Keywords and Key Phrases: Your Guide to Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO. This comprehensive guide will show you how to find the best keywords and key phrases that will help your website rank higher and generate more traffic.
Picture of Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC
Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC

What Are Keywords and Key Phrases

When talking about keywords it is important to understand that there are keywords and key phrases. Technically speaking these are called short- and long-tail keywords. A long-tail keyword is long, includes modifiers and more details, while a short tail keyword is short and is usually one word without modifiers. 

What a Search Engine Does

When people search for information online they hardly ever use just one word. Most people ask a question or enter more than one word called a keyword phrase, or a long-tail keyword. Keyword phrases are super important to your SEO plan because they assist your audience in finding you.

If you use the phrases in your website that people are searching for, your website will show up when someone searches. The search engine’s job is to serve the search engine’s clients with content relevant to their search.

Use Keywords and Keyword Phrases In Your Content

Keywords and key phrases should be sprinkled throughout your content. They should appear normal though, and not forced. For example, don’t purposely misspell words because other people do, and don’t drop keywords in that will affect the flow of your content. The keywords that you use should flow seamlessly through the content and expand on the meaning of the content too. This can definitely take some thought and planning.

Write Normally

The best thing to do is to write naturally – to write how you talk. Don’t force yourself to come across as someone else. You have your own unique voice and your audience wants to hear it.

Remember the keyword phrases you’ve chosen, but just write normally. When you edit the content you can go back and add the keyword phrases that work best and make the most sense without changing the meaning of the content. It’s best not to include any keywords if it makes the content look strange or lose its meaning. Remember to always write for your audience, not the search engines.

Do Your Research

Before using keywords, you want to use the tools available to you to find out how in demand these keywords are and how many people are searching for this information using these words.

If you don’t know that a phrase is in high demand you may be wasting your time adding them to the content. Some good tools to use are Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool,,,, and others.

Use keywords for titles, alt text for images, headings, subheadings, bullet points, etc but use keyword phrases throughout the content to enhance understanding and help search engines find your information. Don’t forget to use synonyms and check with keyword tools to ensure that the keyword or keyword phrase produces results.


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