The types of keywords you use in your website will directly affect how your content is read, understood, and managed by search engines, online tools, apps, and so forth. Even with the most sophisticated big-data analytic tools, no program can understand the meaning of a web page if it has no text.

An SEO keyword is a word, series of words, or a sentence that helps another program understand more about the website being read/crawled/indexed, etc. Keep reading to get an in-depth description of the different types of keywords.

Understanding the Types of Keywords and Why They Still Matter

Back in the old days prior to the Google Hummingbird update, entering keywords was required because Google used them to figure out what your website was about. These days, Google uses big data, information from Google Ads, YouTube, and Chrome users to figure out the purpose of websites.

However, Google does use keywords as a measure of a webmaster’s intent. They are used to figure out what the webmaster intended to make the web page about, even if that information contradicts what all other indicators show.

In addition, SEO keywords are used by other search engines, online tools, internet-ready software, cloud computing systems, mobile apps, web scrapers, web spiders, and websites that rely on information drawn from other websites. For all these reasons and more, keywords still matter.

Focus/Primary Keywords

Your web page doesn’t need a focus/primary keyword, but some people prefer to have them. The focus/primary keyword(s) are the words that define your text. For example, in this case, those words are types of keywords” because this article is about the different types of keywords.

Do not be fooled by the word “keywords.” A keyword can be one word, two words, three words, or even a full sentence. For example, some people pose a question for their blog post title and then use that entire question as their focus/primary keyword.

Tagged Keywords in a Blog

These are the easiest types of keywords to understand because they simply include words you used within your blog post that are relevant to the point or topic of your blog post. For example, in this case, words such as “SEO” and “keywords” and “types of keywords” would apply.

Enter as many as you like because they only become ineffective if they deviate away from the theme or topic of your blog post.

Meta Keywords Within a Website

If you were to describe the content, meaning, and point of your web page, and if you were to do it with short phrases and/or single words, then that is what your meta keywords are. They describe the page as a whole, even if the page is broken into different subsections with different topics.

Meta Keywords Within an Ecommerce Page

It is important that you use keywords that directly address the product being sold. This means the keywords should include
– the name of the product, both its long and short-form names
– some of its specs
– some of its alternative names
– any pertinent details that you think people may lookup such as “waterproof” or “antique” and so forth.
Focus on the product only because the keywords will be searched out by shopping websites and tools, and if they are, it will increase the exposure of your pages.

Do not worry about copyright when it comes to keywords because they are hidden to your website users. For example, if you are selling sticky tape, you may call it “Sellotape” in your meta keywords even if “Sellotape” is not the brand you are selling. The point is that people will search for sticky tape and use the word “Sellotape,” ergo it is in your interest to use the word “Sellotape.”

Alt Tags Within an Image

It is imperative that your Alt text in your images should describe your image, and many of the words you use will no-doubt be keywords for that particular image. Your image title should also be descriptive.

Online tools and search engines are going to index your images, and they rely on descriptive Alt tags and titles because they cannot understand or read what your picture is.

Negative Keywords

These are keywords that you do not want to be added or included, and they are mostly used in affiliate advertising campaigns.

For example, let’s say that you have a web page guide to the “location of Chinpokomon”. It is an obvious parody of Pokémon, but you are not trying to attract Pokémon fans, so you may make the word “Pokémon” a negative keyword. This will stop people searching for “Pokémon” from seeing your ads.

Alt Tags Within a Cover Image

If you are using a content management system such as WordPress, then you are able to add a cover image to your posts. Your cover image should have a descriptive Alt text, but that alt text should also feature the primary keyword from your web page or blog post. Find a way to put your primary/focus keyword into the Alt text of your cover image.

Keywords in the Article Title

SEO plugins such as Yoast will tell you that it is very important that your focus/primary keyword exists in your article title. This is sometimes impractical, but if you can do it without negatively affecting the usability of your blog post/web page, then you should do it.

For example, in this article, the keyword, “Types of Keywords” exists in the title. Google uses your title to judge the intent of your web page and not to judge the actual content. This is by no means a bad thing.

Keywords in the First Paragraph of an Article

Again, SEO plugins like Yoast will insist that you put your primary/focus keyword in the first paragraph of your article. Again, this sort of thing doesn’t matter, but it is worth doing it anyway.

The reason is that there are still some tools that key in on the first paragraph of a website, and there are some online tools that only read the first 200 or 300 words of a web page before moving on because it makes the searching process more efficient. It is worth sneaking your primary/focus keyword into the first paragraph.

Keywords in Your Text Content

As mentioned, most web pages and blog posts have some sort of focus or primary keyword. Old SEO advice suggests you place the keyword into your text a few times. This is no longer relevant yet if you write your text and it is devoid of your focus keyword, you may want to ask yourself if you stayed on message or on point. After all, if you are truly writing about a certain subject, then shouldn’t your focus keywords appear almost by accident (i.e. organically/naturally)?

Does All of This Matter?

Think of this type of on-page SEO as “probably should” advice.

The fact is that you can completely neglect to give any thought to your keywords and still rank highly on search engines and become very popular. Yet, there is no harm in working different types of keywords into your text. There is only a potential upside to doing so. Unless you are being spammy about it, then constructing web pages and blog posts with different types of keywords is a good thing.

Would you like even more articles on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and online marketing, then you should try the other posts on our blog.

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