If you have any time used Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin, you must have come across the term ‘focus keyword.’
This has made us write this post as a lot of SEO professionals wonder what exactly focus keywords mean and the correct way to find focus keywords for your pages or posts.
So, before any further delay, let us dive right into the details.
What is a Focus Keyword?
Such keywords are an input field used by the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin for assessing the SEO performance of the content on your page.
Yoast plugin uses a focus keyword to assess the way you have optimized the content on your page around that particular keyword.
There are no keywords added by the Yoast SEO plugin to the HTML code of the site. You simply have to enter the keyword in the input field for SEO analysis of the content.
Hence, the focus keyword is:
- The keyword for which you wish to rank the page in the search engines.
- The important concluding term in your content, which briefly describes the details of your content page.
- A small caption for your in-depth content.
The focus keyword is not like other keywords, which signals Google to rank your page. Rather, it is a keyword for which you optimize the content on your page.
It is the keyword that the searchers on Google place in the search box and the searchers can reach the content if your website is optimized for the same.
How Focus Keyword Influences SEO?
A focus keyword is a great way to enhance your writing while creating a blog post or page.
Focus keyword also plays a crucial role in SEO. The focus keyword can be used in the Meta description and SEO title field to boost your page SEO rankings.
Why Use Long Tail Focused Keywords?
The focus keyword for SEO must be a long-tail keyword. This means it must be a keyword containing 3 or more than 3 words.
Some top-notch reasons to use long-tail keywords as focused keywords are:
1. Long Tail Keywords Easily Gain Higher Ranks:
It is quite easy to gain higher ranks in Google for long-tail keywords. It is because such keywords have quite low competition and they also have low search volume on a monthly basis.
The big players are not bothered about it, and hence, the competition for this is low.
Low competition means low traffic. Hence, use them to your advantage in order to gain better SEO results.
2. Such Keywords Hold Better Conversion Rates:
Another benefit of using long-tail keywords as focused keywords is the people who enter them into Google search have higher chances of conversion than those who type in the head keywords.
It implies that traffic received from long-tail keywords can convert better than that received from head keywords. Hence, there are higher chances of conversion.
Meta Keywords vs. Focus Keywords
Don’t consider focus keywords as Meta keywords. It is because Meta keywords are phrases and words used to incorporate in a site to trick the search engines. They offer an additional way to webmasters to offer search engines with more detailed information about their website, and hence, rank better.
But now, webmasters are filling up their site with ‘free mp3’ or other online searches receiving better results. So Google, as well as other search engines, don’t evaluate those keywords anymore.
For this reason, Yoast’s WordPress SEO does not allow Meta keywords. But still, there are a few users who want to use this possibility within their SEO strategy.
Examples of Focus Keyword:
- Actionable Content
These are articles or posts which offer valuable content that helps users to take action.
For instance, you conduct a search query on Google with the keyword ‘SEO copywriting.’
One article that you will find in the search is from Backlinko, which talks about the powerful secrets, which users can use and take the desired actions.
In this post, there is not even one descriptive sentence about what SEO copywriting exactly means, but still, the page receives ranking for the same.
Hence, if you write actionable content about that topic, you can select the topic as your focus keyword.
- Descriptive Content
It is the content that offers possible descriptive details of a particular keyword.
For instance, you conduct a search query on Google for ‘paracetamol.’
Check the results appearing on the first page of Google.
You will see articles, which discuss important details of a subject including medical uses, chemical composition, side effects, usage precautions, contradictory drugs, generic drug, dosage limits, and more.
So, what do you think is the focus keyword in these articles?
It is the word ‘paracetamol.’
It is because all such articles offer possible descriptions of the focus keyword, paracetamol.
How to Find Search Engine Optimized Focused Keywords?
1. First Find the Seed Words:
Before you start finding the focused keywords, you must first look for seed words. Seed words can be found in the following ways:
- Visit numerous blogs in your industry or niche and copy titles of 15 blogs from each of the sites.
- Make sure that every blog title you have copied contains the keyword which the author wishes to rank for.
- Extract seed word from that particular keyword.
2. Enter Each Seed Word Into Tool for Keyword Research:
There are numerous free keyword research tools available like Word Tracker, KWFinder, Uber Suggest, and SEMrush.
Enter your seed word in your preferred tool and find out the most relevant keywords. This will help you create sound long-tail keywords.
3. Consider Metrics of SEO Focus Keywords:
There are various metrics of good focused keywords.
- Monthly search volume
If you are just starting out, search for keywords, which hold a monthly search volume of around 50 to 1000.
- Domain Authority
To figure out the domain authority, you may install the MozBar Chrome Extensions available for free. Check the domain authority of sites, which rank on Page 1 for that keyword.
