What are keywords and why are they important?

Jun 30, 2020 | copywriting

I accept keywords from clientsquestion”I wanted to write a post explaining why keywords are important (and what they actually are). And I wanted to do so for copywriting clients who feel a little lost when keywords are mentioned in website discussions.  Copywriters and web designers who specialise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) often forget that keywords aren’t something that clients are familiar with. The layperson’s understanding of “keywords” and the technical meaning are slightly different.

What are Keywords

Keywords are the words that people type into a search engine like Google to find what they are looking for. They can refer to a single word or a longer phrase.

Google is pretty amazing. It takes the words people type in and then searches through its database of billions of pages to find one that has what they are looking for. As a business you want people to find your website. But here’s the tricky part. How does Google decide which website to show to a person? If a person is looking for a builder, how does Google decide which, out of the thousands of building sites, they want?

Ranking on Google

This is the reason keywords are so important. Google (and other search engines) use keywords to help match a person’s search term with what they are looking for (their intended purpose).

The more specific the search term, the better the match. For example, if you type in the word ‘plumber’, Google won’t know where you want this plumber or what you need them for, so you may not get a good match. But if you type in ‘plumber Camden’ or ’emergency plumber Camden’, Google has more of an idea what your intention is. And can then deliver results that match.

From a business perspective, you want your website to rank organically on the first page of a person’s search. Ideally, you want to be in one of the top 3 spots. Organic results get 75% of clicks, as most people skip over the paid ads.

But there’s no use ranking for a keyword that doesn’t match your product or service. The point of getting a person to your site is to have them spend money with you. So ranking for the keyword ’emergency plumber Camden’ when you don’t make emergency out-of-hours calls would be pointless. A person would land on your page and leave because you’re not offering what they need.

Why is Keyword Research Needed?

Some clients tell me they have the keywords needed to optimise their site. But I have to question how they came up with those keywords. I accept keywords from clients if the research has been done to determine which keywords are best to use. Plucking keywords out of your head, no matter how well you think you know your industry or your customers, is a bit hit and miss.

Keyword research is something that takes a considerable amount of time. While I sometimes do my own keyword research, I often outsource to a specialist keyword researcher who can crunch all the numbers for me and deliver a report on her findings. I then share that report with clients and we can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

When a person does keyword research, they come up with phrases they think their ideal client will be typing into Google. But is your customer really using those words? It’s actually quite surprising to see what people are searching for. There are a number of keyword research tools that we use to find out if a particular keyword is being searched for, how often on average it is being searched for every month and more importantly how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.

Everyone wants a keyword that has a high search volume and is easy to rank for. But that is very rare. Often we have to make decisions and find a balance between the two. A low search volume isn’t a bad thing if it’s hitting your target audience and they spend money with you. But there’s no point ranking for a keyword that hardly anybody is searching for if those few searches don’t result in a sale.

How are Keywords Used?

Once we’ve decided on a keyword for a particular website page (you have to have separate keywords for each page), I can then write optimised copy. This means I write copy that showcases your brand and gives people the information they need, while strategically weaving in the keyword.

Once upon a time, people would stuff a page with a keyword they wanted to rank for. But Google caught wind of this. These days the search engine giant is much more clever. It can tell whether a page makes sense and whether the keyword is appropriate for it.

Keywords are One Part of the SEO Puzzle

Keywords are important because when researched properly and implemented correctly, they help your page to rank in Google searches. But keywords alone won’t result in a ranking. Your web designer will have to ensure that your site is built correctly and works in a fast manner, so that Google is actually able to crawl it and index it. Building backlinks and page authority will also help you outrank similar sites to your own.

There are no guarantees with SEO. Even Google has made the statement that nobody can guarantee you a number 1 ranking. This is because there are so many factors that affect whether a site ranks – including an ever-changing algorithm that nobody is privy to.

Keywords are not an exact science. It’s all about making educated decisions based on the research data.

I would love to help you optimise your site. To find out more or to ask a question about keywords, please get in touch.


Get your Instagram on

After Kate’s earlier mentioned money talk, the conference closed with the effervescent Jade Warner from Small Business Growth Club talking all things Instagram. Jade’s presentation was a great reminder that transformation and story telling is still a social media honeypot. People love to see how other people, products, places and just about anything have changed. I particularly loved Jade’s advice about the more Instagram surfaces (feeds, stories, reels, lives, DMs) we appear on, the further our reach.

Let’s get physical

Kate Toon provided a conference experience unlike many others. Coffee cart, morning and afternoon tea, lunch, after conference finger food and drinks, beanbags and massages. But even with all of that, she realised her speakers were giving us a lot of information and that our brains had a lot to process. So in the afternoon she surprised us a with a special guest – Lizzie Williamson from Two Minute Moves. Lizzie told us her story and demonstrated that even for those of us who hate exercise (not mentioning any names), two minutes of movement a day can be a game changer for our mental health. She had us up moving and dancing to Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical and it definitely helped our mindset. We were refreshed and able to concentrate for the last of the afternoon sessions.

Gifts and prizes

Attendees were also spoiled with a whole range of gifts donated by businesses in DMC. I was lucky enough to win two gorgeous prizes – a mini hamper from Bundles of Luxe thanks to Natasha Sutton from First Impressions Media, and a linen table runner and soap from Sue McGary of French Affair.

I also went home with gifts from Nick’s Digital and event sponsor True Green. And if that wasn’t enough, Kate also gave us Masterminders a box of Digital Marketing Collective goodies.

Award winners

It’s amazing to think that Kate Toon also organised awards around this conference. They’re a lot of work and many generous people gave up their time to read and judge entries. Thank you to head judge Erin Huckle and everyone else who participated.

I was a finalist in the Service Based Business of the Year Award (how cool is that?) but I couldn’t be disappointed in missing out when I saw the calibre of the other finalists. Well done to all finalists. A big congratulations to Beck Confrancesco from Marketing Goodness for being runner up and Nerissa Bentley from The Melbourne Health Writer for winning. Woo hoo! So well deserved. Both these women have always been extremely generous, sharing their knowledge and helping me be better in business. So I was thrilled to see both these first time award entrants get rewarded for their hard work and success.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the E-commerce Business of the Year awards as well. Was thrilled to see Nikki Filia from BeBangles, whose beautiful bracelets I was wearing, awarded runner up. And congratulations to Sue McGary from French Affair for taking out the win. What gorgeous products.


Digital Marketing Collective

This blog post is merely a recap of two very value-packed days at the Digital Marketing Collective Conference 2023. The overwhelming feeling at the end was not only that we got so much useful and practical information to help our businesses grow, but that we had met so many amazing humans.

Kate Toon has an uncanny ability to gather together the best of people. The Digital Marketing Collective is made up of a diverse range of service based and e-commerce business owners. Imagine having a safe space to learn, grow, make mistakes and be supported. Come join us. Full disclosure – the link below is an affiliate link but I would never recommend a group that I wasn’t myself paying to be a part of.

Join Digital Marketing Collective

P.S. If you want to see more photos and videos from the Mastermind and Conference, head over to my Instagram highlights after you join DMC.

Welcome to The Copywriting Chonicles

I love the building industry as much as I love writing. You can learn more about me here.

If you have a question about anything building related that you would like me to blog about, please drop me a quick note.

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