ideas or topics that your content is about. When people are searching online they usually type in a few words or a phrase to get to a list of results. The words they use to search are keywords too. When your keywords and the searchers keywords match your website is more likely to be seen and visited. You'll often hear marketers talk about using the right keywords to get attention. This process is usually referred to as search engine optimisation (SEO) or search queries.
How do I decide which keywords to use? There are a number of ways to determine keywords for your website. One, free and easy place to start is Google Trends. This tool gives you an indication of what people search for over time. Have a look here. Then, keep on reading before you start adding keywords to your copy and content because keywords are only one piece of the puzzle to help direct traffic to your website.
An overuse of keywords in your content can divert attention from your website. Search engines have their own complex set of rules that no one outside of those organisations completely understands. What we do know is that using some keywords can be helpful but that they will filter out sites that use them too much.
So, should I use keywords at all? Yes, but with care. Even the most clever use of keywords will not drive traffic your way on their own. Search engines look for high quality writing, which when complemented by some smart keywords, can help your website stand out.
Make sure your copy and content is well written, researched and proofread. Look at the post and page descriptions in your site management settings and edit your text. Once you've done this check that your keywords are subtly included. It's much better to write first and adjust for keywords afterwards than doing the reverse. Your content will be stronger and carry deeper meaning for your customers. Top notch writing supported by the right keywords together help your business get noticed online.
Make a point of regularly checking your keywords and review your website settings. Things change and people could be using new search terms that you might just be the right fit for. Just remember, excellent writing comes first.