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What is a Focus Keyword?

The focus keyword is simply the search term you want your post or page to be ranked for in the search engines. So when the audience looks out for that specific phrase or keyword in the search engines, they should probably locate you.

In this knowledgebase article, we’re going to walk you through what a focus keyword is and show you how Rank Math helps you choose the right focus keyword.

1 What is a Focus Keyword?

As mentioned, the focus keyword is a single term from the list of possible keywords that you want your page to rank for. The major purpose of the focus keyword is to create content around it and get it ranked in Google or Bing for that keyword.

Rank Math can help you ensure that the content crafted is optimized for your focus keyword. If your content isn’t optimized already, it gives you recommendations to optimize further for rankings.

Note: Technically, a keyword is a single word (eg: digital), while a keyphrase is a group of words (eg: digital marketing). However, the term “keyword” has become more common to refer to any search term that you want to rank for, and we’ve followed the same in all our articles.

2 Choosing a Focus Keyword

If you want to drive more organic traffic, you should choose your focus keyword based on proper keyword research. Since keyword research itself is a detailed topic on its own, you can refer to our keyword research guide.

Once you’ve found a set of keywords that you would like to target, find out the keywords’ search volume.

  • If the keyword’s search volume is low, then targeting that particular keyword or keywords can be of no help. So it will rather not help.
  • Choosing a generic term either isn’t particularly achievable for most websites.
  • And to add up, we recommend not to choose highly competitive focus keywords.

3 How to Set a Focus Keyword in Rank Math?

Rank Math, your favorite SEO plugin, has a separate field to add focus keywords for your post/page. To set a focus keyword in Rank Math, you need to edit a post/page and then go to the General Tab of the Rank Math SEO. Then, enter your focus keyword in the Focus Keyword field.

Add focus keyword

By adding relevant keywords in the Focus Keyword section, you can make the most of Rank Math’s content analysis power. Rank Math by default lets you add up to 5 focus keywords per post.

But all Rank Math PRO users can add an unlimited number of keywords here. While if you’re using the free version, you can add additional keywords using this developer hook/filter. With this said, please don’t over-use or stuff the focus keyword within your post/page.

4 Google Autocomplete for Focus Keyword Suggestions

If you’ve connected your Rank Math account, then you can use the Google Autocomplete feature to find more relevant focus keywords for your content. Just start typing a phrase in the Focus Keywords field to see a set of relevant keyword suggestions.

Google Autocomplete for focus keyword suggestions

These suggestions are only to back your keyword research. Ultimately, you should pick your keywords based on their search volume, keyword difficulty for ranking, and your website’s authority, so that you can be sure your content can rank for the picked keywords.

5 Choosing Your Primary Focus Keyword

As we mentioned, Rank Math lets you add more than one focus keyword. And when you add multiple focus keywords, the first focus keyword automatically becomes your primary focus keyword. The primary focus keyword is denoted by a star icon in front of it.

Choosing primary focus keyword

In general, your primary focus keyword should be the one that more people are looking for. Only then your content crafted around this keyword can rank for this search term to reach more people.

6 Reordering Focus Keywords PRO

Your primary focus keyword should be considered the most important one among the bunch of keywords you’ve added. And Rank Math would perform additional on-page SEO tests for the primary focus keyword compared to the other focus keywords. Given that, it is practically possible to add unlimited focus keywords, at times, you might prefer changing the primary focus keyword or reordering your focus keywords.

Rank Math PRO users can simply drag and drop the focus keywords to reorder them, as shown below.

Reorder focus keywords in Rank Math

However, in the Free version, If you try to rearrange focus keywords, you will see a popup notification as shown below, since this feature is only available in the PRO version.

Upgrade to re-order Focus Keywords

To change the primary focus keywords, Rank Math SEO free users will have to remove the added focus keywords and then add them once again.

When you start using Google Trends, you can understand how your keywords have fared against each other over a period of time. Rank Math lets you access Google Trends right inside your favorite editor in the WordPress dashboard. You can access it by clicking the Google Trends icon in the Focus keyword section.

Access Google Trends in Rank Math

If you’ve already added your focus keywords, then the Google Trends screen pulls out a graph with these keywords’ trends, as shown below.

Google Trends for keywords

To add/remove keywords to compare, use the Keywords section on the left side of the screen. Ideally, the primary focus keyword should be the one more people are interested in. You can also check the Google Trends data for a specific region or for a longer duration. Once you’ve chosen your keywords, click the Close & Use selected keywords button to use the selected keywords as focus keywords. As expected, first keyword will be automatically considered as the primary focus keyword.

8 Optimizing Your Content for Focus Keyword

Rank Math gives you a proper analysis of your post’s content and helps you to optimize your content based on your focus keyword. You can notice the Basic SEO section below the Focus Keyword field in the General tab of Rank Math.

Rank Math analyzes your content to check if you’ve included your focus keyword in the SEO title, meta description, URL, and in your content. If you haven’t included it yet, then it displays errors as shown below:

Focus Keyword Analysis by Rank Math

All these tests done by Rank Math to check if focus keywords are used inside your content are only recommendations. And these recommendations should be considered only as a framework to help you increase your chances of ranking.

9 Focus Keyword from Content AI Panel

The Content AI feature of Rank Math allows you to research focus keywords and to get started, you need to enable the Content AI module from Rank Math’s Dashboard.

Navigate to the left side of the WordPress Dashboard and click Rank Math SEO → Dashboard. Next, find and enable the Content AI module, as shown below:

Enable Content AI module

After activating the Content AI module, you can go to the Settings button directly or again navigate to Rank Math SEO → General Settings → Content AI for setting up site-wide configurations.

Content AI settings in Rank Math

Here you can set the Default Country as “Worldwide” if you are targetting the global audience. It also gives you the option of selecting and researching keywords based on the target country.

Default Country - Content AI

After selecting the Default Country, you can select the post types upon which you want to use Content AI, i.e. you can choose Posts/ Pages or both together.

Once you update everything, the next thing is to set the credits. You can check here on how to set the credit limit for Content AI.

Assuming that you’ve enabled and configured Content AI in the right way, let’s start researching for focus keywords. Go to Posts/ Pages that you want to optimize using Content AI and click the edit option. Now, open the Rank Math Metabox by clicking the Rank Math SEO icon in the top-right corner as shown below.

Access Content AI from Rank Math Metabox

From this panel, you can do research on the focus keyword, with which you might want to optimize the web content. You can also enter a new keyword and do the research. Please note that Content AI will take one credit whenever you research for a new keyword. But, it stores the researched data on your server. So that, in case you want to do research on the same keyword, your credit will not be consumed again. It will only utilize additional credit when you research on new keyword.

Note: You can purchase Content AI credits anytime from the pricing section mentioned here, in case, you’ve run out of Content AI credits.

Content AI panel in Rank Math Metabox

After clicking the Research button, you will be able to find three tabs: Keywords, Questions, and Links. As you want to know more about Keywords, let’s see what all suggestions Content AI provides.

Content AI recommends a few important keywords based on the focus keyword. Here you are given four options, i.e. the Content, the HeadingsSEO Title, or SEO Description.

Use keyword in Content from Content AI

You can select any one of the given options at a time. Based on the options that you’ve clicked, the suggestions for keywords might change. This feature helps you in avoiding stuffing the keywords which can affect user experience as well as search rankings. It only suggests the optimum amount of keywords that are required for your content.

And, that’s it. We hope the article was helpful in understanding what a focus keyword is. If you still have any questions about using the focus keyword in Rank Math, please feel free to contact our support team, who are available 24×7 and help you out as soon as possible.

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