The Importance Of Keywords For SEO

"SEO" and "Keywords" hung by clothespins

What Are Keywords?

According to the dictionary, a keyword is “an informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.”  Whew.  But what does that mean “in the real world”?

In digital reality, keywords are ideas and topics that describe and define what your web page is about. Ideally, they are also the targeted words (search queries) that searchers use to look for your business.  Keywords in images, video, and text form the basis of your SEO (search engine optimization) and, when aligned with the natural way end users are searching for your business, form a powerful strategy to help Google bring users to your website.  

Keywords can be simple (Photography Shop) or “long tail” (Digital Photography Shop in Brockton Massachusetts). The most important part is using your keywords to let people (and Google) know what you are offering. 

When designing your site and planning your keyword strategy, you should keep in mind that Google’s purpose is to serve their end user – the searcher. Google wants to present the searcher with the information that is most relevant to them based on their search query.  To help Google recognize your site as relevant to a searcher, each service you offer can (and probably should!) be offered on a separate page – very few businesses with multiple products have success with a single “one-stop-shop-page”. If you are offering locksmithing services and sell vitamin supplements, you probably need two pages on your website at a minimum, but more likely two different websites. Focus on your product or service! 

Keyword Stuffing: Too Much of a Good Thing?

“Keyword stuffing” is the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. We’ve all seen sites with the clunky incorporation of the same phrase multiple times in a paragraph, or the seemingly unnecessary city and state mention.  These are examples of keyword stuffing – a practice that worked great until about 2003. Google is smarter now, and the content of your site needs to sound natural for it to resonate with Google’s algorithms.

Do Keywords in Google Reviews Impact Rankings?

Yes! Keywords can help you off-site as well. With a little nudging, you can ask your happy customers for a detailed review utilizing the keywords and phrases most important to your business.  “Thanks for fixing my leaky roof in Newark!” works much better than “Good Job”. 

This review is probably more than most clients would go for, but will hopefully inspire you to think in the right direction:

Do Keywords in Owner Responses To GMB Reviews Impact Rankings?

Not So Much. Google knows YOU wrote that, so it doesn’t count. “It was a pleasure!” works the same as “We were happy to fix your leaky roof in Newark, with our 10-year service guarantee and manufacturer’s 20-year materials warranty.”  Keyword stuffing in review responses is as ill-advised as it is for your website.  Here’s an example of what NOT To Do In A Review Response: