How Keywords Work In SEO


This is a photo of 3 puzzle pieces that read SEO.Keywords, it can be argued, form the basis of any effective SEO campaign. According to Wordstream, keywords are what make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. As one of the core aspects of SEO, choosing the right keywords for your website is extremely important if you’re looking to increase your online visibility and climb the search engine rankings. Be sure to read on to learn more about how keywords work in SEO.

The basis of a good keyword lies in the four main aspects of intent, focus, volume, and difficulty. Finding a keyword that contains all four of these aspects will go a long way in helping users find your website and even more importantly, helping Google recognize you as an authority in your industry. In order to understand how keywords fit in with SEO, you have to understand the 4 key aspects. 

Keyword Intent

Finding a keyword with plenty of intent is key to ensuring that your website is easily found. According to fellow Firestarter, Michael Cox, consider these three searches:

  1. Basketball
  2. Basketball Shoes
  3. Undefeated X Kobe 4 Proto Shoes

When considering these, which of the three do you think has more intent? Obviously, the third search has the most intent simply because it has more purpose. Someone who is looking for Undefeated X Kobe 4 Proto Shoes likely won’t be typing “basketball shoes” into Google because that would give them too many generic results. 

Keyword Focus

Finding the right keywords to go for on any specific page is crucially important when it comes to having your site rank higher on search engines. Something we see at Firestarter very often is websites that try to feature (cram) too many keywords into one page. By using too many keywords on one specific page, you’re ultimately confusing search engines as to what specific keyword they should be focused on when determining how to rank that page. In terms of best SEO practices, focus on 1-2 keywords for each specific page and you’ll find yourself climbing the rankings faster than if you hadn’t.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty pertains to how difficult it will be for your specific keywords to rank against your competitors. In fairness, keyword difficulty is very similar to the aspects of keyword intent.  For example, if you have a website that specializes in making high quality dog treats for the state of Colorado how difficult do you think the keyword “dog treats” would be? Probably pretty difficult, right? That’s because much larger companies who compete on a national level are able to utilize their deep pockets to push out smaller websites such as this one. Therefore, fine tuning your keywords to where they are not as difficult for you to rank under is key.

Keyword Volume

Choosing keywords that have relatively high search volume is key to any effective SEO campaign. After all, you want to have keywords that work the best for your site. Therefore, finding keywords that are being searched frequently will go a long way in helping you climb the rankings. In order to make sure that you find these types of keywords with high volume, be sure to speak with your SEO specialist.

Ultimately, by keeping these 4 main aspects of a good keyword in mind, you’ll find yourself generating increased traffic to your website. How? When trying to understand how keywords work in SEO, it’s important to keep in mind that by strategically and responsibly placing them in your content, over time Google and other search engines will begin to see you as being an authority within your industry.

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