Keyword is a term used in search engine marketing. Keywords are the search terms that Internet users enter in the input field of search engines such as Google. The placement of suitable keywords in the right places plays a decisive role in the ranking of a website in search engines. As part of search engine advertising, companies book paid advertisements to appear in search result lists for specific keywords.

Many people use the Internet to obtain information quickly and comprehensively. Instead of calling up a specific URL directly via the browser field, they type their search query into the input mask of a search engine such as Google. This so-called keyword can be a single word, but can also consist of a combination of words, numbers or characters.

Search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant search results for their search query. For this reason, the algorithms of search engines such as Google crawl thousands of websites to determine the relevance of the content to the respective search query and to display suitable results. In the process, search engines evaluate a large number of factors. The keywords used on a website and their synonyms are crucial for the ranking.

Role of keywords in search engine optimization

The task of search engine optimization (SEO) is to positively influence the position of a website in the organic search hits. This includes identifying the right keywords and combinations for websites and placing them in the right places in the text.

Since search engines examine specific areas of websites, placing relevant keywords in specific places (e.g., title and meta description) is beneficial. The most important keywords should also be woven into the text in prominent places such as the headline and subheadings.

It makes sense to choose keywords that describe the content of a website as precisely as possible. In addition to the main keywords, terms from the topic area and related areas should also be used.

A trend in search engine optimization, which determines the ideal distribution of topic-relevant terms for a keyword, is the optimization of texts according to WDF*IDF.

Keyword Density

Keyword density (also Keyword Density) describes the percentage of keywords in relation to the number of words in the overall text. It was considered by many experts – and is still considered today in some cases – as a ranking factor in search engines.

For a long time, SEO experts speculated about fixed percentages of keyword density that search engines consider positive, as well as limits that must not be exceeded. Even today, there are still frequently changing specifications for an optimal keyword density. At the same time, over the course of time, more and more opposing voices were raised, saying that there was no fixed value (anymore) as a keyword density that was valid as a ranking factor.

Google analyzes the meaning of texts more and more precisely and can recognize the topic of a text on the basis of synonyms and semantic connections. Therefore, many SEO experts assume that keywords or keyword density have lost importance. Instead, it is advisable to illuminate a topic from as many sides as possible and to depict it as holistically as possible. This is because authors automatically use a wide variety of keyword variations, synonyms and semantically related terms. WDF*IDF optimization, for example, works according to this principle.

Nevertheless, it is still important to include the keyword in prominent places such as the headline, the main content, the title or the meta description of a website. How often the keyword should be used depends largely on the text. In a natural distribution, a long text contains the keyword more often than a short one. As an author or client, you should therefore roughly estimate how many paragraphs, headings, etc. a text should have and place (have placed) the keyword accordingly often. Especially for longer articles such as guide texts, synonyms and suitable keyword combinations should always be considered. For clients, a larger margin between the minimum and maximum number of keywords can be useful for longer texts. Overall, a text should appear as readable and natural as possible.

Keyword stuffing, i.e. the excessive placement of the keyword in a text, is still discouraged. Google may consider this method as over-optimization and thus downgrade the page in the ranking.

Role of keywords in keyword advertising

Keyword advertising is about placing paid advertisements for specific keywords in the search results of search engines such as Google. This involves displaying an advertisement, usually a text ad, for previously defined keywords. Keyword advertising is an integral part of the online marketing mix of many companies. Due to Google’s market power, keyword advertising in Germany is equivalent to Google Adwords. Google Adwords is the main source of income for Google. The common billing model for keyword advertising is cost per click. Invoicing takes place for each click on the ad.

On the basis of previously defined keywords, it is decided when an advertisement is played out in the search hits. The ad spaces for the booked keywords are auctioned off among the advertisers.

Finding the right keywords for a website is therefore an essential task for online marketers in the context of search engine advertising. This essentially involves asking oneself which search queries should trigger the ad placement. In addition to brainstorming on the relevant search terms, it helps to also look at the competition and fill niche keywords if necessary.

There are various tools that help to find the appropriate keywords for one’s marketing campaign. Google Adwords, for example, offers a free keyword planner with the ability to find ideas for keywords and create keyword lists.

Keywords are a crucial factor for the ranking of a website in search engines. Based on the keywords, Google displays the most relevant hits for the respective search query. Important for the ranking is the targeted placement of matching keywords in specific places on the website. Selecting the right keywords is also the core task of keyword advertising. In this context, it is necessary to decide which search queries should trigger an ad placement.


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