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A Beginner’s Guide – Keywords in SEO

For any business, small or large, developing a strong SEO strategy is a critical factor of success. Having a strong SEO strategy results in endless organic traffic as well as higher ‘Keyword’ rankings. For analyzing and tracking the SEO results, we track the position of ‘Keyword’ in Google search results and measure the improvements. So, moving beyond with SEO process requires a strong understanding of Keywords and measurement standards.

Almost everyone understands what are the ‘Keywords’ but rare people know about the fact behind the strong keywords strategy in SEO. The reason why I am writing this blog is to make you clear about the concepts behind the Keywords, its value and different SEO proportions that affect SEO aspects.

For a comprehensive SEO strategy, it is essential to know about the keywords and how we can use these keywords to get a remarkable result.

So, what’s there for you inside the post:

  1. What are the Keywords?
  2. Keyword Density – How to calculate it?
  3. Short Tail Vs. Long Tail Keywords
  4. Keyword Analysis in SEO
  5. Keyword Ranking

Let’s get to learn everything about the keywords and it’s impact on marketing the products and services. How they help in getting the amazing results for your online business.

1. What are the Keywords?

Commonly said, keywords are the ‘search terms’ used for searching some sort of information. In terms of SEO, keywords are ‘Key’ + ‘Words’ or the combinations that help people finding your website in search results. You optimize your website for keywords. When you say, you need to optimize your website for search engines, that means you need to fit ‘Key’ + ‘Words’ to your web content that are perfectly suited to your potential search terms. You need to speak through your web content including the potential words that search engine understands.

I am not mentioning that ‘every search engine is a machine’ but understands human language.

So, you need to tell those machines that you belong to that ‘service’ or ‘product.’ If we skip the artificial intelligence, How Google will get to know about your website for a particular search term?

And here. Keywords play their role. They tell Google that you exist.

2. Keyword Density – How to calculate it?

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. – Wikipedia Definition.

Usually, SEO’s consider keyword density to set the relevancy. Which means, to let Google know about the relevancy of the particular page with the keyword.

For example, if you want to rank for the keyword ‘Online mobile phones’, you need to tell Google that you sell mobile phones online. By writing this keyword within your page content number of times, you can appear your presence.

How to calculate keyword density:

You can use the below formula to calculate keyword density:

Density = ( Nkr / ( Tkn -( Nkr x ( Nwp-1 ) ) ) ) x 100


Density = your keyword density

Nkr = number of times you repeated a specific key-phrase

Nwp = number of words in your key-phrase

Tkn = total words in the analyzed text

This is the mathematical formula for calculating the keyword density. But, for SEO, we consider the number of times the keyword or key phrase has appeared and the total number of words. So, it should be simplified like this:


Well now, the question arises, what should be the keyword density for SEO? Well, the optimal keyword density for outstanding SEO is set between 3-5 %. However, in many cases, a lot of conflicting opinions are there for ideal keyword density. Moreover, there are experiments behind that. As I said on my previous blog:

SEO is an experimental task, not a process to follow step by step.

3. Short Tail Vs. Long Tail Keywords

Many of you might hear these terms so many times. So, am I going to speak something about you already know? Well, I think I may not!!

First, let’s get started with what you already know.

Short Tail Keywords

When you search for 3 words or less, you are searching for short tail keywords. Top examples “flower shops”, “online bikes” or “music system”. Short tails keywords may be the first thing that strikes in your mind when you are deciding. Like what to buy: “Music Systems”, “Online Speakers”, “Bose Speakers”.

Long Tail Keywords

Any key term or phrase including more than 3 words are considered as long term keywords. Examples include “Bose speakers with Bluetooth white color”, “buy music systems with Bluetooth”.

So, this is what you know, right!

Let’s come to the part you might need to know.

What’s the difference between short tail and long tail keywords and what are the SEO values?

The general perception is ‘long tail keywords always have highest SEO value.

Then, why we still consider short tail keywords for SEO?

Keywords in SEO has a unique value, and by the help of the keywords, we always measure our SEO performance. Long tail keywords are considered as the best strategy for gaining the best results. Long tail keywords are said to be the combination of 2-3 short tail keywords. If optimized correctly, your website is performing so well with long tail keywords; then you should start getting more traffic on your website.

