What are Keywords Banner Image Large

Keywords or key phrases are the backbone of every search engine optimisation campaign. Selecting and targeting the right keywords are the key to increasing search engine visibility and generating lucrative leads for your business. In this article, we’re going to define what keywords are and how they are used in SEO.

What are keywords?

Any time that you type a word or key phrase into the search box on Google, Bing – or any other search engine – you are using keywords to help you find relevant webpages, images, or information.

As a business looking to attract leads and prospective customers, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for in order to give your content the best chance of appearing in search results.

Why Are Keywords Important?

When it comes to SEO, selecting the right keywords is crucial. They tell search engines like Google about the content on your webpage. Since organic traffic plays such an important role in attracting new leads to your business, you want to rank for relevant search terms that are going to resonate with your prospective audience. In order to rank for relevant search terms, you need to create high-quality content that will appeal to your potential customers.

By using the right keywords on your landing pages and blog posts, you make it easy for search engines to understand the content on your website. The days of using black hat techniques such as ‘keyword stuffing’ in which you repeat your key phrase over and over are long gone. In 2019, Google values pages that are created for humans and optimised for search engines.

What Are Long Tail Keywords & How Do They Impact SEO?

Long tail keywords are longer, more specific key phrases that include a combination of several terms. In SEO, long tail keywords are more likely to be used when visitors are getting close to making a purchase and have a much higher conversion rate than general search terms.

For example, a customer who is just starting to look at buying a new TV and is in the ‘information search phase’ of the buying process may use a keyword such as:


what are keywords example

Now, ranking for ‘LED TV’ is going to be very difficult. The search engine results are going to be dominated by informational pages and Wikipedia pages that thoroughly explore the origins and functionality of an LED television. If you’re a small to medium electronics retailer, it’s going to be very difficult to rank for this keyword. Not only is it going to be very difficult, it’s also not going to be very effective for generating sales.

Compare that to the search term “Samsung 40-inch LED TV”. This long tail keyword demonstrates that the customer is much closer to making a purchase. They have decided brand (Samsung), Size (40-inch), and type of television (LED), and are now ready to evaluate where to buy the television. While ranking on page 1 for “Samsung 40-inch LED TV” may not bring as many visitors as “LED TV”, it is far more likely to lead to a conversion.

samsung keyword preview semrush

Things to Consider When Selecting Keywords

Finding the right keywords for your website can be tough. Going off a hunch isn’t the most scientific (or effective) approach. Using a keyword research tool such as SEMrush or Ahrefs will allow you to better understand your audience and what they are searching for. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting keywords to use on your landing pages or your next blog post.

  • Search Volume – how often are people searching for this keyword?

  • Keyword Intent – is this keyword going to lead to a sale or conversion?

  • Relevancy of Keyword – is this key phrase going to attract the right audience to your webpage?

  • Keyword Difficulty – how difficult is it to rank on Page 1 of Google for this search term

  • Current Ranking Position – what is your starting point for this keyword?

Tips for Choosing Keywords

Choose keywords that are going to improve your business, not just your traffic. All too often we see businesses who target keywords by search volume instead of search intent. Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing keywords:

  • Do not target keywords with multiple meanings

  • Target key phrases with two or three words in them

  • Create a list of potential keywords based off your knowledge of the business

  • Research and scrutinise keywords before you use them

  • Ask those close to your business for keywords that define your business

  • Focus on nouns

  • Add adjectives to the list of nouns that you have established

  • Use Google Search Console to identify how people are finding your pages

As an example, we target the search term SEO Agency Melbourne on our Melbourne location page because we know that (in spite of having a lower search volume than SEO Melbourne) the intent and user education is much higher which means that the sales process is significantly lower. Understand the intent behind keywords can play an essential role in making sure that you target keywords that are going to generate the highest possible ROI.


Hopefully this article has addressed some of your questions about keywords. Understanding how to use keywords is one of the most important aspects of SEO and, when done correctly, will significantly increase relevant, high-converting traffic for your business.

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