The keyphrase is one of the key concepts related to search engine positioning – the proper selection of phrases and their number that depends on how visible the website will be in the network, and thus how many potential customers will find it. However, what exactly are keyphrases and what types of them can we distinguish? What is a phrase?
What is a Keyphrase?
Keyphrases, or keywords, are queries which users type into a search engine, for example Google, when looking for something on the Internet. There are, of course, billions of keywords and new ones appear every day, but there is a large pool of keywords which are repeated many times – from this group we choose valuable phrases to position your website.
But let’s take it one step at a time: what is positioning for specific phrases all about? When a user types a specific keyword in a search engine, algorithms create a ranking of results. The highest ranked sites are those which are most likely to answer the Internet user’s question. Many factors have an influence on the evaluation of whether a website should appear high in the search results for a given keyword – among others, quality and credibility of the website, correctness and formatting of texts or links from other portals. However, one of the most important is whether the headings and texts on the page contain the specific phrase that the user typed into Google. When it appears, it’s a signal for algorithms that in this site the recipient is likely to find the answer to his question, and this makes them place it high in the results.
Keyphrases in Texts
The discovery that algorithms take into account key phrases brought a plague of texts written solely for bots. They were full of keywords that had the most searches, but did not represent any value for the user. However, Google quickly put an end to this practice by introducing an algorithm called Panda. It was created to promote high-quality websites with reliable knowledge and original content. Since then, inserting keywords in every sentence has ceased to make sense and today you should make sure that the text contains an optimal number of them and that they are woven naturally into the narrative.
Key phrases may be short – one word – or composed of even several words. Most often they are divided into general phrases and long tail phrases, the so-called long tails.
General phrases are short and – as the name suggests – rather imprecise. They are typed in by users who are usually at the beginning of the purchase path, i.e. they do not yet have specific expectations concerning the service or product. General phrases may be, for example, “summer dress”, “sneakers” or “car mechanic”. They have a lot of searches on the web, so they are often considered the best for positioning a website. In reality, this is not always the case, because often the user typing in such a phrase is only doing preliminary research and is not determined to make a transaction.
Long tail phrases are much more developed and quite precise, because they are typed by users who already know what they are looking for. Long tails have fewer searches than general phrases, but they are often more effective – because if the Internet user has already formulated his/her expectations about the product or service, it means that he/she is probably ready to make a decision about it. Long tail phrases are becoming more and more important in website positioning, as year by year Voice Search is becoming increasingly popular. This type of search favors the use of longer and natural sounding keywords, which is what long tails are.
Selection of Keyphrases
How to choose keyphrases? There is no universal method here. Everything depends on the type and scale of business, offer, activities of the competition and many other factors. For example, if you run a hairdressing salon, the best keyphrases to use are local ones, i.e. ones that give the name of the town or district where the salon is located. There is no need to position on very general phrases, because logic dictates that you should look for customers only in the area. Online stores will not use local positioning, but should focus on longer keywords matching their product range. Therefore the choice of phrases should always be preceded by a thorough analysis of the industry and competition, and formulation of objectives that we want to achieve.
It’s worth knowing that choosing the right phrases is important not only in the case of websites – also the YouTube algorithm takes keywords into account when displaying videos in search results. The “trending” tab on YouTube is not only the right content and quality of the video – it’s also the right description.