what are keywords and why do you need them on your website?

Oct 30, 2020 | Blogs, Business Website, Content Marketing, Keyword Research

We talk about keywords a lot with our clients here at Engaging Content. However, if you don’t have a background in marketing, you might be wondering, ‘what are keywords?’

So, we’ve put together this very simple blog on what keywords are. As well as why you need to be using them on your website!

Woman on laptop with notepad and coffee

what are keywords?

When anybody types something into a search engine like Google, this is called a ‘keyword’. This can be anything from ‘digital marketing’ to ‘therapists near me.’ So, what are keywords? Essentially, they are ‘something someone might search for on the internet.’ A keyword doesn’t necessarily mean one word, it can be a whole phrase/sentence.

So, if you search for ‘interior designer’ Google will show you lots of web pages that use this exact phrase. As well as synonyms such as ‘interior design, home design, etc.’ in their content. And, if you search ‘interior designer near me’, it will show interior designers near your area.

So, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why you should be using keywords on your website…



1. using keywords help Google match your content with the right searches

When someone searches on the web, ie. types a keyword online, search engines like Google scan the whole of the internet for web pages that are relevant to that keyword. There are lots of things that Google looks for in order to find and rank all of the web pages it recommends for every search. However, one of the things it does is scan pages for words and phrases that match what’s been typed into the search bar – keywords.

So, if you want a specific web page to be shown to people who search e.g. ‘interior designer’ you’ll need to use lots of this phrase and its synonyms in your page content. You’ll also need to use these keywords in specific places such as your introduction, page headings, and places like URLs. These are all important signals that tell Google which searches to match your web page with.

If you don’t use it in the right places, or enough times, it’s likely your content won’t be shown in search results.



2. google won’t understand your website without them

Using keywords also helps Google to understand what your site content is about. To learn more about this, let’s take a look at some of the ways Google ‘reads’ and tries to ‘understand’ content.

After a web search is made, Google scans every web page on the internet to find relevant content. However, Google doesn’t read content as a human would. One of the ways Google tries to understand content is by looking for frequently used words and phrases in the text.

To demonstrate this, let’s look at a really useful tool: Write Words Frequency Counter. This clever tool tallies up all of the most frequently used words and phrases in any piece of content. It’s also a great indicator of how Google might read a piece of text on a web page by looking for keywords.

Below are the results of what keywords are used in this blog: ‘How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps’

Keyword Checker

The writer of this blog will have done lots of research into which search terms (keywords) they’d like the blog to rank for. We can get a good idea of what keywords are used in the text by looking at the list above. 

From this list of frequently used words and phrases, it’s really easy to tell what this blog might be about. Google will look at this list and very easily match it with searches like ‘how to write a blog’, ‘blog writing step by step’ and ‘writing a blog’.

3. they help new customers to find you

Using keywords helps new customers find your business online. Remember, new customers won’t search for your business using your company name, as they don’t know it exists! Instead, they will potentially search for a problem; ‘out of hours plumbers near me’. Or a service you offer – ‘bespoke furniture companies that fit wardrobes’.

By using keywords that relate to your ideal customers’ problems, needs, or services you offer, you’ll ensure your website shows up in their search results. If you’re an out of hours plumber, but don’t include the keyword ‘out of hours plumber’ anywhere on your website, why would you expect to appear on Google when someone searches for an out of hours plumber?

A great example of someone who utilises ‘problems’ or ‘solutions’ would be a personal trainer. You may assume that the keyword you’d use is ‘personal trainer’ but you may want to use additional keywords such as; ‘how to lose weight’. This way when a customer types in on Google ‘how to lose weight healthily’ your business will appear in their search.



4. they increase your rankings

Every single new web page is an opportunity to rank for more keywords and appear in more searches. The more pages on your website that rank well, the more trustworthy Google will think your site is. And the higher it’ll rank your content in general. This is called the snowball effect.

So, the more content you post, the more pages you publish. And the more keywords you use, the more likely you are to increase your rankings. Google receives over 63,000 searches every second, of every day. This is why it’s imperative that you ensure you’re utilising keywords.



5. they help you stand out from your competition

Understanding what keywords your competitors are targeting (and what searches they’re ranking for) helps you to differentiate yours. For example, if you know that a larger competitor is ranking well for ‘coffee shop’ and you won’t be able to beat them, you could rank for ‘bespoke coffee shop’.

It’s important to remember that there is little point trying to rank for a keyword a large competitor is using as their main keyword. Google will not rank you high enough for it. This is why slightly changing your keyword can really help. Finding the right keywords to use is called ‘keyword research’ and is something we do for our clients. You can learn more about this in our blog – ‘SEO keyword research – an introduction’.

what are the next steps when it comes to using keywords?

Now you understand more about what keywords are and why you need to be using them on your website. What comes next?

Well, the next step is to carry out some keyword research. This will help you decide what search terms you’d like to rank for. And which keywords to use on your website. After we’ve worked with our clients in their workshop add workshop link here, we will put together a list of keywords from our own keyword research to show them what they should be ranking for.

For more information on this service, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you.