What Are Keywords? – SEO FAQ

Keywords are words that tell the search engines what your website is about. They are the same words that surfers type in the search engine query to find what they are looking for. The trick is to find the best phrase that gets a good number of searches every month but has a small amount of competition so you are more likely to appear higher up in the search engine results.
Finding the right keywords for your website is probably one of the most important aspects of planning your website and online business. Getting it right can mean a great deal of traffic to your site. Get it wrong and your online business will most likely fail.
Keyword research is a very large topic and I am not going to go into all of the training in this article. I will go into more detail in later articles and in my website. For this article I will go into explaining the differences between the various types of keywords.

Keywords, keyword phrases and long tail keywords:

For this demonstration, I will use the topic of Cars as an example. A single word covering a very broad topic is called a keyword or seed keyword. For this topic, the seed would be “cars”.
“Hybrid cars” or “best hybrid cars” would be keyword phrases. These are typically 2-3 word phrases that get more specific within your niche. “Find the best hybrid cars” or “review of the best hybrid cars” would be long tail keywords. These tend to be longer phrases with more focused attention on finding specific information.

Main keyword phrases and LSI keywords:

When you research your market, you will decide on one main keyword phrase or longtail phrase that you will plan your site content around. This is the phrase you will use for anchor text links and any marketing or promotion for your website.
You will also have LSI (latent semantic indexing) or related keywords. LSI keywords are words that the search engines expect to be associated with your main topic.  Let’s say you are using “best hybrid cars” as your main keyword phrase. Some LSI words that the search engines may expect to be associated with the subject might be “low gas mileage” , “electric cars”,  “Toyota Prius”, etc. You should think of these words as supporting words that give your main keyword more meaning. By optimizing your website for the main keyword and then supporting it with a smattering of LSIs, the search engines will not have any trouble identifying that your website is indeed about your main keyword.

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