What Is a Keyword in SEO? How To Use Keywords To Improve Your Website’s Rankings?

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What is a Keyword in SEO How To Use Keywords To Improve Rankings

Keywords are one of the most important factors in SEO. However, many people get confused about what a keyword is and how to use them correctly.

Understanding and using keywords in SEO is important because when you use them correctly, search engines will rank websites higher on their respective topics than if you didn’t include any keyword tags at all. This article covers everything about how to use keywords to improve SEO rankings.

What is a keyword in SEO?

A keyword is a specific word or phrase that people use to search for information online. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your website so that it appears higher up on pages containing relevant keywords when users perform searches on Google or other popular search engines.

By including targeted keywords throughout your website, you can increase traffic flow through organic SEO techniques such as link building and backlinking while also increasing conversion rates from potential customers by providing valuable information they’re likely looking for.

Most keywords are discovered during the keyword research process, which is a systematic approach to uncovering the best possible keywords for your website or blog. Keywords are chosen based on a combination of search volume (the number of people who conduct a Google search that includes your keyword), competition (how difficult it will be to rank well for your chosen keyword), and keywords intent (the likelihood that someone who searches for your keyword is looking for information or to buy something).

What are the different types of keywords?

There are basically two types of keywords: short-tail and long-tail. Short-tail keywords are more general, while long-tail keywords are more specific. Using the right type of keyword can help improve your website’s ranking on SERP for the relevant search queries.

Long-tail keywords

A long-tail keyword is a keyword that is less common, but more specific, than the average keyword. Long-tail keywords are important because they help you find high-quality content that is relevant to your audience. Long-tail keywords have lower search volume but higher conversion rates.

By targeting long-tail keywords, you can create content that is more specific and valuable to your target market. This type of content can be difficult to find, but it’s worth the effort because it leads to higher click-through rates and better ROI.

To find long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business, start by using Google AdWords Keyword Planner or another search engine optimization tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, Seodity, etc. You can also try using search engine trends to get an idea of which topics are being talked about frequently on social media.

The search demand curve

Short-tail keywords

A short-tail keyword is a keyword that is less than 3 words long. Short-tail keywords have high search volumes but low competition. This makes them difficult to rank for, but they offer high rewards when you do manage to rank for them. They usually include one or two words and can be very general (like shoes, wedding ring, Diabetes Mellitus, etc).

Short-tail keywords are important but they’re not easier to rank for and might not be more specific in terms of what the user is looking for. Additionally, using short-tail keywords in your content will help you attract more organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, etc if you have a high degree of Authority in your niche. The more people who are searching for a specific topic, the higher your chances of appearing in the SERPs.

Short-tail keywords

Why are keywords in SEO important?

Keywords are not just the words you use on a web page. They can also be in meta tags, site maps, and even content descriptions. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t neglect keywords in your SEO journey.

Keywords in SEO helps Google understand your site’s content

Keywords are important in SEO because they help Google understand your site’s content. By keyword optimization, you can ensure that your site is easily found by potential customers when they’re looking for information about the subjects you cover.

Keywords in SEO helps Google understand your site's content

When someone types in a search term on Google, their computer looks through its index of websites to find the most relevant pages. To do this, Google looks at a number of factors, including the keywords and phrases used on each page.

By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can make sure that your pages rank higher in search results and attract more visitors from across the web.

Keywords in SEO help your target audience find you

Keywords are important in SEO because they help your target audience find you. When someone is searching for information online, they use keywords to narrow down their search. By including the right keywords in your content and on your website, you can increase the chances that people will find you when they’re looking for what you have to offer.

If you want to be successful with SEO, it’s important to know which keywords are most relevant to your business and how to rank for them. By using keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Ubbersuggest, you can quickly identify which keywords are driving traffic and conversion rates for your competitors.

Keywords in SEO help your target audience find you

Keywords in SEO help your website’s ranking

When people type in a keyword into a Google search engine, the first websites that appear are the ones with the most pages that include that keyword. This can increase the website’s traffic and visibility, which can lead to more sales.

By infusing the right keywords and related terms in your content, you’ll make it easier for people to find information about your products and services and click through to visit your site.

