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The Right Focus Keyword: A Guide to Effective Keyword Selection

Focus Keyword

In the vast landscape of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), selecting the right focus keyword is a critical step that can significantly impact the success of your online presence. The process requires a thoughtful approach to ensure that your content is not only optimized for search engines but also resonates with your target audience. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right focus keyword for your content.

What exactly is a focus keyword?

What exactly is a focus keyword? The focus keyword or keyphrase represents the search term you intend for a page or post to rank for. When users search for that particular phrase, your aim is to ensure discoverability. If you designate a focus keyphrase for a page using any Focus Keyword Research tool in WordPress or Shopify, the plugin or app assesses the page’s content. It then provides feedback on how to enhance the content, increasing the likelihood of achieving a higher ranking for that search term.

Locating the input field for your focus keyphrase is a straightforward process within the sidebar of the Focus Keyword Research tool, typically positioned on the right side of your editor. In WordPress, if the sidebar isn’t visible, simply click the tool’s icon in the top right corner of your screen. For Shopify users, click the ‘More actions’ option at the top of the screen to optimize your content using the chosen Focus Keyword Research tool.

we will use Yoast SEO as the Keyword Research tool in our example:

focus keyword
The input field for the focus keyphrase in the Yoast SEO sidebar.

If you’re utilizing WordPress, you’ll also discover the input field for the focus keyphrase within the Yoast SEO meta box situated beneath the post editor.

Focus Keyword
The input field for the focus keyphrase within the Yoast SEO meta box.

Discover valuable insights to enhance your content within the SEO analysis tab. Implementing the suggested changes based on this feedback will facilitate search engines in better understanding the topic of your post or page.

What’s the importance of utilizing a focus keyphrase?

Consistently incorporating high-quality content into your website or blog is a sound SEO strategy. Google recognizes the activity on your site as you continually provide new information, thereby expanding your content volume.

However, the haphazard addition of content isn’t as effective. It’s crucial to develop a keyword strategy and, guided by that strategy, generate top-notch content that resonates with your audience. When crafting these articles, optimizing them for the targeted keyphrases becomes essential. This is where Yoast SEO comes into play, assisting you in this optimization process.

What steps should be taken to choose an effective focus keyphrase for optimizing blog posts?

Selecting the right focus keyphrase involves, in our view, a three-step process to optimize your blog posts:

  1. Identify a focus keyword that people commonly search for.
  2. Conduct research on the search volume associated with your chosen keyphrase.
  3. Perform a Google search for your keyphrase to assess its relevance and competition.

Let’s delve deeper into these steps:

1- Identify a Focus Keyword People Search For

As previously mentioned, your keyword strategy should guide your content creation. If you haven’t established a keyword strategy yet, it’s advisable to do so. You can refer to our comprehensive guide on keyword research or explore our keyword research training course for assistance in finding the most suitable keywords and keyphrases.

Long-Tail Keywords

To enhance your chances of ranking a post or page, consider targeting long-tail keywords. These phrases typically consist of more words and may have lower search volumes compared to highly popular ‘head’ keywords. However, the advantage lies in facing less competition, and these keywords often lead to higher conversion rates. For a detailed exploration, refer to our content SEO guide.

Tools for Discovering Long-Tail and Related Keyphrases

Once you’ve conducted your keyword research and determined your content focus, leverage various tools to identify long-tail variations or related keyphrases. In Yoast SEO for WordPress and Shopify, we provide a valuable Semrush integration to effortlessly discover related keyphrases. As a user of our WordPress plugin or Shopify app, after deciding on your content topic, simply click on ‘Get related keyphrases’ below your focus keyphrase to unveil the phrases people commonly search for on Google.

Focus Keyword
Locate the ‘Get related keyphrase’ button within the Yoast SEO sidebar for WordPress.

A window will appear displaying suggestions for related keyphrases:

2- Evaluate the Search Volume for Your Keyphrase

Once you’ve identified a long-tail search term that you aim to rank for, the next step is to assess the search volume for that specific keyword or phrase. Historically, this process demanded significant effort, involving delving into Google Adwords or Google Trends. However, as illustrated in the above image, obtaining information about related or long-tail keyphrases has become effortless through Yoast SEO, particularly for users on WordPress or Shopify.

