06 Jun What are “keywords”?
There continues to be confusion amongst website owners as to what is a keyword. Keywords are simply a word, or a short phrase, that is used to identify what a particular page is about. These words can be found in the page title as well as in the content of the page itself. There is a meta tag called keywords that is now obsolete, yet many website owners still believe this has some function – it does not. View this video from 2009 to see for yourself – direct from Google:
If anyone is telling you differently about the keywords meta tag, they are wrong. In order for your keywords to be of value to Google, they must be used in the text you put on the page for your visitors to read.
For example, let’s say you are building a page about paper airplanes. Here is how you might use the keywords, “paper airplanes” on this page:
- in the title (ie, <title>Paper Airplanes</title>)
- in the name of the photos and the associated alternative text “alt” info inserted on the page: (ie, <img src=”images/paperairplane.jpg” alt=”Paper Airplanes”>
- multiple times in the content (ie, Paper airplanes can be easily constructed by anyone who is interested in building paper airplanes. Typically, there is little or no cost to building a paper airplane because paper airplanes are made from a single sheet of scrap paper.”)
- Links from other places on your website and links from external sites where the linked text is your keywords. (ie, For information about paper airplanes, …)
Stuffing your keywords into the obsolete meta tag will do absolutely nothing for you. If you aren’t willing to put the keywords where the visitor to your site can easily read it (in the textual content you’ve written on the page), it will be ignored. This is the reason for the expression that “content is king.” In reality, it is the only thing!
Now Google does provide us with a free tool that provides us with an idea of what people are searching on related to a specific topic. The Google keywords tool can be found at:
Using this tool for paper airplanes, we can see that people are actually searching for some of the following phrases:
- paper airplane lyrics
- how to make paper airplanes
- paper airplane designs
- making paper airplanes
- amazing paper airplanes
- folding paper airplanes
- paper airplane instructions
This tool also indicates how many searches are done for each phrase and what the competition level is for ranking for that phrase. This should give you a good idea as to how to use those keywords in the content on your page.