If you have any interest in blogging or digital marketing, you have probably heard the term SEO. There are professional SEO experts and companies promising to boost your SEO strategy. But what exactly is SEO, and why is it important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the practice of – you guessed it – optimizing search engines. To be specific, SEO entails optimizing the text on your online content (such as your blog or website) so that your articles and your site appear higher up the list in search engine results.
What are the keywords in SEO?
In SEO lingo, “keywords” refer to words or phrases that are searched for on search engines such as Google and Bing. For example, if you are writing about money management skills, the phrase “money management skills” would be a keyword, as would “money management,” and perhaps also related phrases like “financial management” or “financial planning.” Longer phrases like “how can I manage my money” or “best financial planning tips” are known as long-tail keywords.
How to use SEO keywords
You can use analytics services like Google Analytics, to see how regularly certain phrases are searched for. Doing this can help you to work out which keywords to use in your written content to attract visitors to your site. Whether you are writing about something with a general appeal or about highly specific technical devices such as Zener Diodes, you will want to make sure that your content reaches as much or your target audience as you can.
Including these keywords in the title, headings, and subheadings as much as possible is recommended, and so is including them frequently in the body of the text. Search engine algorithms rank keyword search results based on how frequently keywords are used.
However, you can’t simply put your keywords in every single sentence! Search engine algorithms actually have built-in features to combat this practice. Using a keyword too many times is known as “keyword stuffing” and is actually penalized by algorithms, placing the site lower in the rankings to discourage this. While this may seem annoying, imagine how much much more annoying it would be if every search result read like it was written by a computer programmed to use the same word over and over!
When optimizing your site for SEO, don’t go overboard. Aim to strike a balance between frequent keywords and actually producing text that is comprehensible and engaging. After all, there isn’t much point attracting visitors to your site if your content drives them back away.
Onsite and offsite SEO
The use of these keywords in your website or blog content is known as “onsite SEO.” “Offsite SEO” refers to links that lead to your site that are posted on external sites. Not only does having other website owners provide links to your site often result in visits from the readers of that site, but search engine algorithms actually rank pages higher that are linked to from other sites!
SEO is always changing. Algorithms get more and more advanced and harder to “game.” Keeping up with the latest developments in SEO can help you stay ahead of the curve. Remember – SEO is no substitute for good quality content!