Recent changes with Googles algorithms mean that this type of writing is becoming less and less important. However many clients still ask for this type of article and therefore its important that you understand what they are talking about! Also nobody really knows what Google “wants” at any given time but if you are writing about “The Importance of Keywords” it still makes sens to me that you repeat the phrase throughout the article (without being silly) so that Google is more likely to find it and hence your potential visitors.
What is a keyword?
The internet has opened up vast opportunities for writers. Most businesses and organisations these days recognise the need to have a website that contains engaging content designed to bring traffic to their door and persuade visitors to become customers.
Enter the copywriter. Many companies of all sizes use freelance writers to create their website content, blogs and e-brochures. However, it’s not enough to write interesting copy for these types of clients. To succeed as a content writer, often you must be able to incorporate keywords within the work you undertake.
Keywords (or keyword phrases) are used by search engines to profile and index websites. Essentially, they tell search engines what a website is about. In commercial terms, website owners want to maximise the use of those keywords so that they feature higher in search results.
It’s generally accepted that most internet users go to a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, when they’re interested in buying a product or service. The words that people when use when they undertake these searches are referred to as keywords or keyword phrases. For the writer, it’s important to use these keywords often enough so that the website’s copy helps to push it up the results table of searches. Most marketing experts agree that it’s crucial for a website to feature on the first page of results for there to be a proven commercial benefit.
Why keyword research is important in copywriting
When business owners look for someone to produce content for their websites, they want a writer who can market their products or services and can understand the importance of using the right keywords. Sometimes, the client may provide the keywords and phrases that they want to be included but they may also need assistance in gauging which terms will improve their visibility to the main search engines. This latter process is called keyword research.
For example, a website that sells high fashion shoes to young women will probably use keywords such as ‘high heel shoes’, ‘leather boots’ and ‘court shoes’. These phrases are highly relevant to the company’s activity and, the more they are mentioned, the more likely the website will appear high up on search results.
The art of good keyword research is in keeping it relevant to the website’s target audience – that is, its paying customers. In the example above, it may well be that phrases such as ‘wedges’ and ‘stilletos’ combined with particular brand names are actually the keywords that people who are primed to buy are using.
How to use Google’s Keyword Tool
An ability to use Google’s keyword research tool gives you an advantage as a writer as you will understand the commercial requirements of the assignments that you have won.
Step 1: Brainstorm relevant words and phrases
Think about the website’s core activities, branding and top selling products/most popular sections. From this information, draw up a list of highly relevant words and phrases.
Step 2: Enter your keywords and phrases
Log in to your Google AdWords account and select the ‘Keyword Tool’ option from the menu. At this point, you can enter a word or phrase in the ‘Word or Phrase’ box. You can also execute a multiple search by inserting each word or phrase on a separate line.
On some occasions, it may be useful for you to search for suggested keywords within an individual website. In that case, you should insert the website’s URL address in the ‘Website’ box.
Step 3: Select a category
In the ‘Category’ box, Google has a dropdown menu of suggested categories, such as Family & Community or Property, followed by a wide range of sub-categories. If you type a category into the box, Google will automatically produce a list of relevant sub-categories for you to review. For example, typing in ‘cinema’ reveals a suggested list of cinema, home cinema projectors and home cinema systems.
Step 4: Decide upon the breadth of the search
If you tick the box that says ‘Only show ideas closely related to my search terms’, that’s exactly what your search will reveal – results based upon the keywords and phrases you entered. If you’re looking for inspiration on possible keywords, leaving the box unticked may produce terms that you may not have previously considered.
Step 5: Go advanced if you need to
Choosing the ‘Advanced Options and Filters’ options will allow you to change your search by country and language. An increasingly important filter these days is the type of equipment that people use to undertake a search and you may wish to change the search option from ‘desktop and laptop devices’ to ‘all mobile devices’.
Step 6: Review the results
When you click on the ‘Search’ button, Google will produce a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to the search terms you entered. The information to examine next to each result is:
- Competition – marked as Low, Medium or High, this suggests how many Google AdWords advertisers are interested in this keyword or phrase
- Global monthly searches – this tells you how often people around the world used the keyword or phrase
- Local monthly searches – this tells you how often people in the country, languages and devices you selected used the keyword or phrase.
Using the keyword research results
When reviewing the results of your search, you should look for keywords and phrases that don’t have too much competition but have healthy monthly search figures. As mentioned above, good keyword research skills are a valuable tool in your creative bag when you write content for client websites. However, keyword research can also be used to:
- Help bloggers be seen by more people and attract a larger following
- Improve content on your own website, if you have one
- Inspire you to find new and relevant topics for your newsletter, e-book or blog
- Provide ideas for effective titles and sub-headings for your articles
- Create blogs and pieces for article directories and other websites that act as promotional tools for your e-book, guide or report.
Now you understand the relevance of keywords, next you need to learn how to use them to create awesome seo articles: Next Article
Author: Marc Walton