When we search for something or have a question, we usually use language. Words (keywords) can be used to express information and relationships that can only be displayed with great effort via images or gestures. That is why the search words and terms for your communication on the Internet are so crucial.
An example: The question “What is the best Italian restaurant in Salzburg?” Can hardly be asked and answered without the use of language. Too much information is included in this simple question, including the place (in Salzburg), the type of offer (Italian restaurant) and the classification of the offer compared to similar offers (the best).
Not only in non-digital everyday life, but also for presence on the Internet, anyone who offers a product or service needs a stock of keywords that meaningfully describe the offer and its properties. These keywords and key phrases – the keywords – are covered in this SEO article.
To understand why keywords are still important for discoverability on the Internet, the process of a Google search query should be presented in a nutshell shortly. For this purpose, the functionality of a search engine like Google is interesting.
A search engine generally serves the purpose of indexing content and making it searchable. For the Internet this means that search engines use crawling programs to search through the countless published documents and assign them to specific topics. In order to make this collection searchable for the end user, ie the person in front of the search field, the documents are indexed in the index.
For this to happen neatly, a document must provide as much information as possible about its content. The terms used are used by the search engine to “understand”, classify and finally make content available again.
When a user enters a specific keyword or combination of keywords, the search engine selects the documents that most likely meet the user’s needs. Now, anyone involved with search engine optimization knows that the final order of results determines a variety of factors. Nevertheless, the proper classification of a document in the index is the basis for the document being considered as potentially relevant.
Shown are those offers that are most likely to satisfy the need of the searcher for a particular search query.
Here, however, there is the problem that only the fewest search engine users express their interest clearly in the form of a question. A search engine must therefore interpret the input – and that is not so easy with most search queries! For this there is a very well prepared information page from Google – How the search works – Algorithms become answers .
Another problem: If we think back to the “Best Italian Restaurant in Salzburg”, the objective best Italian restaurant could even define itself as a “trattoria” or “pizzeria”. If a search engine now searches exactly for the keyword “restaurant”, a pizzeria with exquisite Italian cuisine would not stand a chance.
Fortunately, search engines like Google are constantly learning about it. For the web presence of our favorite Italian, this means that he also appears in the search results for searches with keywords such as “Trattoria” or “Pizzeria”. Search engines know that all these terms mean something similar: a place where Italian cuisine is offered.
Even a person knows that “with the Italians” can basically expect the same, as when visiting a trattoria, a pizzeria or even an Italian restaurant. For the search engine optimization of a website the knowledge of this knowledge becomes relevant. One factor (among many): the more the search query matches the self-definition, the higher the search engine’s expected use of a web presence for the searcher.
Now, this may not be necessary to find a restaurant, but those who are more interested in a specific product will be much happier with an answer that is tailored to the specific question than with an answer that is just something similar busy.
Conclusion: Where user interest and corporate offer are also closer to one another in terms of language, the success (eg a purchase, a booking, a subscription …) becomes more likely.
The German language alone contains 5.3 million individual words that can be combined to form an infinite number of inputs in the Bing, Yandex, Baidu or Google search windows. Quite apart from the connection with other language expressions that is quite impressive at first glance. How to choose from all conceivable keywords and search phrases now exactly those that are actually suitable for search engine optimization, search engine marketing and content production?
The good news: No Keyword Research starts at zero! After all, every web presence is operated for a specific reason. And every company has at least one name, is part of an industry and presumably there is clarity about what to sell to whom. Just as important as clarity about meaning and purpose is the demarcation to anything that is not part of the offer. This point will be important later in the selection of relevant keywords.
A brainstorming usually provides some ideas, the view to the competitor as well. In addition, it pays to include external people in the process. One reason for this is the natural blindness of the company: Those who use the company’s language every day often overlook the fact that there are other “languages” as well. The more heterogeneous the group of respondents is, the more complete the picture becomes of the possible search queries for a particular product. And surprisingly seldom used for interviews on the topic of keywords: your own target group!
This part of Keyword Research lets you do online tools without keywords. Only in the next step, if the subject area of the web presence is basically staked out, Keyword Tools are used.
The choice of (often free) tools for keyword research is considerable. Here it says: Trying out, not every tool is equally well suited for a website. These tools help to find topic-related keywords:
So finding keywords is not that hard. In most cases, an impressive number of search terms and search phrases come together very quickly. It only becomes tricky if the large number of search terms is to be evaluated, sorted and limited. You can find out how to choose the best from the mass of search terms in the next paragraph or in one of our SEO seminars .
There are also providers of commercial SEO tools such as XOVI or Sistrix with which you can identify long and short tail keywords. In the process, they see if competitors have the recommendable keyword for placements in search queries.
The central aspect in appraising keywords is relevance. After all, it’s about giving the user exactly the content he’s looking for. When choosing your keywords, ask yourself the following questions:
Google Analytics and the Google Search Console help you understand which terms visitors use to find your page and which queries lead to longer visits. A high bounce rate, on the other hand, indicates that a page is displayed for a particular query but does not meet users’ expectations. In the worst case, the good ranking is therefore not lasting: the classification in the front seats was a mistake.
Two other aspects of keyword assessment are their search intent and search volume.
The search intention is helpful in determining and sorting the top keywords. Here you can identify three different goals that search engine users track in their search.
Depending on the intention, a search query may be more or less suitable as a keyword. If the user’s goal is navigation, there are two options:
Since the goal information is characterized by the fact that no action (such as a purchase, a booking, an order …) is planned, these keywords are less useful in terms of commercial goals. BUT: Who provides information on (s) a topic in an appealing and valuable way, can be pleased about access and a long residence time. And maybe the intention information can even turn into a transaction intention.
The success of a web presence is measured in economic terms primarily by the purchases, bookings or subscriptions – in short: via transactions of all kinds that a site visitor makes (the so-called conversions). No wonder, then, that transactional keywords are highly competitive. Getting into the top of the search results with such keywords is not easy due to the high level of competition.
A meaningful keyword selection therefore consists of a healthy mix
Another point in keyword reviews that you should not ignore is the actual search volume.
The easiest way to get information about the search volume through Google AdWords: the Keyword Planner returns the approximate number of monthly queries for all entered search terms. That’s a good clue for ranking the keywords. However, you should always bear in mind that even search terms with a low search volume can be used successfully.
Ideally, when creating a website, keywords are a factor in designing navigation, structure, and content. If this is not the case, you should readjust gradually. You can optimize for example by targeted content revision, updated meta tags and internal links or by creating new pages on a specific topic). For each single page, a focus keyword is defined that can be found in all relevant elements. In detail, the main keyword should be used in the following places:
The main keyword appears
And because a page needs content, of course, you’ll also get some tips for creating content.
One page per topic / one topic per page: Define a topic and a main keyword for each page. Then develop a collection of topic-relevant terms. This is less complicated than it sounds, since we automatically use the appropriate vocabulary to write about a particular topic. A tag cloud visualizes excellently how a topic field is composed of individual terms.
Helpful in finding relevant terms are WDF * IDF tools. At this point, we do without a long explanation of the WDF * IDF formula – the practical benefits of the tools, however, is that here appear regular keywords that nobody has ever thought of in the search.
Extra tip: Although the keyword-tag in the source code is no longer read by search engines, it is convenient to deposit the keywords here. Background: When the page is refreshed, looking at the source code reveals which keywords were used in the last optimization. Optionally, you can use the keyword tag, but do not show it outside and use it internally.
Keywords are not static. Both supply and demand are changing, some are becoming more relevant, others are losing importance. From time to time, check the success of your keywords and stay open to new ideas.