What are Keywords and How to use them in Marketing?

If you want to run an online campaign, you will certainly come across the term “keywords” or “key phrases”.  Knowledge of their specifics is essential if you want to take care of the positioning of your website in search engines when planning content and website structure. This is also an important issue for all those who promote blogs or social media profiles or outsource Google Ads campaigns. We explain what keywords are and why they are so important in digital marketing. In our short tutorial, you will also learn how to find keywords and make your website get more views and your content reach the largest possible group of people or your potential customers.

What are Keywords (Key Phrases)?

The term “keywords” or “key phrases” refers to queries that users type into a search engine. A keyword may consist of one, two, or more words. After typing a specific word in the search engine, the Internet user receives results that relate to it.

Today, the vast majority of entrepreneurs already realize the importance of having a website as a business card. At the same time, however, many people still do not know how making the site generates traffic that will translate into sales of products and services. This will be possible when the website appears in the best possible positions in Google search results in response to as many phrases related to your business as possible.

Keywords usually belong to an existing language (e.g. English) and play a major role in the texts that appear on the pages. They occur both in headings, slogans, and many times in the content of paragraphs on the page. They define the main topic of the text and at the same time serve to optimize texts for SEO. Very often a keyword is emboldened in the text or highlighted in another way so that the recipient immediately pays attention to it.

Keywords (Key Phrases) Vs SEO

It is not enough to create an attractive website – if potential customers cannot reach it, it will look more like a store located far away from the city center, in a place where no roads lead. This is why search engine optimization (SEO) and all the activities related to positioning are so important. Nowadays, to get information about products and services, the vast majority of people get their information from search engines – using them both on desktop and mobile computers, wherever they happen to be, in a hurry. Most of us only look at the first page of search results and make purchasing decisions based on that.

Keywords are of fundamental importance in determining the position in Google rankings. Their frequency, form and placement are among the most important ranking factors considered by Google’s search engine algorithms. If your keywords overlap with the search results of specific people, the algorithm will consider them as users interested in your services or the products you offer. This is why choosing the right keyword phrases is so important from an optimization perspective.

The use of search engine data, which is collected by Google accounts, is also largely important in this context. Each Google account collects information about the pages visited by users, and their interests in order to then be able to better tailor ads. Your website is therefore recommended to people who have visited similar sites in the past or have searched for the services, items, or information contained in your posts.

Frequency, Form, and Placement of Keywords Vs. Optimization

Write with the recipient in mind – go natural!

Algorithms of Internet search engines, especially the most popular one – Google – use frequency, form, and placement of keywords as one of the basic factors in creating their rankings. Recently there have been many misunderstandings about this topic, which means that the actions taken may not only not help in positioning, but even hinder it.

Many people think that the best text is one in which as many keywords related to the topic have been placed as possible. This is not entirely true. You should take into account that you need to devote enough time and patience to find the right phrases and plan their proper placement in the text – so that it looks natural.

On the one hand, it may turn out that including one or two positional words in the entire text is not enough for the content to attract potential customers – especially when we are dealing with very strong competition. On the other hand, artificial intelligence is getting better and better at finding and promoting those sites that may actually be reader-friendly. Low-quality texts (e.g. pre classes) written solely for search engine algorithms and not carrying any real value for the recipient are degraded in the rankings. Keyword stuffing – an action consisting in “stuffing” a huge number of keywords in relation to the rest of the text may result not only in lowering the position but in extreme cases – complete removal from the search engine.

Remember the Purpose for Which you are Creating the Text

When choosing keywords, you should always think first about what purpose the specific text is being created for – whether it’s content to boost your page rank, a sponsored post on social media, or an ad billed in the PPC model. You can use multiple related keywords on your website and create extensive content. It’s different for ads that need to be very short and condensed – in this case, it’s very important to choose one or two keywords that will more accurately reflect the content of your ad, won’t be too pushy, and at the same time allow you to get displays on the most relevant web pages. An inappropriate choice of keywords for your ad can cause you to waste your budget by attracting people who will not be interested in taking advantage of your offer anyway.

Only by knowing the purpose of the content, therefore, can you be tempted to put together a list of keywords necessary for the text to serve its purpose.

Matching Keywords in Google Ads Campaigns

Keywords are important when creating Google Ad campaigns, which work on an auction basis. When a user types his query into the search engine, the ad system finds and displays to him those ads that best match about keyword match and the display region.  In this case, the client can decide for himself to what extent the phrase typed into the search engine must match his chosen keyword phrase.  Approximate matching ensures that the ad is displayed to a larger number of users, including those who have typed in other phrases closely related to the keyword.  If you choose an exact match, your ad will only be seen by people who typed in that exact phrase – there will be fewer viewers, but this way you reduce the risk of wasting your budget on not fully matched impressions.  People who care about medium matching should choose the “phrase matching” option, which allows you to display your ad also to people who have typed in the same phrase in the search engine.

Why is Proper Selection of Keywords so Important?

You will read on every site that by choosing the right keywords you ensure your website’s high position in the search engine, which is crucial for advertising campaigns. However, proper keyword planning allows you to achieve much more. Thanks to it:

  • You will learn about problems and issues that interest potential customers – keyword phrases are often ready topics for articles for your company blog. This is crucial not only for page positioning but also in content planning. By taking keywords into account, you can plan a comprehensive content marketing strategy, so you can expand the audience for your content and build a reputation as an expert.
  • You will get help with writing content – very often it can be the backbone of the article itself – a hint on how the headlines should look like and what issues you should remember to raise, because they may be important from the audience’s point of view.
  • You will learn how best to plan the site architecture – how category and subcategory names, product names, and tags used on the site should sound – which affects both user experience and SEO.
  • In some cases, the suggested keywords can give a hint about how to structure the offer. By searching for phrase hints, you can learn what products are popular with potential customers – and incorporate them into your inventory.