For example, you can delve into details such as the search volume (indicating how frequently it is searched within a specified period) and trends (depicting how the search behavior has evolved over time). This facilitates an easy comparison of related keyphrases, enabling you to decide which one(s) to prioritize in your current or future posts.

Incorporate Multiple Keyphrases

Enhance the overall quality of your content by optimizing your post for related keyphrases. This approach not only adds completeness but also makes it more comprehensible for Google. To set one of these related keyphrases for your posts, utilize the one-click feature in Yoast SEO Premium for WordPress and Shopify. Following this, return to the post editor to optimize your content for the newly selected related keyphrase.

Focus Keyword
Discover related keyphrases using the Semrush integration in Yoast SEO for WordPress or Shopify.

3- Investigate Your Proposed Focus Keyword on Google!

Beyond understanding popular search terms, it’s crucial to ensure that your post or page aligns with the needs and expectations of users searching for these terms. In essence, you must discern your audience’s search intent. A quick method to gauge this is by conducting a Google search using your proposed keywords.

Examine Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

Take the time to scrutinize the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Are the articles displayed in Google results similar in nature to your article? Can your article seamlessly fit among the results shown on these search pages? If you’re crafting a blog post or page centered around a specific focus keyword, your goal is to secure a position among these results.

The type of content featured in the search results is instrumental in deciding what content to create. Does Google predominantly display product pages, blog posts, or perhaps videos and images? If a particular type dominates, it suggests that Google perceives it as the content people seek, making it worthwhile to invest time in creating similar content. Remember, to outperform other search results, ensure your content is truly outstanding and valuable to your audience.

Draw Inspiration from Result Pages

Utilize the content displayed on the result pages as inspiration for your blog post. However, it’s crucial not to replicate content. Instead, use the result pages to identify any missed information or arguments for your post. Most importantly, consider how you can make your post stand out—aim for superior, more entertaining, and original content compared to what’s displayed in the result pages. Strive to create content that entices the audience to click and share.

Explore Social Media and Forums

Another valuable tip is to explore discussions about your topic on social media and various online forums. This provides abundant input for your post or page. Address the questions and challenges people share regarding the topic directly. Additionally, this research aids in using the right language, a crucial element for effectively reaching your audience.

Regularly Revisit Your Research

Keep in mind that search suggestions evolve, often tailored to your search history. Periodically revisiting your research, especially for essential keywords, allows you to suggest changes based on evolving trends. New results can offer insights for your post or related content.

Yoast SEO Quality Check for Keyphrases

Ensuring a robust focus keyword for your post is vital for search engine visibility. Yoast SEO assesses keyphrase aspects in both our WordPress plugin and Shopify app. This includes checking keyphrase length to avoid excessive length and ensuring the keyphrase doesn’t consist solely of function words.

Function Word Check in Yoast SEO

Function words, such as “the,” “a,” “and,” or “have,” contribute minimally to the meaning. They don’t assist Google in understanding the copy’s topic. Yoast SEO incorporates a function word check to prevent unintentional usage of such keyphrases, offering warnings and guidance to stay focused on meaningful terms.

In rare cases where you intentionally aim to rank for a phrase consisting of only function words, adding double quotes around your keyphrase can indicate an exact match, eliminating the warning.

Should Every Page Have a Focus Keyphrase?

Not every page necessitates a focus keyword. Pages like your About or Contact page may not require optimization for a focus keyword unless it serves a specific purpose. Consider the long-term ranking goals for each page, and for temporary announcements, optimization might not be warranted.

Conclusion and Further Resources

Selecting the perfect focus keyword is more art than science. Aim for a combination of words used by your target audience, opting for a keyphrase with moderate volume that aligns with your audience. Delve into our extensive collection of articles covering keyword research, content writing, and site structure improvement. For a comprehensive approach, explore our SEO copywriting course, combining these diverse topics.

Read more:: Long-Tail Keywords: Mastering Their Impact

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Hassan Essam

Guess what? Hassan Essam is not just the cool cat in charge at "Hassan Essam Project Management," he's also the proud pioneer—aka the first-ever Egyptian sensation—on the international judging panel of the Search Awards Global edition. Yup, breaking barriers and bringing that Egyptian flair to the global SEO stage!

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