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by Stephen Logan on 7th September 2009
What are Keywords and why are they Important to SEO?
Keywords are one of the most important parts of any SEO project. Essentially, they are the terms that you would expect people who come to your site would search for. By defining these key phrases, you can then optimise your website’s pages to accommodate them.
They can be as specific or as vague as you choose. It is often a good idea to use a search term like Google AdWords or Wordtracker to hone in on exactly what will have the best results for your site. These will highlight the best related words and phrases, how often they’re searched for and what level of competition they currently have. The greater the search volume and the fewer competitors vying for the same term, the better your chances of success.
Each page should have its own unique identifying keywords. Whilst you may have general ones used throughout your site, elsewhere you need to define exactly what the emphasis is for each page and implement the appropriate language accordingly.
Keywords can find their way into headings, page copy, HTML and Meta; wherever they’re used though, they will help to strengthen your site, in the search engine’s eyes at least, and improve your chances of ranking higher. Don’t go overboard though. Keyword stuffing is considered spammy and will be punished by most search engines as such. You should aim to have a keyword density of no more than 5%, with use at the beginning and end of copy particularly effective.
Understanding and defining your keywords is absolutely essential to how your site performs. SEO itself is built predominantly around key phrases, with everything from link building to copywriting services requiring them for optimal success.