Keyword optimization: Learn the ways and works of keywords

Morten Frølich December 15, 2020 keyword

1. The ways and works of keywords

In the early search engine days keywords were literally key, but today, a lot of other SEO rankings factors is just as important. That doesn’t mean that keywords are not vital elements of your SEO efforts. A keyword optimization strategy is one of the most significant optimization strategies because it affects almost all other optimization strategies.

But why have keywords become so important, and how do you implement an effective keyword optimization strategy for your website? We will explain those points and many more in this keyword optimization guide.

Short-tail & Long-tail keywords

There are two kinds of keywords that you must know about: short-tail and long-tail keywords.

Short-tail keywords are keywords that consist of just one or two words, some people also call them seed keywords. If you have a webshop that sells bikes, these keywords are product names like bike, mountain bike, city bike, road bike, electric bike, etc.

Long-tail keywords are keywords that combine two or more words that the costumer might write on google, to describe what he or she is looking for (brand, material, target group, etc.). For the webshop-owner selling bikes, long-tail keywords could be carbon mountain bikes, city bike women, Cannondale road bike children, etc.

Long-tail keywords get fewer searches, but they are often more effective and lead to conversions more often than short-tailed ones, because the customer using long-tail keywords is more conscious about what he or she wants.

Speak the customer’s language

The combinations of keywords are endless, but always remember to optimize for words that you know your customer use. You must speak the customer’s ‘language’, because the more keywords you find that he or she is searching for, the more traffic you’ll drive to your website, which in the end leads to more conversions. It’s as simple as that.

And because a key word optimization strategy is based on the keywords the customer use, or what he or she might begin to use in the near future (what’s the keyword trends in your line of business?), a comprehensive content strategy that includes a customer analysis, is always a good foundation for an effective keyword optimization strategy.

Keyword research

Before optimizing your website for keyword search, you need to know which keywords to use, which in plain SEO lingo means: which keywords are the most searched ones in your line of business?

The eye10 SEO Keyword Tool is specifically developed to display just that. This tool will give you the most important short-tailed and long-tailed keywords, and together with the other eye10 SEO tools, it displays the data you need to optimize your website effectively. The tool can be used for all kinds of keyword analysis: regular keyword analysis, PPC keyword analysis, SoMe keyword analysis, etc.


2. A simple keyword optimization strategy

Now you’ve found the keywords you want to use, so what’s next? A basic and simple strategy would be to start implementing the individual keyword in all the sections on the specific site:

– URL: Be sure to include the keyword in the URL.

– Title tag: Your target keywords must be included in the title tag (and front loaded). This is the most important piece of content on your website, both on and off-page.

– Meta description: Always include target keywords in your meta description, as this will also help search engine rankings.

– Links: Keyword optimization should be integrated into your link building strategy. Internal links, inbound links, breadcrumb links and navigational links should all have your top optimized keywords.

– Images: Don’t forget to optimize keywords in the images and photos on your website. Target keywords should be used in the alt tag and file names.

– Site Structure: Keyword optimization is also critical to how you structure and organize your site content. Not only do you need to select the right keywords, but you need to group them hierarchically and order the corresponding pages on your website accordingly.

When that’s done, you also use the keywords in your content strategy regarding all content on the site, fx in the category texts (this is especially important if you are a webshop owner!). Your keyword optimization strategy and your content strategy overlap, so when developing the one, always have the other in mind.

How to use the keywords in your content strategy

When you want to implement the keywords in the relevant text formats on your website, try making an overview of the work first. Depending on the content, using the keywords in your content strategy can be a quick process, or it can take a fair amount of time.

It shouldn’t take long if you need the keywords in a couple of small marketing collateral texts, but if you have many hundreds of products, or if you have a blog with posts that consists of +5000 words, then you’re in for a lot of work.

Many website owners do the job themselves, and it’s a good way to learn the craft of digital copy writing, and to understand the way SEO works, but if you have a lot of text and writing is not your strongest suit, then you might want to seek professional assistance. Writing clever SEO texts is an art, and copy writers who can do this skillfully and without much hesitation is in high demand.


3. Paid advertising – what is PPC keywords?

The strategy above is targeted at organic traffic, but what about paid traffic, can you optimize your keywords for that? Yes, of course you can. PPC Advertising (Pay-per-click advertising) is also a very powerful marketing tool, and keywords used in paid advertising is called PPC keywords.

