What is search engine optimization?

So, what are the keywords and why do you need them? Keywords are phrases and questions that people use to search for something online. Of course, using any keyword will not make your site popular. The pages on your site must be “optimized” to attract the right customers.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of good practices that make it easier for search engines to analyze your site. A site is more likely to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs) if common search terms are found in the text.

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Most of the time, people do not write the exact URL when they search online. Enter questions, complete sentences or related word chains. Search engines produce a list of websites based on how closely they correspond to the query entered in the search. This process is known as “organic search” and it is your ticket to a greater online presence.

The evolution of search engines

Now, you’re probably wondering if the SEO keywords are really all they promise. You may have heard that keywords are no longer such an important factor in search engine algorithms. The truth is that search engines become more sophisticated year after year. The keywords will not disappear from the map soon, but the context and structure of a site determine how effective they are.

When the Internet was very young, any site filled with the right keywords could reach the top of the search results. Search engine companies knew that diluted results would make it difficult to find good content. Google opened the way by refining the search engines, so they could judge the total relevance of the content of the site. Today, search engines use robots to scan the pages of your site and decide if the meaning is related to the keyword.

Consider the following example. Someone could enter the question, “What are some low-cost small businesses that I could start with?” Now imagine that your website has a page called “10 Easy Small Business Ideas” Your site may or may not contain the exact search phrase . Even so, based on groups of relevant words, the search robots can know if the page will answer the question in question.

To make search results even better, search engines reward sites for being popular. When people read your pages frequently, search engines assume they have valuable content. The credibility of the sites that link to your pages is also important. That way, spammers do not benefit from creating many low-quality sites and filling them with links. For this reason, placing quality content on each page is the best way to improve your positioning in search results.

How to choose basic keywords for SEO

Even though the search engines are quite powerful, the search using keywords is quite useful to narrow your focus. After all, if you repair smartphones, you do not want to attract people who need repairs to their laptops. To choose the right keywords, gather a list of phrases that your target audience would usually look for. The basic features of your company are a good place to start.

Think about:

  • What your business does
  • What are your popular products
  • Essential problems that you solve for your clients
  • Where is your business located?
  • Common characteristics for your customer base
  • Questions that your customers commonly ask you

Use a keyword search tool, such as the Google Adwords Keyword Planner , to obtain a list of common searches related to your phrases. To get a good ranking, you need to use keywords with a high search value and less competition. Short and popular keywords may seem like a safe bet. But do not forget, everyone in your niche is using them. So, how can you excel and get to the top of the search results?

Long tail keywords produce high quality prospects

The use of long tail keywords for SEO can create ideal conditions for small businesses. Long tail keywords are very descriptive phrases, which have three or more words. They allow you to describe the exact problem that your audience is trying to solve.

Let’s say you have a personal chef business. You could start with basic phrases, such as “personal chef”, “private chef” or “chef at home.” All personal chefs will use these same words on their websites, so they will not do much to boost your search engine rankings.

However, not all chefs are your competitors, since your business is local. Adding a location, such as “Personal chef in Montevideo,” filters customers who are not in your area. Keyword search tools can give you suggestions for long tail keywords. The more specialized your niche is, the easier it is to refine long tail keywords, to reach the right people.

Consider the example of the personal chef again. The phrase long tail “hire chef for formal dinner” lets your potential customers know that you offer dinners at home, not just meals, for example. The phrase “Personal chef for diabetics in Medellín” is aimed at local people with dietary restrictions.

Placement of keywords increases the visibility of the website

The place where you place the keywords SEO makes a difference in the positioning of your website. Since search engines are constantly scanning websites, they need efficient ways to process content. Search engines commonly search for keywords in standard places, such as titles and images. Search to include keywords in these important areas:

  • Title of the website and meta description
  • Website URL
  • Titles of pages
  • Meta tags
  • Anchor text links
  • Description of images and file names

When you optimize the structure of your site, you do not need to create weird content, full of keywords. On the contrary, you can focus on writing content that really helps your consumers, and simply add the key phrases naturally.

The importance of updating your website

Once you have learned to use keywords, it is crucial that you continue to update your website. The popularity of the search terms may change, or your services may expand. Search engines also favor sites that are updated on a regular basis, which is one reason why blogs are great for small businesses . Blogs help you focus on groups of keywords on topics from a specific niche, while keeping you on the cutting edge with the keywords that are trending. More importantly, you will gain frequent readership and give your website lasting credibility.

Now, take everything you’ve learned about SEO keywords and start getting more prospects. Remember, you must be aware of what your customers want. Be relevant with your content. And be specific to attract compatible customers.