Content may be king, but it’s nothing without its subjects – in other words, the keywords that help to justify its purpose.
Keywords are in many ways the essence of online content. Simply put, keywords are the words or phrases people use to search for content. For example, “accountancy firm” or “accountancy firm in Cambridge.” If you embed these keywords in your online content, the search engines will match these with the search enquiries and elevate you in the search results.
To get the best payback from your keywords you need to include them in the page title, the url and the H1 tag or headline in a blog post. You should also pack the keywords as close to the front as possible
Carefully considered keywords, then, act as magnets, drawing people who might need your products or services towards you. However, your content should never suffer for your keywords’ sake. It must still be valuable and original.
Companies that publish low quality content that is full of keywords will be spotted and penalised by the search engines. Google’s fierce algorithm update – the 'Panda' – brought the issue of quality content onto center stage when it was implemented earlier this year. The aim of the update was to reward websites with user-friendly, original content, and relegate poor quality content sites to the bottom of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
You can ensure you are in the first category by combining great copy with the appropriate keywords.
To achieve this your keywords should do the following:
- Describe your business and industry – e.g. “accountancy firm”
- Describe your service area if you are a local business – e.g. “accountancy firm Milton Keynes”
- Describe the topics written about on your blog or other articles – e.g. “top tips for doing business in Cambridge.”
- Match the terms that your prospects or clients are using when searching for a business like yours – e.g. “Employee benefits specialists in Bedford”
A program like the free Google Keywords Tool can help identify popular search terms to incorporate into the content you produce. For example, you might discover that people are searching for “avoiding problems with IR35”. In this case, you could write a blog that included this search term. Your website, assuming the blog is incorporated, would then appear in the search results with increasing frequency.
If you need inspiration, an easy way to get started is to type words into the Google search box. Google’s auto-suggestion feature uses the words you enter to suggest full phrases.
How do you research your keywords? Have you got any top tips for improving results?