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SEO Series: What You Need to Know About SEO Part 2: Keywords

Published: 03-02-2023
Author: Noelle Castle

Using the right keywords is the first step to SEO success, but how do you know what to use?

Last month we kicked off our SEO Series with a great overview of what SEO is, why it is important, and how it impacts your website’s effectiveness. Be sure to read SEO: Start Here as you enjoy this blog series.

In this module, we’re diving deeper into SEO. The logical place to start is with a discussion of Keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that you use in the content of your website that match the words and phrases searchers are entering into search engines. The goal is to identify the keywords that explain your business, and match what a member of your audience would use when searching for a business like yours, as closely as possible. Keywords are an integral part of an SEO strategy, and help SEO efforts be impactful and measurable.

How To Identify Your Keywords

You can start by writing down all the words and phrases your products and services represent, but how do you know if they are the words and phrases that your customers are entering?

Unless people in your audience are actually searching for a keyword, there’s no point in targeting it.

You want to put your SEO keyword efforts into keywords that rank high in what people are searching for. You need to go where there is traffic potential – that’s how you will get visitors to your website. To determine what people are searching for you need a keyword research tool. Use these research tools to determine what keywords people are actually searching for in your industry and business specialty.

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google Keyword Planner is pretty simple to use. You enter a topic (a product or service of your business), and it gives you results of the relevant keyword ideas for that topic, and search volumes attached to each keyword.

Google Trends provides data that reflects searches people make on Google every day. You enter a keyword in the search bar and it will show you keyword data based on real-time search data. You can put your keywords in the search bar and see how they trend over time, which can be a useful way to supplement your keyword research.

We really like Keywords Everywhere. It is a Chrome Extension or Firefox Add-On. When you search a keyword, it will give you all sorts of trends and data. It shows you the monthly search volume, cost per click (CPC), and competition information. The data is inserted right into the search page you just used, for really easy access.

Specifically, you are looking at:

  • Search Volume (how many people do the search?)
  • Geographic Location (for a local keyword)
  • Competition
  • Trends – what time of year does the keyword perform best, what geographic locations do best with the keyword

Niching Down Keywords

Some keywords are extremely competitive, and you probably won’t be able to compete right away with highly established brands. Really broad terms like “landscaping” or “pottery” will be nearly impossible to rank for. Instead, get more specific, and perhaps add a geographic location to your keywords to niche them down more. For instance, “lawn thatching in Southern Maine” or “pottery coffee mugs” make those broad terms more specific and therefore less competitive.

You Have Your Keywords – Now What?

Once you have your keywords, you have to actually use them on your website. There are several places to put keywords on your site:

  • Design your website navigation to include keywords.
  • Make sure you create content that aligns with your keywords; add pages and blog posts based on the keywords you picked out.
  • Add the keywords to your existing content & design elements whenever possible (current pages, titles and headers, lists).
  • Add keywords to image names and image alt tags
  • Add keywords to meta tags


When naming images and putting in tags, don’t use spaces! If you have to separate terms, use dashes, “pottery-coffee-mug”.

Evaluate How Your Keywords are Doing

Of course, once you identify your keywords, and add them to your website, how do you know if they are working? You are wise to use some sort of research and diagnostic tool to review your website. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free platform that collects data from your website, and creates reports that will give you insights into your business, your keywords, and other site traffic information.

Speak Your Audience’s Language with the Right Keywords

You have to give search engines a way to connect you with your audience, and keywords are that bridge. Using the right keywords will draw your audience, as well as search engine’s, to your website. That is, of course, why you have one! Using good keywords in your website content gives your website a much better chance to be found, viewed, clicked, and read.

Zebralove Web Solutions SEO Services

We hope this article has given you some tools to start using keywords to draw traffic to your website! If you find you’d rather be running your business instead of doing keyword research, let us take care of your SEO for you. We offer full SEO services and marketing packages to meet your individual digital marketing goals.

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help your business move ahead of your competition with search engine optimization and search marketing services.

Noelle Castle - post author

Noelle Castle

Content Writer
Castle Media Co.

Noelle has been a marketing professional, and a published author and copywriter for over 20 years. Her work has been featured in both print publications and online media, where she has written on a broad range of topics. She owns Castle Media Co., assisting businesses with their marketing and digital media needs, specializing in website development, content marketing, social media, copywriting, and blogging.

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