SEO & Keywords - How Does it Work?

Keywords, also known as SEO keywords, are the words and terms people use when looking for information using a search engine. For instance, if someone searches for "best seafood near me," search engines will display and rank websites based on these keywords.

Using SEO keywords in your website's content (even tailoring your content to these keywords, as long as it reads naturally) will help you appear in searches that are most relevant to your business. Choosing the best keywords for your business and optimizing your content can significantly improve your business's rankings and organic traffic. 

Types of SEO Keywords

There are two types of keywords to be aware of: short-tail keywords, and long-tail keywords. While you may have guessed it, short-tail keywords are shorter with only one or two words used, and long-tail keywords generally feature three to ten words, sometimes even more.  

Short-tail keywords have a very high search volume, which means there’s greater competition to rank for these keywords. In comparison, long-tail keywords have less search volume and less competition. However, long-tail keyword searches are far more specific than broader short-tail keywords; that means people searching for these terms are likely to be very interested in your offering, should it match. 

How to Choose the Best Keywords

Various keyword search tools show you information about each keyword or search term, including their search volume (usually the number of searches per month) and level of competition (whether they’re easy or hard to rank for). A popular keyword search tool is Google’s Keyword Planner, especially if you plan on running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to complement your SEO efforts. 

When you begin your keyword research, focus on choosing long-tail keywords. Choose a single primary keyword and several secondary keywords per page, to tailor your content. Look for quality, relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. You want to find the keywords your content has the potential to rank for. Keyword Tool and Moz Keyword Explorer are other tools to try when finding the best keywords for your business. 

Incorporating Keywords Into Your Website

If you want your website and pages to rank higher, you'll need content with a clear focus or topic. Keywords are a fantastic way to focus your content around topics related to your business and issues your target audience is interested in learning more about. By adding keywords, search engine crawlers will have an easier time understanding your content and indexing it in search engines.

Places to add keywords to your website include your URL, meta tags, tailored content, and images. URLs that are the most SEO-friendly will consist of keywords that describe each page. The headlines and sub-headlines of all your text should also include relevant keywords.

For your content, hone in on a few keywords per page. Be sure not to try and force too many keywords or add keywords that don't fit in the context, (this process is known as keyword stuffing). Keyword stuffing should always be avoided and can negatively affect your traffic and rankings.

Additionally, include alt tags containing keywords for your website's images, infographics, videos, or audio. These keywords should describe what each piece of content is about.

Keywords + Content Marketing 

While developing your content marketing strategy and deciding on what topics to build blogs, articles, videos, and other content pieces around, remember to complete keyword research. Your keywords will help you determine what topics to cover and what keywords to include.

Creating original SEO-friendly content pieces focused on relevant keywords can increase organic traffic, engagement, and conversion.

Contact the SEO Specialists at

SEO keywords are essential to SEO success. Through in-depth keyword research, keyword optimization, and keyword-focused original content, your website will be SEO-friendly and experience increased rankings, traffic, and brand awareness. is your go-to web design and digital marketing services agency partner for SEO expertise. Our digital marketing experts are well-versed in all aspects of SEO, whether you’re looking for keyword analysis or strategy, an audit of your existing strategy, campaign management, consulting, and more. Our team has more than 25 years of digital experience. We work with B2B and B2C companies spanning various industries, some of which include healthcare, finance, government, education, and much more. Contact us today to accelerate your digital performance. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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