March 3, 2013

What Are Keywords and Why Should I Use Them?

You’ve probably heard website and social media professionals emphasize the term ‘keywords.’  While keywords seem simple enough, I wanted to explain how they’re used so that you can choose the best ones for your social media profiles.

Keywords are used in website, blog, and social media content as well as in profiles and headlines. Using strategic keywords in your social content and descriptions is helpful in increasing your search engine optimization (SEO). By using keywords, you will increase the likelihood of someone finding you – rather than the competition – when searching for terms related to your business. Effective keywords are those that describe your business and what it does.

The best way to determine keywords is to consider what the audience will be searching for and what you can offer. For example, if you own a local ice cream shop, an obvious keyword (or keyword grouping) would likely include “ice cream.” However, you might also want to include key word that relates to your location such as “Harrisburg, PA.” And maybe there’s a popular new flavor that is taking the ice cream business by storm. Using that flavor in your content and descriptions would make it more likely that people performing ice cream-related searches will find you.

Here’s an example of a strong keyword-laden headline for our client, Balloons and More. It’s effective because we mention her target audience (brides), relevant events (bridal shows), and the location (Central PA).  If someone is searching for bridal shows in Central PA, there’s a good chance her content will be there, depending on how many other people using the same keywords in that timeframe.

Balloons and More

A word of caution: be careful not to “keyword-stuff,” which simply means overusing keywords. Using our ice cream shop as an example, overuse would be put the words ‘ice cream shop’ in every single sentence. This is also known as “Black Hat SEO.”  It’s a spammy tactic to increase search rankings rather than focusing on content that’s relevant to your audience. It’s also ineffective, as Google can detect this and will flag your content.

Share relevant keywords for your business and how you’re using them in your content!

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