A keyword is simply a word (or phrase) that people type into search engines to find what they are searching for.
Keywords are still crucial in helping your potential customers find your business on the internet and for website owners to optimally structure their website. Without keywords, potential customers wouldn’t be able to find your website on any search engine, including Google.
Search engines like Google “crawl” the internet continuously, and visit each and every website to find the keyword that the user is searching for. When the crawlers visit a website, they crawl every link on the website and determine the meaning and intent of each page. With AI now baked into this process, making your “semantic core” clear and available to search engines is more important now than ever.
Once a search engine understands your webpage, they then record that page’s URL and associated keywords in their databases. This is called “indexing” the page.
GOOGLE CRAWLING, INDEXING, AND AI
When an internet user uses Google to search something, Google then looks up those search words in their databases, and determines which of the URLs collected from all the websites on the internet best satisfies the users search intent. Google then presents the URLs on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
It’s important to note that Google ranks web pages for each page, not entire websites.
Google's Search Engine is on the cusp of a significant evolution, integrating generative AI to provide summary answers directly in response to search queries, alongside links to relevant websites. This advancement underscores a pivotal shift in the digital landscape, profoundly impacting how businesses must approach their online presence.
In light of these changes, it's more crucial than ever for business owners to fine-tune their websites for optimal communication with search engine crawlers.
This task, known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), involves tailoring website content to ensure it is not only visible but also effectively communicates with search engines in a concise and clear manner. By doing so, businesses can better align with the sophisticated capabilities of AI-driven search tools, ensuring their content remains both accessible and relevant in this new era of search technology.
To ensure that your website ranks at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or get’s featured in AI-generated summaries, which are key drivers of traffic and business growth, a comprehensive keyword analysis and strategy is essential. This process involves not just identifying the right keywords but also understanding how to strategically implement them to maximize visibility and relevance in an increasingly AI-integrated search environment. By doing so, you position your website not only to attract more visitors but also to capitalize on the evolving dynamics of search engine algorithms, thereby enhancing your online presence and business prospects.Website
Structure and Keywords
Website structure can dictate your keyword groupings. An effective keyword analysis can provide insights to website structure changes that you may want to make. For example, a salon owner may offer hair styling and massages. There are numerous types of hairstyling services, and a number of different types of massages - meaning your website needs to effectively differentiate and communicate between the different services that you offer.
If a salon owner didn’t have an individual page for each type of service, your keyword analysis would suggest that you spend the time to create individual pages. One of the initial steps in a keyword analysis is generating a list of keyword suggestions using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. You will get hundreds of suggestions, including recommendations on how to group similar terms together, and how those groupings should influence your website structure.
The architecture of your website plays a crucial role in determining your keyword groupings, and conversely, these groupings can significantly influence your website's structure. This interplay is key in optimizing your site for search engines. You have the option to either generate a list of keywords tailored to each webpage or identify primary keywords around which you can restructure your website to enhance SEO effectiveness. As you work through aligning keywords with your website architecture, avoid the 5 most common mistakes, which you can read about in our related blog. This guidance will help ensure your SEO strategy is both effective and efficient.
A thorough keyword analysis provides valuable insights into potential structural changes for your website. Take, for instance, the case of a salon owner who offers a variety of services like hair styling and massages, each with its own subcategories. To communicate these offerings effectively, it's imperative that the website distinctly outlines each service. If the current website structure lacks individual pages for each service type, a keyword analysis will highlight the need to create separate pages to better target specific customer searches.
One of the first steps in this process is to use a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner to generate a broad range of keyword suggestions. This tool not only provides a plethora of keyword options but also advises on how to cluster similar terms. These groupings are instrumental in guiding the structuring or restructuring of your website, ensuring each service or product category is clearly defined and easily searchable. This strategic alignment between your website's structure and your keyword strategy is fundamental in driving more targeted traffic to your site and enhancing the overall user experience.
