What Are Keywords & Why Do I Need Them?

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Understanding what keywords are and how to use them is critical to your success.

If you get this right, you’ll find yourself attracting thousands of hungry visitors to your website every month.

But the problem is many people get it wrong and either attract nobody or thousands of time wasters.

So today, I am going to show you how to get keywords right!

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are words and phrases that people type into search engines to find answers.

These keywords (or search queries) help search engines find the most accurate content for your query.

That means your websites primary keywords should be focused around the problem your business solves.

Keyword In Meta Description

Depending on what your business is, you might target keywords such as-

  • Custom printed t-shirts
  • Locksmiths in Chicago
  • Online meditation courses
  • Art classes Sheffield

Each of those queries explicitly state what problem your business solves.

And when people don’t know your business exists, this is how they will find you.

So it’s important that first you decide what those primary keywords are for your business and secondly that you have optimised your onpage SEO for those keywords.

This will help ensure your site is not only relevant to what people are searching for, but it is also focused on attracting the right kinds of people.

How Do Keywords Work?

Keywords serve as the bridge between search engines and your website.

They take people who have a query and pair them up with websites that answer the query.

How do keywords work

More specifically:

Keywords help a search engine like Google identify what your site or content is about to help them pair the right people with the right page.
Search engines don’t automatically know the topic of your website.

Instead they “read” your content using crawlers and analyse the content to figure out which keywords are relevant to a page.

Let’s say you run a business that prints custom t-shirts.

Mentioning the keywords “custom t-shirt” on your page helps give context to your site.

Take a look at how this website has scatted the keyword through it’s page-

Keyword In Content

Keyword In Content Example

A search engine will file this away in its “custom t-shirt” department.

Then when someone comes along and searches “custom t-shirt”

…the website will be eligible to appear in the search results-

keyword in search results example

The end result of this is-

  1. The person searching finds the right website to solve their query
  2. The business owner gets a new customer they wouldn’t have otherwise had

To put it simply:

Keywords are the bridge between search engines and your website.

Why Are Keywords Important?

Without keywords, there would be no search engines or search engine marketing.

And there would be no way for people to find your business easily.

Why are keywords important

The search process ALWAYS starts with keywords!

Regardless of whether that search is typed into a search bar or spoken into a device.

So if you are serious about increase your websites revenue, you have to take keywords seriously across your business.

Because without keywords:

How are people going to find your business in today’s world?

How Keywords Signal Intent

The best thing about keywords, is people are literally telling you what they want.

Your job as a business owner, is to give it to them.

Different types of keywords signal different intent, so you can make sure that you are fully focused on attracting the right types of people.

There are three kinds of keyword intent:

  1. Navigational: The searcher wants to go to a specific website or page
  2. Informational: The searcher wants to learn something new
  3. Transactional: The searcher wants to buy a product

These different intents are clear from the specific words the person is searching for.

types of keyword intent

Let’s look at Nespresso coffee as a simple example:

  1. Navigational: If you just want to go to the Nespresso website, you’d just search for “Nespresso” and click the homepage link.
  2. Informational: If you want to learn about a Nespresso coffee machine before you buy one, you might look for “Nespresso coffee machine reviews
  3. Transactional: If you want to buy a Nespresso coffee machine you may want to search for, “Buy Nespresso coffee machine” or “Cheap Nespresso coffee machines”

Do you understand the key differences in these levels of intent?

It’s important that you do.

Because you can optimise your content to attract the right person and their desired outcome to your website.

For example:

You wouldn’t try to compete with Nespresso on their navigational keyword.

navigational keyword example

Not only would you lose but you’d also be getting traffic from people who’d leave your site immediately in search of the correct one.

But you would try to compete for informational or transactional keywords.

informational keyword example

Because people may not necessarily want to read a review or buy from Nespresso themselves.

But they might want to hear it from an independent 3rd party.

Especially if you can give them a really detailed hands on review or a great deal.

WARNING: there is one type of keyword that you shouldn’t use: the meta keywords.

Wrapping It Up

So now you know what keywords are and why they are important to your succes.

Keyword help search engines pair the right people with the right webpages.

By using the right keywords on your site you’re able to tell search engines like Google what your website or content is about, so it can be shown to the right people.

Different searches have different types of intent:

  • Navigational
  • Informational
  • Transactional

Knowing which of them best fits your business will help you choose the right keywords.

So with that said:

It’s time to look a closer look at all of the different types of keywords and how to use them effectively.

PRO TIP: if you want to learn more about keywords and level up your skills, I highly suggest you take an SEO certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

A keyword can be a word or a phrase that searchers type into the search engines (Google, Bing etc.) to find what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking to buy a new pair of shoes, you might type “womens trainers” or “womens boots”.
If you want to find the best keyword(s) for your content, please read my post about keyword research.

What Are Your Thoughts?

26 Responses

  1. Very informative post and It’s very helpful for me because I’m new to blogging, really thank you for this great post.

  2. Which is the best keyword research tool in the market both free and paid?Please share your opinion about it.Thanks!Regards,Atul

  3. i visit here first time and get sufficient details how to insert keyword…..thank you for this great content….

  4. Great article sir Matthew, do you have a video or article on Local keywords searches? if not please make a video on that! pleaseee

  5. Very interesting post.this is my first time visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog…thanks for the post!

    1. Well you couldn’t have come at a better time – lot’s of new content in the pipeline 🙂

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