Using keywords correctly: The key to successful Web text
Search Engine Optimisation is in a constant state of change, and much is not how it was just a few years ago. It is time to keep up to date with these keywords which are so important to Google and the readers.
If you as an author know how to optimally use keywords, then you will find it easier to write successful web texts for ultimately satisfied clients.
Why keywords are so important
Keywords are the terms that users give into a search engine in order to look for the desired content. Search engines such as Google comb through the World Wide Web as per their algorithms and index the found pages and the corresponding content. These are recognised by the search engines by the frequency and spread of the words used there. They save the most important terms and the pages on which they are found and can then deliver the relevant results to users’ search queries.
For people running a website, this means that to be found by search engines and to achieve a good ranking, one has to place the applicable words in the right place in order to signalise the content that is being provided.
Stuffing, Density, Semantics: How keywords have evolved
Keywords have always been decisive in achieving a good ranking of search engines. However, their application has changed significantly over time. While SEO professionals were able to outwit Google and Co. through keyword stuffing – the massive flooding of a keyword – the algorithms now filter out websites that use this method. The solution to Google’s penalty was the creation of the concept of keyword density – a balanced distribution of the keywords. The ideal percentage at which a keyword should appear in a text is, however, still hotly debated.
In the meantime, semantic factors are now also playing a role. Google is attempting more and more to understand the intentions behind a search query in order to allow a more intuitive and efficient search. Last year’s Hummingbird update laid the important foundation of Google’s pursuit of semantic searches. A new algorithm now pushes the entire search query and its meaning into the foreground, instead of just noticing “individual” words. This development has influenced text creation and keyword choice where semantic factors have to be taken into account. With help of SEO analysis, authors can write texts that encompass many relevant aspects of a topic. Semantically applicable terms, as well as their frequency, can be determined and incorporated into the text for each keyword.
How can keywords be designed?
Fundamentally, one has to distinguish between keywords and a combination of keywords. From this, we get the relevant terms “short head keywords” and “long tail keywords”.
- Short Head Keywords consist of one single term (e.g. “text”, “online marketing” etc.) and generally form one generic search query. Short Head Keywords are searched for more frequently, and therefore they are a lot more contested in regards to SEO.
- Long Tail Keywords, on the other hand, are made up of various words (e.g. “purchasing good texts online”, “content text UK” etc.). Such specific search queries show that the user is committed to a more thorough search and has developed a stronger intention to purchase. Long Tail Keywords are searched for less frequently, which means that the competition for these is significantly less. This makes this type of keyword more attractive for many websites.
- The term Inflections defines the modification of a keyword – in regards to case or number. When writing a text, it is often unavoidable that a word has to be declined. However, as search engines can only cope with inflections to a certain extent, meaning that a website operator has to judge by how much a keyword or keyword combination can be altered.
- Connecting words are “insignificant” words for search engines that are placed in between the actual keywords. In the extract “… Your content marketplace in UK…”, for example, search engines will recognise that “in” does not belong to the keywords.
Keywords at Textbroker
The SEO options at Textbroker allow clients to give in their requested keywords and keyword combinations, as well as the use of them. Moreover, they can include in the briefing whether or not inflections or the most important connecting words are allowed.
How do I use keywords correctly?
So that search engines and users find the correct content, the appropriate keywords have to be in the right place on a web text:
- In the headline: The main keyword should be placed at the beginning of the (h1) Headline if possible. Not only does Google evaluate the headline; for readers this is usually the starting point of a text. Especially in web texts do readers first check the title to see if their relevant keyword is included and consequently judge, within seconds, if the article offers what they are looking for.
- At the beginning and end of a text: Many studies have shown that search engines classify the first and last part of an article as very important, as many people only read the introduction and conclusion of a text. Therefore, the most important keywords should also be included here.
- As far left as possible: Many users do not read a web text word for word, but rather fly over the text and scan for the most important information. Authors and website designers therefore have to catch the attention of the reader and achieve this by placing the most relevant words on the left-hand side, i.e. at the beginning, of a paragraph. Even if you as an author only have limited control over the end layout of a text on a website, try to incorporate the keywords as such.
- In the sub-headers: Even the sub-headers count as visual anchor points and should contain keywords. They give a quick overview of what the user (and Google) will read in the proceeding text, which in turn indicates what the entire article is about.
- As close to each other as possible: Regarding long tail keywords especially, authors should place the individual terms as close to each other as possible. Google seems to conclude from the proximity of the keywords to each other that their meanings are also close.
- In picture subtitles, titles, meta-description, URLs: Not only for the search engine, but also for the reader do the various text elements play an important role. They convey the reader useful information regarding the content of the page. Title and meta-description are frequently the first things that a reader will see of a site and because of this, they have to be able to convince the reader. Clients rarely order these elements for a text, but when they do, then keywords have to be included.
Do not forget: you are primarily writing for the reader and not for the search engine – readability is paramount. If the keyword cannot be included at the start of a headline, then consider placing it further back.
How to find the right words
To avoid monotonous texts and keyword stuffing, authors can take advantage of synonyms. Even when the keyword density as set by the client has been met, readers and search engines prefer varied texts with semantically similar terms.
Should you at some point face writer’s block, suitable synonyms to thousands of words, as well as semantically similar words, can be found here:
For more useful tips and tools, check out our other tutorials.