Understanding keywords and metadata

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Last updated on November 9th, 2017 at 05:12 pm

keyword research for beginners

Keyword Research for Beginners – What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Keywords are divided into head, body and long-tail. A head keyword is one single word that users search for. They’re highly competitive terms and don’t really help either you or the person searching for them much. For example, typing “dancing” into a search engine will bring you back everything from classes to games and people’s pets doing funny things. The keyword “dancing” is way too broad a topic but a search engine user understands that they can optimize their search by adding a few more words to “dancing” to narrow the results and get to what they need.

Body keywords are 2-3 word phrases and get decent search volume but are still competitive.  “Dancing classes” is an example of a body keyword. It’s still broad and can be optimized further but you’ll find that the results of this search are closer to what you’re looking for.

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are 4+ words and very specific. They are keywords that users type into google to try and get exactly what they’re looking for. An example of a long tail keyword is “dancing classes in brooklyn nyc”. This keyword should fetch you some of the most relevant websites in terms of what you’re looking for. Long-tail keywords don’t get searched for as often– maybe a dozen times per month depending on many factors– but if your content is focused around this keyword, you have a much higher chance of ranking on the first page of google and getting that free organic traffic to your website which could prove extremely valuable for your business since long tail keywords are also the highest converting types of keywords.

Now that you know the types of keywords that are out there, take a look at the demand curve below which will give you a visual about how keywords work in relation to search volume and conversion rates. To recap, when we use longer keywords in search, the competition, or search volume, for that keyword drops and conversion rate increases, which is why long tail keywords are the preferred types of keywords to rank for.

keyword research for beginners

Research and select several long-tail keywords within your particular niche and produce your content around them. If your website or business indeed offers dancing classes, do a search for the other types of keywords that are popular in this niche.

For tools to assist you in your keyword research, read this post.

Keyword Research for Beginners – What is Metadata?

Jargon for SEO can sound intimidating but once you familiarize yourself with it, it’s not too bad. Metadata is simply the information submitted to search engines or other websites about a website and its contents. It’s the little summary you read about a website page when the search engines returns the results. Below is this particular website page’s metadata.

keyword research for beginners

Notice the:

  • Title in Blue
  • URL or “slug” in Green
  • Summary of page or its “meta description”

These can all be filled in by the author or website administrator and there are plugins for WordPress, including Yoast SEO, to preview it before publishing and make sure you’re filling in the right information in the right place.

Social media metadata is a bit trickier to implement. It’s how your links look when you share them to platforms such as Facebook. Facebook is a popular platform for people to share their links. This link below was shared as a comment to a post in a Facebook group.

keyword research for beginners

Notice the:

  • Bold title (caps optional)
  • Thumbnail picture
  • Short excerpt of the post or page

Each element is known as a “tag” and can be customized by you in a way that could influence other users to click your link. The format above which Facebook uses to display links is collectively known as “Open Graph”.

Plugins to make your life easier when editing your open graph data for Facebook and the tags for other social media platforms do exist. Yoast SEO is one of them, but we also like a plugin called Facebook Open Graph, Google+, and Twitter Card Tags. If you know how to edit your social media’s metadata directly in wordpress by inserting the correct properties between the <head></head> tags of your theme, you can do that as well.

Whichever method you choose, you can then preview how your open graph will appear on Facebook by entering your URL in the Facebook Debugger Tool.

keyword research for beginners

Yoast SEO is one of the best all-in-one WordPress plugins to optimize each and every one of your posts for search and edit your metadata for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Make these activities part of your routine before publishing a post to make your content look good enough to click when it appears in search engines and social media when you share your links.

With all the technical stuff going on when it comes to putting out content, don’t forget that it’s the quality of your content that you should focus on. While making sure you crossed all your T’s and dotted your I’s in the tech area, ultimately, it’s your ability to turn those keywords into high quality and value packed content that will get your website the traffic you’re aiming for.

Learn more: Google Analytics for Beginners: Analyzing Your Data


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