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Keyword

Keyword: Brief Summary

A keyword is a word or phrase of some significance, which is used as a search string to look for information via online search engines like Google or Bing. These search engines then treat the keyword or phrase as a query, using the entered terms to identify and display the most relevant indexed web content.

For website owners and online marketers, keywords serve as a tool for increasing the visibility of content. This can be achieved by strategically including popular and relevant search terms within web pages or blog posts, so that it is displayed by search engines to users who used those keywords in their search.

Each search engine has its own algorithm for ranking content, but keywords are considered a major ranking factor.

Keyword: Detailed Summary

When a person goes on the internet to seek specific information, but not necessarily a specific website, they often turn to search engines, with some of the most popular of these including Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In doing so, they will often enter single words or short phrases, depending on what it is they are looking for.

The search engine then scans its list of indexed websites, looking for pages which contain the keyword or phrase entered. The search engine results page is then displayed, ranking the websites based on relevancy. This is decided based on a complex number of different factors, but the appearance of the keyword phrase is one of them.

For a web user looking for information, a keyword serves as a way to concisely sum up their query or problem, so that the search engine can provide them with relevant content. For a website owner, essentially, keywords help search engines to understand their website’s purpose and the topics covered. It can, therefore, serve as an effective marketing tool, with strategic keyword placement making their content easier for people to find.

A keyword can appear anywhere within a web page or document, although most search engine algorithms give priority to words which appear in web page titles, headings and sub-headings, as well as to words which appear multiple times. The vast majority of search engines do not count extremely common words like “a”, “and”, “the” and “an”, which appear frequently in almost any piece of text written in the English language.

Types of Keyword

There are two main types of keyword – broad keywords and long-tail keywords. A broad keyword tends to be very short, often consisting of just a single word, and while they may be relevant to a specific website or business, they are also likely to be relevant to a large number of other websites, including those in other fields.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are slightly more lengthy, often consisting of a two, three or four word phrase. They tend to be much more specific and are less likely to be relevant to a huge number of other websites.

To provide an example, the keyword “software” would be an example of a broad keyword, because it is short and very general. On the other hand, the phrase “cyber security software” would be an example of a long-tail keyword, because it is longer and is much more specific, relating to a particular type of software.

Marketers often target long-tail keywords, because they face less competition and so are able to rank higher up on search engine results pages. Visitors from long-tail keywords are also more likely to convert, because they are searching for a more niche topic and are more likely to be presented with relevant pages.

On the other hand, broad keywords are searched for more frequently on Google, providing high levels of traffic, but rankings are usually much more competitive, because a great number of websites use those phrases. Visitors stemming from broad keyword searches are also less likely to convert, because the content displayed may not be relevant to them.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is the process of trying to manipulate the rankings on search engine results pages, in order to boost the visibility of a website or specific web page. The basic theory behind the practice is that sites that appear early in results on Google and similar search engines are more likely to be clicked on.

Although there are a number of factors which contribute towards search engine rankings, keywords are one of the most important. Marketers carrying out SEO often spend significant time conducting research on keywords which are related to their website or business, which generate high search volume, but which have little in the way of competition.

Once relevant keywords have been identified, marketers then get to work on optimising their website content, in order to positively influence Google search rankings. For example, website articles may be written to include specific keywords, while page titles and meta data might also be edited to include these search terms.

There are a number of major advantages SEO has over other search marketing tactics, such as PPC advertising, including the fact that it is free and can significantly boost visibility online. Nevertheless, it requires careful planning and an understanding of Google algorithms, which is why many companies and website owners hire SEO experts.

When it comes to keyword research, there are a number of things to consider, such as which phrases people actually use to search for the type of content you are trying to promote, whether it is a niche term or a broader phrase, and how much competition there will be for the keyword.

Another issue to consider is regional variances in language related to chosen keywords. For example, the phrases “mobile phone” and “cell phone” are used to describe the same type of product, but are used in different parts of the world. A company attempting to rank for “cell phone” in Europe may not be the best strategy, as people in that part of the world are less likely to use that phrasing when searching for related topics.

Search engine optimisers also consider keyword density, which relates to the number of times the keyword appears within website content. In many cases, content which includes the keyword more than once will rank higher than content where the keyword is only used once, although placement and other factors are taken into account.

In the past, many websites would engage in a practice called keyword stuffing, where they would attempt to include their chosen keywords as many times as possible in their content. However, Google has updated its algorithms to penalise this practice and instead places a higher value on keywords appearing within relevant, quality content.

Conclusion

A keyword is a word or phrase which is entered into a search engine such as Google in order to find information or online content. Search engines then use the keyword as a query and display relevant web pages. As a result, keywords are an important search engine ranking factor and many web marketers use this to their advantage.

The process of trying to positively influence search engine results page rankings is known as search engine optimisation, or SEO, and marketers spend time researching relevant keywords, which generate high traffic, but are not highly competitive. By including these keywords in their content, they can boost their visibility on search engines like Google and Bing, potentially resulting in more visitors.


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