Using them in a Google Adwords campaign is like an auction, a bid war, except that if you win the bid, you don’t pay the amount you offered, but the amount offered by your closest competitor. Google Adwords have different types of ad formats, but which ever ones you choose, it’s about who will pay the most for a keyword. Those who pay the most lie on top of the search results, and you should always aim for top 4.

It goes without saying, that if you have spent money on paid advertising, you should also have a keyword optimization strategy for these campaigns. You don’t want to use money on the wrong keywords.

A PPC keyword strategy

Every PPC campaign is unique, but the most effective ones always follow a logical, organized structure and need ongoing management and maintenance. If you only do keyword research once, when you create your first campaign, you are probably missing out on thousands of valuable, long-tail, low-cost and highly relevant keywords that could be driving traffic to your site.

An effective PPC keyword list should be:

– Relevant: You want to find targeted keywords that will lead to a high PPC click through rate, a low cost per click, and increased profits. That means the keywords you bid on should be closely related to the products you sell or the services you offer.

– Exhaustive: Your keyword research should include not only the most popular and frequently searched terms in your niche, but also extend to the long tail of search. As explained above, long-tail keywords are more specific and less common, but they add up to account for most of the search-driven traffic. In addition, they are less competitive, and therefore less expensive.

– Expansive: PPC is iterative. You want to constantly refine and expand your campaigns and create an environment in which your keyword list is constantly growing and adapting.

And your list should also include a regular negative keyword analysis. When you have found and listed negative keywords in your PPC campaign, you prevent your ads from showing up for searches that are not relevant to your business and are unlikely to convert. In the case of the webshop owner selling bikes, negative keywords could be words such as Mountain bike routes, bike games, road bike reviews, etc.

There are plenty of tools to help you determine exactly how your keywords work in your campaigns. A tool like Wordstream’s Free Google Ads Performance Grader grades your campaigns on factors like ad text and long-tail keyword optimization and can be very helpful.

Read more about their PPC campaign advises here, and about their PPC management advises here.


4. Keywords for social medias

To explore and use target keywords in your social media marketing is also very important, because customers tend to use social medias more and more, when they search for the companies that offer the products and services they need.

In the case of the bike-selling webshop owner, the customer writes bike shop in the search bar, and the bike-selling webshop should appear on a list with other shops selling bikes. And there are plenty of great tools that can help you find the best keywords for social medias, and they are often divided according to the platforms. Here’s a guide on how to use keywords on social medias, and here’s a list of the top 25 social media keyword search tools.

Also note that you can use hashtags in ads, but it’s not recommendable, and can seem a bit odd. Your ads won’t show up in searches like regular posts, because they aren’t regular posts. You’ve paid for visibility, so there’s no need for hashtags.


5. Keyword research and optimization is an ongoing process

We hope you now have a better understanding of why keywords are so important, and how to find the right keywords and use them in a keyword optimization strategy. But remember that keyword optimization isn’t something you do when you develop a new website, or at the outset of a search marketing campaign. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s vital to keep uncovering new keyword opportunities and to expand your reach into various keyword verticals.

The world is ever-changing, and so are markets and the behaviors of customers. In order to understand and keep up with customer behavior, and not least predict how markets and customer behavior will progress, keyword research and optimization is essential. Many industries use a lot of time and resources on this because there is a huge customer and traffic potential in finding the cheap and not yet widely used keywords, before they trend and become public property.

By continuously performing keyword analysis and expanding your database of keywords, your site traffic, leads and sales will continue to grow, and you will find out how to get and keep the competitive edge.

Now go find the right keywords for your website.



What is a keyword?

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. There are two kinds of keywords: short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
If a guy is looking to buy a new jacket, he might type “jacket” or “brown leather jacket” into a search engine. The first keyword is a short-tail keyword, and the last one is a long-tail keyword.

What is keyword optimization?

Keyword optimization is the art of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website.

Who uses keyword optimization?

The simple answer: everyone with a website. Everyone has to optimize their websites according to the behavior of their users or customers. Keyword optimization is especially important if you have website with a lot of users, or if you sell products through a webshop.

Why is keyword optimization important?

Keyword optimization is important because a website always has to be optimized according to the keywords the customers use.

How often do you optimize your keywords?

Keyword optimization is something you have to do regularly, and not only when you develop a new website or a new marketing campaign.
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