For example, you can see from the image below, that this site gets tons of organic traffic monthly by ranking in position one for some of its keywords.

targeting relevant keywords

As long as you’re targeting relevant keywords and using appropriate language, you should be able to achieve good rankings without spending a lot of money on SEO services. However, if you find that your website isn’t ranking as well as it should be, or if traffic is declining unexpectedly, it may be time to consult an expert in SEO marketing.

How to choose the right keywords for your website?

Keywords are a key part of the content marketing strategy for your website. But how do you choose keywords? What is the best way to produce keyword-rich content and still be able to build high-quality websites with optimization in mind? Here, we will give you some tips on how to choose keywords that work for your website.

Do a keyword research

The first step of any SEO campaign is doing keyword research. This process involves finding and analyzing the search terms that people are entering into search engines. By doing this, you can uncover new queries to target, gauge the popularity of these queries, and determine their ranking difficulty.

In addition, keyword research can help you understand your target audience better and discover new content ideas. This information can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), attract more visitors, and generate leads and sales.

There are both free and paid tools that can help you with your keyword research process.

  • Free tools – Google keywords planner, Google trends, SEO minion, keywordsheeter, etc.
  • Premium tools – Semrush, Ahrefs, Mangools, Seodity, etc
What is a Keyword in SEO? How To Use Keywords To Improve Rankings

While proper keywords are key to a successful campaign, creating and optimizing quality content around these keywords is very crucial for a good ranking. We invite you to sign up for Outranking Free content acceleration BootCamp to learn more.

Focus on low-hanging fruit

Low-hanging fruit is a term used in business to describe anything that is easy and cheap to improve. This includes keywords that are already ranking well for your competitors, but which you can improve quickly and easily.

When choosing keywords, it’s important to focus on those that will have the biggest impact on your website’s traffic and conversion rates. By targeting low-hanging fruit, you’ll be able to achieve results more quickly and efficiently than if you tried to target too many keywords at once.

You can Start by looking at your search console data to identify keywords that you are ranking for but not optimized for. These are the low-hanging fruit that you can easily target and improve your website’s ranking for. Additionally, try to find keywords that have a high potential to drive impressions on your website. This will help you focus your efforts on the right keywords and get the most out of your SEO strategy.

Another cool way to find low-hanging fruit is by using the Semrush SEO tool or Ahrefs. This tool allows you to enter your competitor’s domain name and see all the words (and their corresponding ad costs) that are related to your chosen keyword(s) they are ranking for but not optimized for. Then use Outranking to craft amazing content that both people and search engines love.

What is a Keyword in SEO? How To Use Keywords To Improve Rankings

Once you’ve identified the low-hanging fruit, it’s time to get started on optimization One of the most effective ways to create and optimize and build authority around these keywords is by using Outranking AI SEO content writer and optimizer.

By focusing on these key areas, you’ll help potential customers find what they’re looking for faster – leading to higher conversions and better ROI for your marketing efforts.

Check for keyword difficulty and volume

Keyword difficulty is a measure of how hard it is to rank for a given keyword on your website. The higher the difficulty, the more competition you’ll have for that keyword. Volume is the number of times a keyword has been searched for on Google in the past month. The higher the volume, the more popular that term is and therefore, the harder it will be to rank for.

Here is an example of a keyword search volume and difficulty according to Semrush.

keyword search volume and difficulty according to Semrush

Focus more on long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific and provide a greater opportunity for your website to rank for those terms. Long tails offer a greater opportunity for targetted traffic because they’re likely to be searched by people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer

When you focus on long-tail keywords, you’re targeting words and phrases that are more specific to your business. These keywords tend to be much longer than the average keyword, which gives your website a better chance of ranking in search results for those terms.


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Keywords are words that a user types into a search engine to find information about your website. Keywords are often used in the content of web pages, but other uses include header tags, meta descriptions and site maps.

There is no one right way to go about selecting long-tail keywords – it all depends on the type of business you own. your keywords research knowledge and the products or services that you offer. However, by taking some time to brainstorm some possible long-tail keywords, you’ll give yourself a better chance of success when SEOing your website.