If you find websites that have domain authority close to the domain authority of your website that is within 3 or 5 domain authority points, you hold better chances of gaining ranks for that particular keyword.
However, if the results on the first page of Google hold domain authority which is higher than your Domain Authority, you have to find a keyword, which is less competitive.
4. Write Articles Around the SEO Focus Keyword:
It is vital to research and then writes an article around the SEO focus keyword.
- Type the keyword into Google and then scan results.
- Consider topics as well as sub-topics covered in the topmost articles on the number one page for your selected keyword.
- Create an article covering multiple topics and subtopics than the topmost articles, which you analyzed.
5. Optimize the Content for an SEO Focus Keyword:
Next, it is vital to optimize the content for the SEO focus keyword. Install the free Yoast SEO plugin and follow SEO practices in order to gain a passing score.
Using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can check if the key-phrase or keyword is in the following areas:
- SEO title
- Article title
- First or Introductory paragraph of the article
- Meta Description
- At least one sub-heading or heading
- Alt tags in the images
- Slug or permalink
6. Utilize Variations of the Focus Keyword:
Using focus keywords is not enough to reap the desired results. With the introduction of semantic indexing, Google presently looks for keyword variations even for the focus keyword. The more the number of variations is there, the more likely it is that the content covers your topic comprehensively.
As a result, you will gain a higher rank for your page in the search results.
The best way to find variations of the focus keyword is by using the ‘auto-suggest’ feature on Google.
There is also a number of examples available in the section ‘searches related to,’ which is mentioned at the bottom of the search page.
7. Get the New Post Indexed by Google:
As soon as your article goes live, you need to switch to the new Google Search Console and click on the option ‘URL inspection.’
Copy and then paste your new post’s URL. Click on the option ‘request indexing.’
Mistakes to Avoid While Handling Focus Keywords:
Handling focus keywords is not complex. But still, there are possibilities that you may make mistakes while dealing with them. Hence, check here the common mistakes, which you need to avoid and focus on the keywords for your post.
1. Select Seed Words Wisely and If Possible Choose Long-tail Keywords:
It is quite difficult to rank for the seed keywords or general terms in comparison to long-tail keywords.
For example, if you need to select seed words for the term ‘casual shoes.’ If you select the ‘shoes’ as the focus keyword, you may see no traffic coming from Google as it is quite difficult to rank for the seed keywords. It is because big brands are already competing for it.
Hence, along with seed words, you must select properly long-tail keywords as it is quite easy to rank for such keywords.
2. Avoid Concentrating on Multiple Keywords in One Post:
If you are focusing on numerous keywords in one post, it will appear unnatural to the visitors. As a result, you can lose rankings for that keyword.
It is best to create one page for a single focus keyword and create excellent content around the keyword.
Sprinkle other LSI or related keywords smartly in the content to maintain the natural flow. This way, you will not be able to rank for the long-tail keyword but also other the LSI keywords.
3. Avoid Stuffing Your Post with Keywords:
Previously, Google used to depend on keyword iterations to understand the webpages.
However, since 2017, Google has become smart enough to comprehend the page topic even when the keyword is appearing for once.
As per Yoast SEO, the recommended density for keyword usage is 2.5%.
Therefore, try to maintain this keyword density in a natural flow. Even if your keyword density is less than 2.5% you still don’t have to worry.
4. Don’t Use Focus Keyword in All the Pages:
Definitely not, you don’t have to find and use the focused keyword for each page of the blog post. It is because the aim is to help you stay focus on aligning, writing, copying, and wording the information with the keyword.
Not every page requires a focus keyword. One must be able to easily access the contact page. It might, for example, have to rank for the address, which probably doesn’t make sense as the focus keyword. Hence, it is perfectly fine to leave the space empty.
Using Focus Keyword on the Home page:
The home page is related to the services, brand name, your offerings, blog posts, and other similar stuff.
In the initial configuration settings, your brand name is already there along with your homepage’s tagline.
Google very well understands the home page on the basis of backlink anchor text and the real content on it. Therefore, it is not mandatory to set a focus keyword on the home page.
Using Focus Keyword on the about Page:
The about page is about what you have to write on the website and about the related authors. You can never create 2000 words long page for assessing the SEO.
Hence, you can leave the space blank.
Using Focus Keyword on the contact Page
The purpose of a contact page is for readers to contact you for questions, feedback, advertising inquiries, and building relationships.
So, there is no need to consider using the focus keyword for the contact page.
The SEO plugin from Yoast offers a convenient and efficient way to optimize your content for SEO by taking into consideration the focus keyword.
But selecting the focus keyword is a huge problem for webmasters and bloggers.
I hope this guide serves as a great help to them as we have explained everything about the focus keyword in this post.