On-Page SEO

Focus Keyword

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jun 12, 2023

Focus Keyword

What is a Focus Keyword?

A focus keyword, also called a focus keyphrase, is a term or phrase that represents the main topic or subject of a piece of content, such as a blog post or web page. It is typically used in search engine optimization (SEO) to help improve the visibility and ranking of the content in search engine results pages (SERPs).

By targeting specific keywords and optimizing content around them, websites can increase the likelihood of appearing higher in search results when people search for those terms.

Importance of focus keyword

A focus keyword is important because it serves as a guide for both search engines and readers. 

When a search engine crawls a website, it looks for specific keywords to understand what the content is about.

At the same time, a focus keyword also helps readers to understand the main topic of the content. When readers search for information online, they often use specific keywords to find what they are looking for.

In this way, a focus keyword enables readers to identify relevant content that aligns with their search queries.

Difference between some closely related terms

Keywords, search queries, topics, and focus keywords are related to search engine optimization (SEO) but they are not the same thing.

A keyword is a general term or phrase that represents the main subject of a piece of content, such as a blog post or web page.

It is used in SEO to help improve the visibility and ranking of the content in search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, "healthy eating tips" and "nutritious meals" are keywords that could be used to describe the content about healthy eating.

A focus keyword, on the other hand, is the main keyword that you want your page to rank for. While your content might include multiple keywords, the focus keyword is the one you consider most important.

It's the term or phrase you believe is most closely aligned with the content of your page and most likely to attract your target audience.

A search query, on the other hand, is the actual term or phrase that a user types into a search engine, such as Google or Bing. The search engine then uses that query to find relevant content and display it in the SERPs.

A topic is a general subject or theme that a piece of content is about. For example, "healthy eating" is a topic that could cover a wide range of subtopics and keywords.

How do focus keywords affect SEO?

Focus keywords can have a significant impact on search engine optimization.

Here are some of the ways it can affect SEO:


Using a main keyword that matches what people search for can help your website come up more in searches.


Search engines rank websites using complex algorithms that consider many things about each site. Some of the things they look at are how useful and good the information on each website is.

Websites can try to get higher spots on the search results page by carefully choosing focus words that are useful for what the site is about. Then they can write content that uses those words in a way that answers people's questions.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The click-through rate or CTR means how often people click on a link when it appears in the search results for a specific keyword.

Websites can enhance their chances of getting more clicks by optimizing their content around targeted keywords.


Higher rankings and a higher CTR can ultimately lead to increased traffic to a website.

How to find a focus keyword and related keyphrases?

Identify your main topic

Start by identifying the main topic of your content. This will help you narrow down potential keywords and phrases.

To decide the main topic, think about what the purpose and message of your content is. What is it trying to tell readers? What is the subject it focuses on?

For example, if you wrote a blog post about healthy eating, the main subject would likely be "healthy eating."

With that main topic, you can start listing keyword ideas related to it. Such as "healthy eating tips" or "healthy vegan recipes."

Target long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords can be good to target. They are very specific keywords with more words.

For example "healthy breakfast recipes for kids" rather than just "healthy recipes."

Long-tail keywords usually have fewer searches but also less competition. Using them allows you to make content exactly for what people are searching for.

Tools to get long-tail keywords

There are many tools available to help you find long-tail keywords for your content. Here are some popular options:

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google that helps you discover keywords and phrases that are relevant to your primary topic.

By entering your main topic into the tool, it generates a list of associated keywords along with their respective search volumes and competition levels.

This information assists you in selecting a focus keyword that aligns with your content or advertising strategy.


Ahrefs is a powerful keyword research tool that provides a comprehensive analysis of related keywords, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and other important metrics.

It can help you find relevant keywords and phrases as focus keywords and identify opportunities for optimization.


SEMrush is another popular keyword research tool.

You can enter your focus keyword into the tool and it will provide a list of related keywords along with their search volume and competition levels.

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Explorer is a tool that shows information about keywords. It tells you how hard it is to rank well in search engines for different keywords.

It also shows how often people search for different keywords. This helps you understand which keywords are best to focus on for your website or content.

Check the search volume

Checking the search volume for your keyword is an important step in keyword research. It helps you understand how many people are searching for a particular keyword. More searches mean more people you could potentially reach by using that keyword.

To check the search volume for your keyword, you can use a tool such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.

To use Google Keyword Planner to check search volume, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Google Keyword Planner website.

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account.

  • Click on "Discover new keywords" in the Keyword Planner toolbar.

  • Enter the keywords you want to research in the "Enter keywords or a website" field.

  • Click on "Get results".

The Keyword Planner will provide a list of related keywords along with search volume, competition, and cost per click (CPC).

Google Keyword Planner focus keyword

To use Ahrefs or SEMrush to check search volume, follow these steps:

To check search volume with Ahrefs:

  • Go to your Ahrefs account and log in

  • Click "Keywords Explorer"

  • Type in the keyword you want data for

  • Pick the location to search or leave it global

Ahrefs will show the monthly searches for that keyword, plus other info like how hard it is to rank for and the number of clicks.