Each web page is uniquely characterized by its primary keyword, bolstered by an array of related secondary keywords and long-tail keywords. These elements, together with the HTML meta tags, make up the Semantic Core of a website. Focusing on implementing and consistently refining this Semantic Core offers an optimal and straightforward pathway for managing and monitoring an SEO program. To aid in this process, the Cruxdata platform marries the Semantic Core with cutting-edge SEO tools and smart dashboards, enabling business owners to effortlessly oversee their SEO strategies. For a deeper dive into the Semantic Core, including its importance and implementation, be sure to read our blog "What is Semantic Core." This resource offers comprehensive insights, further illuminating this crucial aspect of modern SEO management.
Keywords are not used exclusively for SEO—they also play a role in pay-per-click advertising (PPC). The most common example of PPC is Google Adwords.
PAY-PER-CLICK (PPC) KNOWN AS ADWORDS AND KEYWORDS
We’ve all seen a PPC ad. Whether it’s at the top of a SERP or in the middle of an article, you can find PPC ads most places on the internet. How do keywords for SEO and PPC relate to each other? Take for instance, the owner of a brewery. There are several keywords that they could use to optimize their site.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner, you would see that the monthly search volume for the keyword “beer” is 100K to 1M and “ brewery” has 1M to 10M monthly searches. Using the “Discover New Keywords” function using beer and brewery as seed words, you get 1,834 suggestions. Out of all these keywords, how do they decide which ones to use for SEO?
Now let's think about the user's search intent. If a user types “beer” into the search bar, the results page shows three places to buy beer - a bottle shop, a tap room and a brewery - at the top of the page. However, the rest of the page consists of 38 more links, but you do not see more breweries listed until the very end of the page under Related Searches. The reason, Google has determined that many of the users who search “beer” are not looking for a brewery, but information about beer and beer related topics.
“Beer” may make a good SEO keyword if you have a content plan that generates pieces of content that educates and entertains your customers and prospects on the various aspects of beer tasting, types of beers, history, and your unique approach to brewing. This allows you to drive awareness and build online relationships with future customers.
A better keyword for a PPC ad would be more focused and closer to buying intent such as “beer near me” or “where to buy beer”. Users typing these keywords are more likely to take action.
Another important difference between SEO keywords and PPC keywords is that SEO is free and PPC advertising costs money. SEO keywords are broader and engage prospects when in the interest and discovery mode versus the narrower and ready to purchase PPC words.
SEO and PPC keywords may have some overlap, but the optimization of each would many times result in a different set of keywords.
Given 1,834 suggested keyword phrases means you need to determine the best set of keywords for your SEO plan and PPC plan.
Looking back at the Keyword Planner results, the cost of a top-of-the-page bid for “beer” is $2 to $7.
“Beer” may make a great SEO keyword, depending on factors such as competitiveness, current rank, and your content plan.
With 1,834 suggested keywords, which ones should be SEO and PPC, how and when should they be implemented on your website? It’s recommended to utilize the services of an SEO expert or specialist. But you should have access to all the deliverables and reporting that is not dependent on the SEO specialist.
At Cruxdata you will get and retain all the insights and key steps of our search engine optimization process. So, if you decide to switch up your processes, hire a new specialist, or launch a new campaign, you don’t have to start from scratch. Digital marketing is a continuous journey, and refining your SEO strategy over time is a core component.
Like all aspects of digital marketing, there are countless agencies and consultants that can help you in the process of finding and implementing the right keywords for your website.- Whether you’re looking to completely outsource your SEO, conduct a complete keyword analysis, or generate a keyword strategy for both SEO and PPC,, you can find professionals to perform any one of these, and if you want, a completely separate expert to implement and execute your strategy.
Many small business owners utilize freelancers to achieve the results at a lower cost than retaining a full service SEO agency. Cruxdata partners with freelancers that have proven track records, and manages the scope of work and payment processes for you. Moreover, the owner retains all the analysis data, reports and ongoing reporting in the Cruxdata platform.