If you're running a website or a blog, you've probably noticed that a few of your posts attract the majority of your site's visitors. There's a good reason for this. Somehow, search engines identified those posts as helpful to visitors and decided to prioritize them. Even without knowing anything about keyword research, you've used a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique.

So, what is SEO in the first place and how is it connected to keyword research? Is there a proven way to rank your website a bit higher? Is there anything else you need to know about this SEO technique? Continue reading this article and find out.

What is SEO in the first place?

As we previously said, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Almost every website owner wants their website to appear on the first page of Google's search results. With over one billion websites on the Web, it's clear how hard it is to achieve a favorable ranking. Still, there is a lot you can do to help Google, Bing, and other search engines to ‘read' and understand your website.

When it comes to keywords, these are targeted words contained within an article or blog post. This simple yet highly effective SEO technique has been used for a while now. In general, the concept behind this method is in placing the selected keywords throughout your articles. The goal here is to help search engines to understand what your content is all about and thus – rank it higher. Still, it's important not to overdo keyword placement as well as to avoid sounding robotic, since you need to take care of your readers as well.

Let's take a deeper look at keyword research.

All You Need to Know About Keyword Research

When it comes to individual pages and blog posts, keyword research is perhaps the most important thing to consider. Some free-of-charge tools that allow you to examine different keywords and their effectiveness (more about that later). Right now, you need to be familiar with the following terms: keyword traffic volume and keyword competitiveness.

By inspecting keywords, you can see how many people are using them in their Web search queries. For example, if we use Google's AdWords Keyword Planner and search for ‘Hotels in Paris', we'll see a detailed report for the selected keywords. Let's take a look at the image below.

creative seo tips

As you can see, up to 100 million individuals are searching for hotels in Paris on Google. More importantly, this tool gives us a range of similar keywords. The table also brings us entries like ‘Cheap hotels in Paris,' ‘Paris accommodation,' or ‘Places to stay in Paris', among other suggestions. For each of those suggestions, we can see average monthly searches. It's clear how helpful this tool can be.

Now, let's talk about keyword competitiveness, which also plays a significant role when picking a keyword. If you take a look at the image above, you'll see that Google shows competitiveness for each of the suggestions. Low competitiveness means that not many websites fight for a particular keyword. The winning combination here is to pick a highly popular keyword – but the one that millions of websites aren't battling over. In order words, low competitiveness and high search volume are your way toward success.

Introducing: Long-Tail Keywords

When talking about keyword research, we mustn't forget to mention long-tail keywords. We previously showed you how to pick the right kind of keyword. Now we'll show you to target particular strings of words. This can not only bring you more visitors, but it allows you to target higher-paid ads (if you run those on your website).

We are going to use our previous example: ‘Hotels in Paris.' This example is considered to be a basic string of keywords that can be expanded to ‘Cheap hotels in Paris.' To be even more specific, we can go for a long-tail keyword for example, ‘Cheap hotels in Paris near Eiffel Tower.'

To avoid being overly complicated, here's a straightforward table showing how three of the previously mentioned strings of keyword look. We'll see their search volumes, competitiveness, and suggested bids for their ads.

Keyword

Average monthly searches

Competition

Suggested bid

Hotels in Paris

10K – 100K

Medium

$4.12

Cheap hotels in Paris

10K – 100K

Medium

$3.16

Cheap hotels in Paris near Eiffel Tower

1K – 10K

Low

$5.25

What needs to be understood here? It's crucial to do a keyword research before writing and publishing an article. Nonetheless, this research should focus on short- and long-tail keywords since this combination is poised to succeed.

Now that you know the basics of finding the right keyword, let's see how to use them in your article.

How to Use Keywords (Density and Placement)

The most harmful thing you can do is to stuff your article with the selected keywords. This won't only make the article unreadable but will hurt your chances with Google. In fact, search engines have very sophisticated algorithms capable of detecting keyword stuffing. As a result, websites get penalized which is incredibly harmful to SEO in the long-run.

The best way to utilize keywords is to ‘sprinkle' them over your articles. Make sure you use them in headings as well as in paragraphs, without forcing their way into your sentences. It is believed that you should use a keyword between 0.5% and 2.5% in each of your articles. Besides, feel free to target two or more keywords, if you manage to find compatible ones. Just remember: don't overuse them.

Conclusion

We sincerely hope that we helped you understand the basics of keyword research. This is a simple SEO technique that anyone of us can utilize. As you become more proficient, you'll learn to pick the best possible keywords and insert them into your articles with ease. This way, you'll help your visitors and readers by providing unique and informative content. On the other hand, you'll also help Google and other search engines to understand what your website is all about.

About the author

Alex Roman

Independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

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