Check competitors’ rankings for the keywords

Checking your competitors’ rankings for the keywords you’re interested in is a great way to get an idea of how well those keywords are performing on their websites. This information can help you decide which keyword phrases to target and where to allocate your advertising budget.

Check competitors' rankings for the keywords

Comparing your website’s ranking for a specific keyword phrase against those of your top competitors will give you an idea of how well that keyword phrase is performing on the web. Using tools like Google keyword planner (free) or Semrush (paid) can help you make decisions about where to focus your SEO efforts and where to allocate a budget for online advertising.

Some factors that can influence a website’s ranking for a given keyword include volume, competition, and relevance. By understanding these factors, you can better optimize your website content so that it ranks higher for targeted keywords.

Tools that will help you with your keyword SEO strategy

Outranking topical authority and SEO content strategy platform

Topical authority refers to the fact that a website has written about a particular topic extensively, which gives them an edge over businesses who are new to the market or those who haven’t published content on the topic in a while. By ranking higher in search engines, businesses can reach their target audience more easily.

Outranking SEO content strategy platform provides features and resources that make it easy for business owners to create high-quality, authoritative content. These tools include keyword research, keyword and content gap analysis, content optimizer, SERP analyzer, topic clustering and strategies, and AI SEO article writing. By using these resources, it’s easier for business owners to produce quality content that will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

In order to create a content strategy that will help you rank higher than your topical authority competitors, you need to use a platform like Outranking. This platform takes into account more sophisticated factors than just simple keyword research. Additionally, tools like Semrush cannot help you find the topical authority gap- which is essential for creating a successful SEO strategy.

The Outranking topical authority and SEO content strategy platform will help you prioritize and execute your keyword SEO strategy on autopilot. The platform provides valuable recommendations that will help you create content that is both relevant and valuable to your audience.

With an advanced entity-extraction model, you can identify the topics that satisfy the search intent and then find semantic terms and coverage ideas that would normally take hours to find. This comprehensive targeting plan will help build your website’s authority and improve your SEO ranking.

In order to take advantage of this type of tool, business owners need to understand what topics are popular online and what keywords they should be targeting. Once they have a grasp on these concepts, it’s easy to start producing quality content that will help them outrank their competitors.

To demystify Outranking, we urge you to sign up for this free Outranking content creation BootCamp and learn how to dominate the SERPs with content that both google and people love.

Outranking topical authority and SEO content strategy platform

2. Ahrefs and Semrush- keyword explorer

Ahrefs and Semrush are two of the most popular tools that help with keyword SEO. Ahrefs is a tool that helps you see how your website is performing in relation to other websites, and Semrush provides insights into the competition for different keywords.

Semrush are two of the most popular tools that help with keyword SEO

Ahrefs and Semrush allow you to see how your website is ranking for different keywords, as well as how other websites are ranking for those same keywords. This information can help you optimize your website for better search visibility. Ahrefs also offers features like competitor analysis and keyword research, which can help you find new opportunities to target your customers.

FAQ about what is a keyword in SEO

How many keywords should I target for my website?

When it comes to targeting keywords, it’s okay to try and target three or even five keywords on one page. However, it’s important to choose one primary keyword and focus all of your efforts on that keyword. You can use secondary keywords to help shape your content, but the rest of the article should be optimized for the primary keyword. Outranking provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to better optimize your content and make it helpful for both people and search engines.

Are long-tail keywords better than short-tail keywords?

Yes, long-tail keywords offer a vastly higher return on investment (ROI) than trying to compete with a huge number of large businesses which have somewhat of a monopoly over short-tail keywords

There is still a lot of value in short-tail keywords, but the quickest returns can often be found with long-tail terms. This is because long-tail keywords are more specific and thus drive more valuable traffic to your website. You should use both long-tail and short-tail keywords in your SEO campaign for the best results.

How should I determine a keyword’s value?

You can determine a keyword’s value, by looking at its traffic potential, competition, and search volume. Traffic potential refers to how many people will potentially see your ad or website if it was placed alongside relevant searches. This measure can be estimated by calculating your site’s organic search traffic (excluding paid search).

Pankil Shah
Pankil Shah
Co-founder @ Outranking.io