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What are Keywords and Why are They Important to SEO?

Andrea Akins
by Andrea Akins on March 25, 2015
What are Keywords?
For a business that’s looking to increase online traffic, understanding how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works is absolutely critical. However, while SEO sounds like a complicated term, it’s actually pretty straightforward—it’s basically a collection of strategies and practices that are designed to increase a business’ ranking for a particular search engine, like Google. One of the key components of SEO is the use of keywords, and by understanding how to use keywords effectively, a business can easily increase online traffic over the long term. Here are a few things that business owners and managers should know about keywords.


First off, what exactly is a keyword? Much like SEO, keywords are also pretty simple to grasp. Keywords are the phrases or words that Internet users type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. So, as an example, let’s say that a mechanic decides to create a website. Many of the keywords that would pop up in the mechanic’s online copy would be related to popular auto-related keywords, such as “tire rotation,” “oil change” or “dent repair.” However, using keywords in an effective way requires a bit of intelligent strategy.

Using keywords

Some business owners or managers might be inclined to toss keywords into their web copy at random, but that’s not an effective strategy. If a business wants to increase its search engine ranking and increase overall traffic, then some thought and effort needs to go into how the business’ website uses keywords. Ideally, a business owner or manager can use a simple web tool, such as the Google Keyword Research Tool or Wordtracker, to determine the most relevant keywords for the website. Then, the website needs to use those keywords in an organic way. In other words, an owner or manager can’t just populate web copy with hundreds of irrelevant or poorly placed keywords. The keywords need to be relevant to the copy (which should be original and very informative), and the keywords should be placed strategically so they highlight pertinent and useful information.


By using keywords correctly, a search engine will be to find your website more easily when users plug in related keywords, so your search engine ranking will inevitably increase. Most people use search engines (like Google or Bing) to find what they’re looking for online. Once your business’ search engine ranking goes up, traffic should also theoretically start to climb as well. Lastly, using a proper keyword strategy can help to boost your overall credibility. SEO (which includes using keywords) is all about crafting engaging and informative content. Search engines will direct traffic towards sites that have content that’s truly useful. If you have original content on your site, it shows that you’re knowledgeable about your particular business or market. Search engines recognize that useful knowledge, and in turn, your credibility as a noteworthy business will increase overall.

Using keywords correctly can boost a business’ online traffic. If you’re interested in increasing your company’s search engine ranking, then it’s important that you take the time to understand how keywords work, and then implement an SEO-friendly strategy into your online channels. You won’t regret it!

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Andrea Akins
Andrea Akins

Andrea Akins, Digital Marketing Manager for FrankCrum, has over 15 years of experience in marketing communications, including content development and management for websites, email and social media, in addition to major trade show coordination for Fortune 100 companies. She develops and manages content on multiple online marketing outlets at FrankCrum. Andrea enjoys singing in her church choir, volunteering, acting and is currently on the marketing committee for the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival.