If you’ve played around with search engine optimization in the past, you’ve likely seen the term “keyword” before. Regardless, this is an incredibly important term to know if you want to drive traffic to your website.
Now, what exactly does it mean?
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is whatever phrase someone puts into a search bar. A bit of a misnomer perhaps, keywords are NOT limited to just one word. For example, if you type “real estate agent near me” into Google, that entire phrase is the keyword. You’ll see it called a keyword phrase, too.
In the real estate arena in particular, keywords are important. Indeed, 74 percent of homebuyers used mobile search to find their homes in 2017, and that number is trending only upward.
What can you do with keywords?
Including the right keywords in your website’s copy can help you drive traffic there. Because, by definition, people search for keywords, it’s useful to have commonly used keywords in your website. Google and similar search engines scrape your website to see what keywords are there, so they can connect searchers with the most relevant content on the web.
If you’re a real estate agent in Omaha, you want people searching “real estate agent in Omaha” to find you. With proper keywords, your site will show up high in the SERPs (what are SERPs?). Keyword traffic can be sought organically through search engine optimization (SEO) or with money by using Google Search ads.
Shouldn’t I just fill my website with the most commonly used keywords then?
Unfortunately for scam artists, Google has sophisticated bots that crawl through websites to see how user-friendly they are. They will know if you’re cramming keywords in to game the system and they’ll ding you for it. Keyword density is the number of times your keyword shows up divided by the total number of words. Many SEO experts agree you shouldn’t exceed 3 to 4 percent.
What are the different types of keywords?
First, there are head keywords. Also known as short-tail keywords, these are terms that are searched very often, so they’re highly competitive — meaning many others are already putting money behind them to make their websites show up, making it tougher for your page to make face. They’re generally short (between one and three words), broad, thematic and not worth bidding on, because their conversion rate is so low. Keywords like “Kanye West” and “world cup” are good examples of head keywords, as they drive high search volume.
Second are long-tail keywords. These are terms longer than three words, and they’re generally pretty specific. With that specificity comes a reasonably lower search volume and lower competition. Long-tail keywords have high conversion rates, of course, because fewer people actually see them. For example, something like “enterprise rent a car providence ri” is a long-tail keyword because it’s long, specific and something not that many people will be entering into Google every month.
Some other keyword types include:
Fresh keywords, whose relevance is tied to a current trend and therefore likely fleeting. These can help boost your traffic in the short-term, but don’t rely on them to bring you traffic for all eternity, as people won’t be searching for them as much as they are now ever again. Trendy or seasonal topics like “World Cup 2010,” “fidget spinner” and “black friday sales” all fall under this category.
Evergreen keywords, which will always be relevant, quite like evergreen trees will always be green. Don’t let their undulating trends worry you; their everlasting relevance will keep searchers coming. Things like “haircut near me” and “pasta recipe” are evergreen keywords, as they’re two topics whose demand will never taper — people will always want haircuts and pasta.
Geo-targeting keywords, which are crucial for real estate agents, as they pertain to only those in a certain geographical region. Something like “real estate agent portland maine” is a great example of a geo-targeting (and long-tail) keyword. Local businesses of all sorts use these to maximize their presence on the SERPs as well.