WTF Is an SEO Focus Keyword?

A regular supply of quality, fresh content is vital for attracting people to your website. Utilising the right SEO focus keyword in your content can make or break the success of your online presence.

But what exactly is a focus keyword and how do you use them? First, let’s ensure we’re all on the same page when it comes to talking about SEO and keywords in general.

What Is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a broad term referring to tools, techniques and strategies designed to ensure that your website is highly visible in search results when people are looking for information.

The practice of SEO includes everything from making sure your website works well on mobile devices to ensuring your web content is tailored to attracting the right kind of visitors.

To achieve the latter, it pays to make effective use of keywords.

Understanding SEO Focus Keywords

SEO keywords are the words and phrases you build into your content that match the kind of terms people are searching for. Optimising your content to include these words in certain parts of the text increases the likelihood of your content being found. This means people may find and explore your website instead of your competitors’.

If you sell organic produce online, you’ll want to attract the kind of people who are searching for terms like “organic food,” “organic food store” or “buy organic.”

By optimising your content for those keywords, you help Google (and other search engines) identify your site as one that’s relevant to those search terms. It’s important to understand that websites don’t rank for keywords; individual pages rank for keywords.

The SEO focus keyword is designed to target the SEO optimisation for a particular piece of content. Think of it as the answer to the question: “what keyword or phrase do you want to optimise this page for?”.

search keyword

The Right Focus Keyword

In order to generate the best results, you’ll want to pick a keyword or phrase that your customer is searching for. Once you’ve decided on the keyword you can optimise each page for that search.

Let’s say our friend Tim is heading to London this weekend and looking to wrap his taste buds around the best street food in town.

He heads to Google and searches for “street food London.”

Google throws up literally thousands of results.  As a vendor, it’s your mission to ensure Tim clicks on your website and not those of your competitors.

How do you do that? By building a page optimised around the one focus keyword “street food London.”

Optimising Your Website for SEO Focus Keywords

To optimise the content on your website, your SEO focus keyword should appear in a number of areas on any given page. As a minimum this should include:

  • In the page title
  • In the page url
  • At least once in a heading within the page content
  • A couple of times in the body copy of the page
  • At least once in image descriptions (also called alt text)

You can use this checklist to perform a manual optimisation of your content. If you’re using a content management system there will likely be a plugin you can use to automate the process and perform more comprehensive checks.

If you’ve created your website using WordPress (a very popular content management system), the easiest way to optimise pages around your SEO focus keyword is to install the Yoast SEO plugin.

When creating posts or pages, you can then enter your chosen SEO focus keyword as in the image below.

Yeost SEO focus keyword module

Yoast will scan your content and tell you how well your content is optimised for the chosen keyword. It will also provide suggestions of how you can improve it.

Not using WordPress? No problem. Take a look through the list of suggestions in the screenshot above and use them to check your content manually.