But, SEOs target some of the generic terms and measure performance with the help of short tail keywords. They work very well for gaining more CTR and hence increased traffic. If you measure via search volume, you will find short tail keywords are always higher is the volume in comparison to long tail keywords.

The reason is simple, normally people search of generic terms, not a complete sentence. So, short trail keywords are very important.

Note: Considering short tail keywords from the beginning might not get more results for your website SEO practice. Try always to move step by step and have an appropriate keyword strategy.

4. Keyword Analysis in SEO

Now, let’s come to the keyword analysis. How to do keyword research in SEO? Keyword research is to gather information about the search terms that can help users to find your product/ website on search engines.

To know the best search terms for your website and find the perfect matched audience for your website, you must do the keyword analysis.

Step by step guide on how to research keywords for your SEO strategy – best practices:

Step 1: Create a list of generic searched terms, relevant topics about your business website.

When you have the rough idea about the topics about your business, you can research more about the related terms and most searched keywords for the respective topics. List down whatever you know about your business. Think about the users. What type of users you are targeting and how they will interact with your business.

For example, let’s say you have a flower shop and you need to sell flowers online. You might not be aware of the ‘Keywords’ for your SEO strategy but you know that you sell flowers online. The generic terms that your persona will search includes ‘buy flowers’, ‘online flowers’, ‘roses for Valentine’, ‘bouquet online ’, our could be anything related to flowers. The occasion that your users will receive your services.

Sounds interesting?

Step 2: Convert those generic terms to meaningful keywords

Now that you have the relevant topics and ideas about your business, create a list of keywords. This is the time to brainstorm on how your users will find you via search engine. The best thing you can do is, you can just put your topics to Google, and it will provide you the idea about what people are searching for.

You can also try using Keyword Planner from Google, it will give you the idea about average monthly search volume, competition etc. Extract some of the most relevant search terms for your business.

Tip#1 In the beginning, the best keyword is said to be the one which has higher search volume but least competition. This could be an opportunity for you.

Step 3: Related search terms for selected keywords

Extracting the related search terms for your keywords is important because it broadens the opportunities for you. You can directly search those terms to Google or keyword planner. It will provide you the idea about what are the other related keywords that you can consider for increasing the overall visibility of your business.

Step 4: A consolidated list of short tail and long tail keywords

Now you have the collection of all the relevant keywords, and related searches, keep all your research work on a spreadsheet/ worksheet including the search volume and other required information. It’s time to think deeper and extracting out the precise terms. Extract out terms that you don’t need, or you think it’s a very difficult or highly competitive keyword. In the beginning, you don’t need highly competitive keywords. All you need to find out is, a consolidated list of mixed keywords – short and long tail that generate more traffic for you.

Step 5: Analyze your competitor’s strategy

You should never miss this step. It would be best if you found how your competitors are performing on the keywords that you sorted. Find out their ranking on those keywords, how they are using it on Meta tags, heading tags, image alt tags, within the content, etc. Check out why they are leading.

Doing so will help you prepare a better strategy to move forward with the keyword optimization. It will get you an idea about how you should start.

5. Keyword Ranking

Keyword ranking is said to be the process of finding out the position of your website from a particular keyword. Finding out keyword ranking and keeping an eye on their progress will help you measure your performance. Keep watching the keyword ranking on weekly, biweekly or monthly basis and track how much traffic you are generating from those keywords. Take the help of Google Analytics tool for this.

Initially, after doing the keyword research, and having the list of important keywords, you can find out if you are already ranking on SERPs. If yes, track the position. That will lead you to get some initial insights on how much time you need to consume and what will be the priority. If any of your keywords is already positioning on the third or fourth page of Google, there are chances that you might get that keyword on top after implementing some of the optimization techniques.

Let’s wrap up!

So far, we have got to know what are the keywords, and the types of keywords for better optimization. We hope that this article will lead you to strategize your initial SEO strategy. The tactics and steps mentioned above are based on common SEO practices. If you think, you can implement such things in better way, then don’t hesitate. Remember – It’s all about experiment. You need to check what’s working for you and what’s not!

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