What is a keyword in SEO


Brief explanation

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

Detailed explanation:

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

Search engines aim to provide the user with the most relevant search results for his search query. For this reason, the algorithms of search engines like Google crawl thousands of websites in order to determine the relevance of the content to the respective search query and to display suitable results. Search engines evaluate a variety 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 also includes determining the right keywords and combinations for websites and placing them in the right places in the text.

Since search engines examine certain areas of websites, it is advantageous to place relevant keywords in certain places (e.g. title and meta description). The most important keywords should also be woven into the text in prominent places such as headlines and subheadings.

Ranking factors 2013. Source: Searchmetrics

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 and related areas should also be used.

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

Keyword Density

The keyword density (also keyword density) describes the percentage of keywords in relation to the number of words in the entire text. For many experts - and in some cases still applies today - it was used as a ranking factor in search engines.

For a long time, SEO experts speculated about fixed percentages of keyword density, which search engines rate as positive, as well as about limits that must not be exceeded. Even today, changing information about an optimal keyword density is often given. At the same time, in the course of time, more and more dissenting voices were raised, saying that there was no fixed value (any longer) as a keyword density that was used as a ranking factor.

Google is analyzing the meaning of texts more and more precisely and can recognize the subject of a text on the basis of synonyms and semantic connections. Therefore, many SEO experts assume that keywords or keyword density have lost their importance. Instead, it is advisable to illuminate a topic from as many angles as possible and to depict it as holistically as possible. Because authors automatically use a wide variety of keyword variations, synonyms and semantically related terms. The 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. With 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 accordingly place the keyword frequently. Especially for longer articles such as advice texts, synonyms and suitable keyword combinations should always be considered. For clients with longer texts, a larger margin between the minimum and the maximum number of keywords can be useful. Overall, a text should appear as legible and natural as possible.

Keyword requirements at Textbroker

Keyword stuffing, i.e. placing the keyword excessively in a text, is still not recommended. Google can view this method as over-optimizing and thus downgrading the page in the ranking.

Role of keywords in keyword advertising

Keyword advertising is about showing paid ads for specific keywords in the search results of search engines like Google. An advertisement, usually a text ad, should be displayed for previously defined key terms. Keyword advertising is an integral part of the online marketing mix of many companies. Due to the market power of Google, keyword advertising in Germany is to be equated with Google Adwords. Google Adwords is Google's main source of income. The common billing model for keyword advertising is cost per click. The billing takes place for every click on the advertisement.

Based on previously defined key terms, it is decided when an advertisement is displayed in the search hits. The ad spaces for the keywords booked are auctioned off among the advertisers.

Finding the right keywords for a website is therefore an essential task of online marketers in the context of search engine advertising. The main thing is to ask yourself which search queries should trigger your ad. In addition to brainstorming the relevant search terms, it also helps to look at the competition and, if necessary, to fill niche keywords.

There are various tools that can help you find the right keywords for your marketing campaign. For example, Google Adwords offers a free keyword planner with the ability to find ideas for keywords and create keyword lists.


Keywords are a crucial factor in ranking a website in search engines. Based on the keywords, Google shows the most relevant hits for the respective search query. The targeted placement of suitable keywords at certain points on the website is important for the ranking. Choosing the right keywords is also the core task of keyword advertising. You have to decide which search queries should trigger an advertisement.

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