Understanding Keywords in Context

When you’ve learned what you need to know about keyword optimization, and you have a pretty solid grasp of how to navigate keyword research tools, you’re ready to take a look at how the keywords actually impact the search engine’s “reading” of a blog or an article on your site. To start, let’s take a look at how you actually use those high-value keyword phrases within the body of an article.

The context in which you place your keywords is also very important, because using a keyword phrase in various contexts will enable it to be more widely searchable, and by default, more clickable. By presenting the keywords in various contexts, you promote your company’s product honestly and respect your client’s intelligence.

When you create content for your site, use variations of your main keyword phrases, as well as synonyms in order to vary your SEO-based content. Make sure the keyword is always relevant to the information within which it is presented.

Saying “We understand blogging, and our blog on how to blog effectively details how we blog and blog it as well we can possibly blog,” for a negative and very comical example, only insults the intelligence of the customer. But by saying “Our course on blogging promotes effective results” instead, you increase the chances of getting linked to by other websites through the high written quality of your article, and moderate / logical keyword usage.

The Keyword Optimization Process

Say you really want to sell a line of dog sweaters, for people who have tiny dogs in cold climates. And in this example, the brand called Tiny Doggy™ has a red sweater that they want to sell. This product can be identified through the keywords “small,” “dog,” and “sweater.”

First, imagine the customer typing these search terms into Google – in many cases, a sequence of events similar to this would actually occur. As the customer types, Google offers up suggestions for their keyword phrase, which likely includes “small dog sweater.”

And in the first page of results, your website inevitably pops up, because you have used all of these keywords in your meta data, and in your headings, as well. Further, those keyword phrases appear as the anchor text on sites that link back to your page or website. Not only do these keywords crop up in the title and headings, but they are also strategically placed throughout the piece of content. And by the time the customer has finished reading, she is totally primed to purchase a small red dog sweater from your product page!

Of course this is a drastically over-simplified example, but you get the point.

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Long-Tail Keywords

Another way to utilize keyword phrases is to understand the value of “long tail” keyword phrases. The most popular keywords and search terms only make up approximately 30% of web searches – the other 70% is the “long tail” of the search, the unique searches that are impossible to predict.

Think about the difference between short tail (most popular and therefore the most competitive when you’re trying to rank for something) and long tail (more unique to the quirks of individual searchers, literally longer in length, and less competitive but less search volume, too) keyword phrases like this:

  • SHORT TAIL: “real estate license requirements”
  • LONG TAIL: “what are the requirement to get a real estate license in California”

Perhaps the most glaring negative aspect of the long tail search term – is that its success may not necessarily be repeatable. Beyond that, the volume of searches for that long-tail keyword phrase may be very small when compared to more popular short-tail phrases. The biggest pros is that in the aggregate, the long tail keyword phrase comprises the majority of all web searches, and most of the search volume.

Remember, no matter what you end up getting right when it comes to proper fundamentals with keyword phrases – the very best way to attract new clients and traffic to your website is to just be your good old human self when you write!


[Photo Via: Wikimedia]

Published by Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency. Fiction writer, editor, content development specialist, lover of the written word and more, Byloos has worked in SEO and web development since 2006. He's written about every kind of subject under the sun, for clients both large and small. Together with his partner Carrie Seitzinger, he publishes NAILED Magazine from Portland.

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