What are Keywords?

Broaden your SEO Knowledge:

Understanding how keywords work with SEO

Have you ever created the perfect article?

The one you thought prospective clients would go crazy over to read. You publish the article, and then…nothing. You wonder if Google even indexed your site. Is Google Analytics broken? What the heck!

Frustrating, but it does happen from time to time.

The good news is that most blogs only need to take a few steps to avoid having this happen again.

One of the biggest things you can do is understand how to use keywords in your content marketing campaign. Below I describe in detail how to use these keywords successfully.

#1 Write for Humans and Structure for GoogleBots

Your blog posts need to do something remarkable. They need to be written, so humans will enjoy it and Google will rank it. This is a tall order for any site to accomplish. It is a primary reason so many bloggers give up in disgust after not receiving enough traffic early on in their blogging career.

However, hope is around the corner. Your job as a blogger is to create content that educates and entertains your audience, as well as helps Google find you faster.

I will discuss this more in the next point (Semantic Search). For now, keep in mind the idea is not to write search content that relates to your customers’ needs and wants.

How to know if the human race will enjoy your blog post: In light of making sure that your readers pay attention to what you write, ask your mom (this also works with your spouse and other close relatives) to share your article on Facebook. If your mom will not share your article on social media then you know that your article was probably written for the GoogleBot.

While she might not keep your stick drawing on the refrigerator, she should be proud enough to put your articles on her Facebook wall to share with her friends.

#2 Understanding Semantic Search

Keyword research is crucial to any content marketing strategy. Since the launch of Google Hummingbird, our idea of keyword research has changed dramatically.

Traditionally, if you were to search for a company like an air conditioner repair business, then you would want to type in a keyword like New York air conditioner repair.

Google would then spit out the top ten results in the list. Now, using semantics and GPS, you can say nearest air conditioner repair into your phone through voice search and see the nearest A/C repair companies in your area.

This is becoming a big trend for local businesses. According to recent reports, over 41% of adults now use voice searches to find information.

#3 Highlight key points

For example, take BufferApps’ blog. The social media scheduling tool not only highlights their key points, but have so many articles written that they link to previous articles.

While talking about market research for a recent article, you can see they almost create a set of keywords with the links going to their previous articles.

This does three things.

  1. Highlights important keywords and phrases for Google.
  2. Internal linking can help your search engine traffic as well.
  3. Keeps your visitors on your site longer by encouraging visitors to check out other articles you wrote. (Bounce rate matters)

#4 Stuff turkeys…not articles

Your article should be more than a list of keywords. Instead, use your primary keyword in merely 2-5% of your conversation.

Especially if it is a long-tail keyword.

How many times can you really use a keyword like New York air conditioner repair in a sentence after all without sounding stodgy and boring?

Most blogs hear the idea of keywords and think more is better. Like everything else, moderation is best. Google has slammed a lot of blogs who just stuff keywords into everything they write.

#5 The Key to Social Media

Finally, let’s address another issue with keywords for your content marketing plan. While it is great to optimize your keywords for search engines (A.K.A Google), do not forget many social networks have strong keyword based search features.

Twitter in particular has a strong reliance on keywords to help users find information that is relevant to their needs.

Hashtags is social media’s version of a keyword. In the example below, you see hashtags for #SuperBowlXLIX, #SuperBowl, #SneakPeek, and #InvisibleMindy.

Companies like Nationwide Insurance will create specific hashtags like #InvisibleMindy to then track conversations among their fans, and encourage more users to get in on the conversation. If the hashtag starts to trend, then it really picks up speed.

Last year 57% of Super Bowl Advertisers used Hashtags in their ads, you start to see what they do. There is a lot of potential in using hashtags in your social media marketing.

Bloggers can use this same strategy when writing articles. When they write articles, they should be sharing these articles on social media with relevant hashtags.

By turning your website keywords into hashtags, you get twice the bang for your buck. The hashtags make it easier for your target market to find your posts and Tweets on social media, while the keywords make it easier for Google to index your page higher on their search engine.

As an added bonus, the more social shares you get the more Google improves your rank on their index.


Keywords help you drive the targeted traffic that you want to your site. With all of the changes that Google has made over the past year, this means you need to create quality traffic that your visitors will like as well.

When you can do this successfully, you have the power to find the quality clients you want for your business. It is not easy, but with the ideas above you have the strategies to make it work for your business.

However, if you are still having trouble with finding the right keywords to drive traffic to your website, feel free to check out my article on keyword research tools I use every week.