As of July 2020, Google had 92.17% search engine market share worldwide. This article looks at how keywords are used in online content to help your site rank on Google.
Content should be useful and informative, and keywords should be used appropriately and in context, according to Google quality guidelines. Two main factors to look for when doing keywords research are: How do search engines understand content on a site, and then, what are people searching for and why?
So, how do search engines understand content on a site?
Search engines use Latent Sematic Indexing (SLI). This indexing and retrieval method uses singular value decomposition (SVD), which is a mathematical method. It identifies patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts in an unstructured collection of text. For instance, it will determine from the context whether the keyword ‘orange’ refers to a colour or a fruit, thus allowing the search engine to show the user the results which are most relevant to their search.
The job of the keyword researcher is to identify which keywords to use to ensure that the search engines interpret the content correctly. Implementing keywords effectively in online content is a primary requirement for search engine optimisation (SEO) – in other words, you need to optimise your content so that Google will find it and display it in its search results.
What people are searching for and why?
To find out what people are searching for in terms of your product or services, we use keyword research tools, social media monitoring tools, support/community/forum websites and competition analysis tools. Google users generally have a specific intention or purpose when they search for something, which may fall into one of these four categories:
- Informational intent – to learn about a product or service
- Purchase intent – to buy or use a product or service
- Commercial investigation intent – getting a second opinion about a product or service through reviews, support sites and/or forums
- Navigational intent – to find a website or physical business
This intention must be borne in mind when assessing which keywords and search terms to research.
Once we have this information, we can start the keywords research and process
Let’s take the word ‘sauce’ as an example – an umbrella name for a variety of food products.
The first thing we do is investigate how many people are searching for that keyword in general.
From these metrics, we can see that phrases with sauces in them have informational intent. The word ‘sauce’, when used alone, has more purchase intent.
We then look more closely at the queries people use in search engines when looking for products or services related to sauces. From this list, we can see that people are looking for sauces which complement their dishes. This information is vital, as we can now use more focused product descriptions on our website. The list shows us the phrases, monthly search volumes, PPC (Price Per Click) amount and competition.
Can this information be used in your blog content?
Not only can it be used, but it should be, as we need to understand which topics are mostly searched for, to be able to write relevant content. You can get further insights about relevant topics by using your keywords to search forums, support, community and other sites (such as Yelp, Quora, and influencer blogs) that your target market uses to find expert advice, tips and information about products or services like yours. This will show you which topics get engagements and provide ideas for what to write about in your own blogs.
But how do you use the information?
Now that you have the keywords, phrases and questions your target audience uses, it’s time to implement these on your site. Here is how to do it:
- The main keyword, ‘sauces’ must be used in descriptive title tags. These are the SEO titles (inserted into the back end of the website) for Google to index and display on search results pages (SERPs). For example, in the home page’s SEO title it could be Sauces Online Shop | Business Name | Location.
- Also use this keyword in your URL and meta-description (also inserted in the back end) and include LSI keywords in the description so that search engines can identify your content and display it on a SERP, and users can understand your content on the SERP before clicking to the site. In this SERP example below, the keyword ‘sauces’ is paired with ‘chicken’ to ensure that this result displays when someone searches on Google for sauces for chicken.
- Use this keyword in your H1 (main heading). It should also be in your first paragraph. For example:
These 3-Ingredient Sauces Are Chicken Dinner Heroes
Sauces are magical. They instantly add excitement and flavor to any meal, whether you’re serving a simple grilled protein or a sheet tray of roasted veggies. We especially love ones that come together with pantry staples, because it means you’re mere minutes away from an instant flavor booster.
Here, we’re showing you how to make five super simple sauces perfect for pairing with chicken.
- Use semantically related (similar) LSI keywords in subheadings and the body content. Remember to always focus on creating value for your target audiences.
- All your images’ alt text (image descriptions) should have the main keyword in them, and used appropriately, e.g. an image of BBQ sauce’s alt text could be BBQ sauce for chicken and beef.
- Lastly, make sure your website content is informed by your target audience’s intent. For example, the Home Page needs to address commercial investigation intent, the Product Page must address purchase intent, the Blog Page must cover informational intent and the About Us page must cover navigational intent.
These basic introductory techniques will help you get started, if you choose to do it yourself. But, if you would rather have the experts do it for you, or you would prefer to have more advanced SEO on your website, contact The Digital Alliance and we will get back to you within 24 hours.