What is the Definition of a Keyword and What Makes it Important?

What is the Definition of a Keyword

As a new blogger, one of the first topics you must understand is the importance of keywords. Let’s first agree on what is the definition of a keyword including examples. From there, we can clarify the significance of keywords from both a content generation and search engine optimization (SEO) perspective.

For any blog, content is king and keywords have a critical role to play in the crafting of that content. Keywords are also a crucial factor in getting recognized and ranked by Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the major search engines. In other words, a comprehensive grasp of keywords is vital to driving traffic and the success of your online business. So let’s explore this subject further.

What is the Definition of a Keyword?

A keyword is an actual search term that people enter into search engines when seeking information. It may be a single word, but more often it’s actually a phrase. In this digital era, Internet users execute millions of search queries daily. Google has become our “go to” resource for questions on products and pretty much any other imaginable topic. The search engines capture and index all of these queries. The result? Massive databases of keyword search terms.

Keyword Examples

Let’s say you’re a dog owner. If you’re interested in training your pet, what are some potential queries you might Dog Training Keywords

enter into a search box? As a dog owner myself, here’s a list of a few possibilities that immediately occurred to me.
  • Dog training
  • Dog obedience training
  • How to train your dog
  • Clicker training for dogs
  • How to clicker train your dog

All of these keyword phrases see regular searches in Google and are indicators of topics of keen interest to dog owners.

How Do Bloggers Use Keywords

Successful blogging is all about creating quality and engaging content of interest to a target market, often called a niche market. Continuing with the example above, if my niche is dog owners interested in training methods, keyword research can provide invaluable insights into issues that are uppermost in the minds of my audience. My mission as a blogger is to help by providing answers and addressing concerns. Keywords hone in on the pain points of my target market because they originate with users.

Bloggers identify keywords appropriate to their niche and craft articles around these phases. Ideally, posts are thorough and represent massive value because they contain answers. To be truly useful, blog posts must specifically target items of interest. Over time, bloggers can attract a large following by establishing a reputation as a source of pertinent data.

But how do bloggers with answers connect with readers that have questions?

Keywords and SEO

Google organizes the information published on the web in massive databases that are indexed around keywords. Internet users type search terms into search text boxes. Google searches its databases and instantly returns appropriate websites in the form of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Of course, you want your blog post to appear in the SERPs. So, you must optimize each page and post around a relevant keyword.

Effective SEO involves placing your focus keyword in the following locations within your article:

  1. the title of your blog post
  2. within the first 140 characters (which will place it within the meta description, or snippet)
  3. in the Alt Text description of one of your images, and
  4. somewhere near the end of your article.

Do Not Use Keyword Stuffing Tactics

Inserting keywords in the locations noted above is sufficient for Google, and other search engines, to determine the nature and purpose of your content. You do not want to use your focus keyword phrase any more than this, or you risk being penalized for keyword stuffing. From there, just write your content naturally. Be as thorough as possible with the intent of providing extraordinary value. Use related keywords and synonyms to expand and describe your subject matter using a conversational approach.

Keyword Research Tools

As one might imagine, there are a large number of keyword research tools available for use by website owners. A quick search in Google will generate an extensive list. I personally have two excellent tools in my blogging toolbox. One is available as a component of my membership in Wealthy Affiliate which is an online community dedicated to providing outstanding training and resources for individuals interested in starting and growing affiliate marketing businesses. Jaaxy, one of the best research tools available today, is the other package I have employed to uncover keyword gems.

Keyword research tools do not only disclose those all-important, nagging questions that your target market is experiencing. They also enlighten you with various statistical data. Statistics include average monthly searches for a particular query and also the existing competition, or number of other websites, already targeting the selected phrase. Obviously, we are hunting for keywords that have recurring monthly traffic (user interest) and a low volume of competing sites. The less competition experienced, the greater our opportunity to stand out!

For additional guidance on keyword research and my tools of choice, see my earlier post, How to Find More Effective Keywords for a Website.

The Long and Short of Keywords

Unlock Keywords

In this introduction to keywords, I’ll throw out one final concept. Please refer to the list of keyword examples above. Keyword phrases that are longer than 3 words, such as “how to clicker train your dog,” are called long tail keywords. This is significant because approximately 70% of all search queries qualify as long tail keywords. Searchers entering these longer and more specific phrases also tend to be much closer to making a purchase decision than individuals typing shorter keywords such as “dog training.” Please refer to one of my earlier posts for a further discussion of the significance of long tail keyword research.

Could You Benefit From Additional Training on Keywords and Related Topics?

Keywords, search engine optimation, and content writing skills are essential skills to master for any blogger. If you feel you could benefit from hands-on tutorials in these important facets of a website, you should consider my # 1 recommendation, Wealthy Affiliate.


Wealthy Affiliate offers a 100% free (no credit card required) Starter Membership that includes more free training than most paid memberships offer. In addition to 2 free websites, and hosting for the websites, a Starter Membership in Wealthy Affiliate includes 10 free lessons that walk you through the process of building a website and adding content to your website. For more information on this fabulous opportunity, please see my Getting Started Online page.

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I hope to see you inside, and it will be my privilege to help you get started with your own website, or improve your existing website.

To Sum Up

Many new bloggers initially experience confusion over keywords. I hope that by starting today’s discussion with what is the definition of a keyword, and then building on that definition, I was able to provide clarity.

Please do comment below and ask any additional questions you may still have on this critical aspect of blogging.

Don’t Forget To Be Sociable

If this information helped you, please feel free to share it with others on your favorite social media.

To your success!


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2 thoughts on “What is the Definition of a Keyword and What Makes it Important?”

  1. Thanks for this post. Does Jaaxy show results for long tail keywords? I’ve tried to use long tail keywords and it doesn’t seem to work. Or at least it does not show results. I see you have a link to a longer post about this that I”ll read NOW. 🙂 Thanks for this good post. I learned a thing or two.

    • Hi Jackie,

      Yes, Jaaxy is an awesome keyword research tool that is an outstanding source of long-tail keywords. For any niche website owner, I strongly recommend the use of long-tail keywords as the focus keyword for every page and post because their are hundreds of choices available to create informative, solution-focused blog articles in any niche. And, of course, that’s what readers are interested in seeing. They want solutions to their issues and problems. I have an earlier post that shows several screen shots of Jaaxy results for long-tail phrases. Goopd luck with your research. I’m glad you learned some things from my post because that is my goal. Thanks for your comments!


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