How to Choose Keywords?

When choosing keywords you should always be guided by the knowledge of what phrases are typed into the search engine window by Internet users. If you choose an unpopular keyword, you may quickly achieve a high position in the Google ranking, but this may not translate into benefits for your business in the form of increased traffic and increased interest in your offer. For this reason, you should always carefully check the competitiveness of your keywords.

Of course, the first step when choosing keywords is always intuition, brainstorming – brainstorming, and writing down synonyms that come to mind. However, if you want to create a keyword list that will actually allow you to develop an effective online marketing strategy, it is very important to take a comprehensive approach and use professional tools such as a keyword planner.

Search Quality Evaluators

Before you start searching for the right keywords, it is a good idea to read Google’s document: Search Quality Evaluators, which provides very important guidance for anyone involved in SEO. You’ll find guidelines that will help you understand how Google’s search engine algorithms work to deliver the most relevant search results to users.

Theory of Topical Authority

When choosing the right keywords, it is worth getting acquainted with the theory of topical authority. According to this theory, search engine algorithms promote mainly those websites which give comprehensive content that covers all issues related to a given topic. For this reason, if you run a website about skiing, effective positioning will require the preparation of a series of substantive articles covering all issues related to the topic: from tips on how to complete the equipment, through training and skiing techniques, to weather and conditions on the various slopes.

Thanks to this, by choosing specific keywords, you also naturally position your website for other keywords related to the topic. Recently, artificial intelligence and the mechanisms of NLP (natural language processing) have become better and better at recognizing content that is truly valuable and useful to the user.

Competitor Analysis

If you want to plan an effective strategy based on keywords, you also need to know how they are being used on your competitors’ sites. In all likelihood, the phrases that give visibility to your competitors will also work well for you. To do this, it’s a good idea to check which pages on your competitors’ sites are performing the best and around which keywords they are concentrating on. Of course, we do not encourage you to copy ideas – uniqueness and creativity are always the basis. However, in this way you can find new keywords and topics that are worth mentioning – and prepare better, more interesting content yourself.

Types of Keywords

You should be aware that there are several types of keywords, each of which is characterized by a slightly different specificity and can be used to get slightly different results. Among them, it is worth distinguishing first general (generic) keywords, branded keywords, long-tail, and local phrases.

General keywords or Generic Keywords

The first and most commonly used type of keyword phrases are general keywords also called generic – for example, “concerts” or “shoes”. Most often they have the form of single words – for example, they indicate a type of product or service without specifying its exact type or features. A user who types these types of phrases into a search engine may still not be sure exactly what he or she is looking for – most likely he or she will receive links to many different types of stores and web portals on various topics. General keywords are characterized by a high number of searches and at the same time by high competition, which makes it very difficult to achieve high positions in the search engine, especially for companies that do not have a huge budget. For this reason, in addition to general keywords, it is worth using other types of phrases as well.

Base Keyword

Among generic words, it is worth distinguishing the base keyword. It is the word around which the sense of the text concentrates – the main idea of the text or the general type of assortment on the page. It will be the context of all published content. To emphasize it further, it is worth using related words as well.

Branded Keywords

The second very often used type of phrase is brand keywords – for example, “Adidas shoes”, which link to the products of specific brands/brands. If you offer products of popular manufacturers, it is worth betting primarily on the promotion of the brand, which is also a keyword phrase.

After typing this keyword into the search engine, the user should easily find what he is looking for. In the case of popular brands, branded keywords can be a bull’s eye – they contribute to generating very valuable traffic to the website. Such phrases are typed in by people who are already interested in a particular product range and often seriously consider making a purchase. In many cases, they already know the brand and have had contact with it before, and now they want to get to know the products in more detail – the final purchase decision is just a matter of time.

We can also highlight product keywords – they will immediately refer to a specific product model that we have on offer. Their use can be a very effective way to stand out from among the many stores that have the same products in their offer.

Long-tail Keywords

Another option is long-tail keywords, which are phrases consisting of several words and allow to precisely define product parameters, e.g. “women’s leather boots size 39”. Positioning with them can be very effective – in their case, the competition is lower than in the case of general phrases. Admittedly, they also have a lower number of searches, but they show the user’s intention much better. A woman who wants to buy leather boots in a particular size does not have to wade through men’s shoes. This translates into high conversions!

Local Phrases

The last type of keywords that you should pay attention to is local phrases. These are phrases in which the name of a particular city, region, or district appears – for example, “Hairdresser Gdańsk”, “Pension Mazury”, or “Pizzeria Mokotow”. Choosing this kind of phrase can be very effective, especially for people who are looking for specific services or stationary points in the chosen area. Some of them make decisions spontaneously, on mobile devices, not knowing well the place they are now. For this reason, it is very important to combine positioning for local phrases with a completed business card in Google Maps – the user should immediately receive specific information about your services and precise directions.

Keyword Planner – What is it and How to use it When Creating Content?

When planning keywords it is always worth taking into account analytical data from Google Search Console. Another very useful tool is the keyword planner, which should always be used when planning the positioning strategy. It allows you to analyze the keywords on an ongoing basis so that the website has the phrases most often searched by Internet users.

Keyword planner is a special application that makes this task easier, through ready keyword suggestions. With its help, you can easily generate new keywords based on the base keyword or the general topic of the text. By using keyword planning, your website has a chance to appear in search results of interested people much more often than before. Of course, the keyword suggestions suggested by the applications must not be used indiscriminately – otherwise, you may end up with content that not only has no value to the user but also does not help to achieve satisfactory results.