What is a Keyword?
A keyword, or focus keyword, is the search term that describes the content on a page best. It’s the search term that you most want your page to rank for, so when people search for that term, they should find you. A focus keyword can be a word, like “guitar”, but also a phrase, like “electric guitar for kids”.
How do you use Keywords in your Pages and Posts?
There was a time where you could add a lot of keywords to your pages and posts, so-called keyword stuffing, and you’d rank in the search engines. However, this is not a great SEO strategy anymore. If you do this, you’ll be hit by the Google Panda Algorithm (or another update) in no time. Google prefers readable texts. Texts with a high keyword density do not read nicely. They are in fact, terrible to read. Instead of using your focus keyword over and over, you should use synonyms if possible.
Google actually recognizes synonyms to keywords now. Of course, you should use your focus keyword in your text, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Usually, a keyword density of 1 to 2% is perfect. In addition, you should make sure your use of keywords is balanced throughout the text. Make sure you use your focus keyword in your page title, first paragraph, one or several subheadings, and in your meta description.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research should be the first step of every SEO strategy. Before you write your website content, you need to think about which search terms you want to be found for. This means getting inside people’s heads, to find out which words they use when searching. You have to come up with an extensive list of keywords that you want your site to rank for. This is called doing keyword research.
The Importance of Good Keyword Research
Proper keyword research is important because it will make clear which search terms your audience uses. At Yoast, we frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their products, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words.
These sites aren’t found by their potential customers because of a mismatch in vocabulary. Of course, it doesn’t make any sense to optimize for words that people don’t use. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the words your target audience searches for to find you. This makes the whole effort of optimizing your website far more worthwhile.