To check search volume on SEMrush:

  • Log into your SEMrush account

  • Go to "Keyword Analytics"

  • Type in your keyword

  • Select the location to get search volume data for

SEMrush will show monthly searches for that keyword and other stats like difficulty level, CPC, etc.

Check what is ranking well

Checking posts that already rank for good terms is a great way to gauge the potential traffic for your new post.

If you have older posts that are ranking well for specific keywords, you can use Google Trends to compare the search volume for those keywords with the focus keyphrase you have in mind for your new post.

Here's how you can use Google Trends to compare the search volume for your keyphrase with the focus keyphrases of older posts:

  1. Go to Google Trends and enter the focus keywords/keyphrases from the older posts and your new keyphrase. This will show you the search volume trends for each key phrase over time.

  2. Compare the search volume trends for the focus keyphrases of the older posts with your new keyphrase. If the search volume for your new keyphrase is similar to or higher than the focus keyphrases of the older posts, this could indicate good potential traffic for your new post.

Google it

One way to conduct keyword research is to Google your proposed focus keyword and check the search engine result pages to see what content appears for that keyword.

This can help you understand the competition level and what type of content you need to create to rank for that keyword.

Here's how to conduct this research:

  1. Google your proposed focus keyword and analyze the top 10 organic search results. Take note of the type of content that appears (e.g. blog posts, product pages, videos, etc.) and the format of the content (e.g. listicles, how-to guides, case studies, etc.).

  2. Review the content of the results pages and take note of any common themes or topics. This can help you understand what type of content is relevant to your keyword and what information your target audience is looking for.

  3. Check out social media and forums related to your keyword. This can help you understand what questions people are asking and what topics are being discussed. Use this information to create content that addresses these questions and topics.

  4. Do keyword research again every so often. Search engines and what people search for change over time. So check back on your keyword targets to make sure you are still focusing on good ones.

How to Use Focus Keywords in WordPress?

Here's a guide on how to use a focus keyword in WordPress:

Use focus keywords in WordPress using All-in-One SEO

Keyword research

The first step in using a focus keyword is to perform keyword research. This will help you identify the keywords and phrases that people are searching for related to your content.

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to research potential keywords for your content.

Install All-in-One SEO

Install and activate the All-in-One SEO plugin in WordPress. This plugin will help you optimize your content for search engines.

Enter your focus keyword

In the All-in-One SEO plugin, enter your focus keyword in the Focus Keyphrase field. This should be a specific and targeted keyword or phrase that accurately represents the main topic of your content.

Make suggested SEO updates

The All-in-One SEO plugin will analyze your content and provide suggestions for how to optimize it for your focus keyphrase.

Follow these suggestions, which may include:

  • Using the focus keyphrase in the title, meta description, and URL of your content

  • Using the focus keyphrase in subheadings (H2, H3, etc.) throughout the content

  • Including the focus keyphrase in the first paragraph of your content

  • Using variations of the focus keyphrase throughout the content

  • Ensuring your content is of high quality and relevance to the focus keyphrase

Once you have made the suggested SEO updates, you can preview your content and see how it will appear on SERPs.

Use focus keywords in WordPress using the Yoast plugin

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use focus keywords in WordPress using the Yoast plugin:

  • Install and turn on the Yoast SEO plugin

  • Create or edit a post

  • Scroll to the Yoast section

  • In the "SEO title" and "Slug" include your keyword

  • In the "Meta description" field, write a brief description of your post that includes your focus keyword

  • In "Focus keyphrase" enter your main keyword

Yoast will check your post and give tips to optimize for that keyword. You can also use Yoast to analyze and improve the SEO of your whole site.

Places to put your focus keywords

There are several places where you can use focus keywords to optimize your content for search engines:

Title Tag

Put your main keyword in the title of your page or blog post. The title is very important for on-page SEO. It helps the search engines know what your content is about.

Meta Description

Write a short, catchy meta description for your page using your main keyword. The meta description shows up in search results. A good one can get more people to click on your site.


Use your focus keyword in your headings (H1, H2, etc.) to break up your content and make it more scannable.

This can also help search engines understand the structure of your content.

Body text

Incorporate your focus keyword naturally throughout the body of your content. Be careful not to stuff your content with keywords, as this can hurt your SEO.

Image alt text

Add descriptive alt text to your images that include your focus keyword. This can help your images appear in Google Image search results.


Include your focus keyword in the URL of your page or post. This can also help search engines understand the topic of your content.

Internal links

Use your focus keyword as anchor text for internal links within your content. This can help search engines understand the relationship between your pages and posts.

The best way to utilize a focus keyword

It's important to use your keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing, which can be seen as spammy and can harm your SEO.

Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that satisfies the search intent of your audience.

Also, keep in mind that your focus keyword should be relevant to the content on your page.

You shouldn't use the same focus keyword on a bunch of different pages on your website. This can make things confusing for search engines.

It can also make your content seem less relevant for that keyword and dilute the relevance of your content.


Focus keywords are very important for SEO and getting your content seen.

If you find good focus keywords that match what your content is about, you can use them to help search engines understand your content and show it to more people searching those terms.

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