When people run searches on search engines such as Google, the words they enter in the search bar indicate what they are looking for.
These keywords are instrumental in helping search engines find the right content that they are looking for.
If you are a business owner or a digital marketer, you might ask: How is this important for my business?
When potential customers are looking online for services and products, the keywords and phrases you add in your website’s content make it easy for search engines to weave through the clutter of information on the internet and find your webpage.
As this process gets repeated by more people, your website will eventually be considered relevant and authoritative by search engines, placing your website higher in search results.
A well-optimized website makes it easy for search engines to “crawl” its content while speaking the same language as its potential website visitors.
This can be attained by using keywords that do not only help search engines identify a website’s content, but also allows users to find the information they are looking for quickly.
Due to this close relationship between keywords and SEO, it is vital to develop a useful list of keywords for you to create a successful SEO-focused marketing campaign.
To achieve this, we came up with a few essential pointers you should do:
Understanding your keywords
Before you go ahead and select the keywords you think is best for your business, you should have a deep understanding of it as well as your overall campaign first.
In keyword ranking, a keyword’s traffic and competitiveness are two key factors that you should consider when selecting your keywords.
As the name suggests, keyword traffic indicates how many people search for a specific keyword on a day-to-day basis.
On the other hand, keyword competitiveness means whether or not there is stiff competition between other websites that are trying to rank their site on a particular keyword.
At first, it might seem logical to select keywords with high traffic, but these keywords also tend to have more competition. Should you choose this route, you might find it challenging to rank on these websites.
Instead, if you are starting your SEO initiative and are still looking to rank high on your primary keyword, opting for low competition keywords might be in your best interest, even if it brings lesser traffic.
Selecting the right keywords
Choosing the right keywords to use is a process that you should not take for granted.
There are some factors that you should be conscious when selecting the right keywords for your website, such as:
- What keywords is your target audience using?
- Are there many people using a specific keyword?
- In what format do these people expect the search result to be in?
You might already have a list of keywords that you want to see your website rank well in. This could be words related to your products, services, industry, and other areas that your business is an expert in.
These can be right seed keywords which can very well be the basis for your research.
You could then proceed to use a keyword research tool to help you identify which similar keywords might be applicable for your use, as well as how much potential traffic these keywords can bring.
It will also help you select keyword variations that are being used more often by your target audience.
Determine the search volume
When a specific keyword or search phrase has a higher search volume, it is usually harder to rank. This requires more work to achieve a better website ranking for that keyword.
This is called keyword difficulty, which usually integrates SERP features in search results such as featured snippets, knowledge graphs, and carousels, among others.
When these features are incorporated in search results for a keyword, it’s usually more challenging to rank better and break through the first fold of search results.
Established brands are notorious for taking up the top 10 search results for keywords that have high traffic, making it even more challenging to rank in these keywords, which might require years of constant SEO management and monitoring.
This is why it makes more sense to opt for keywords and search phrases with lower competition and average to moderate traffic.
However, you should keep an eye on a keyword’s search volume because choosing for a keyword with little traffic might yield little traffic to your website.
Find long-tail keywords
Long tail keywords are keywords or search phrases that are considered highly specific and has lower competition, as opposed to short-tail keywords (sometimes called head keywords) which has higher traffic and higher competition.
Think of short-tail keywords as main topics related to your products, while long-tail keywords talk about sub-topics and specific information that not many people talk about online.
When finding long-tail keywords, make sure that it is still related to your website niche. You can also utilize a long-tail massive SEO campaign as a chance to show your company’s expertise in your industry.
That’s because it is a great way to start talking about industry aspects that not many of your competitors are talking about.
Since there is lesser competition in long-tail keywords, you also have a higher chance of ranking better in search results.
Know your competitor’s keywords
As with any business venture, knowing what your competitors are doing is essential in keyword SEO campaigns.
When doing your keyword research, make it a point to list the keywords your competitors are already ranking for.
This will give you an idea on which keywords they are not ranking for yet, and allow you to position your SEO campaign to target these keywords.
Alternatively, if you prefer a more aggressive approach to your SEO campaign, knowing which keywords they rank for will help you create better website content which will give you a better fighting chance to compete with them head-on.
Use local keywords
Using local keywords is a great way to introduce your website in your local community.
If your business has a brick-and-mortar store, you should never forget targeting and using local keywords for your website SEO.
Google has recently been giving more relevance to local business websites, going as far as encouraging businesses to utilize their local business portal, Google My Business.
Businesses that fail to claim a stake on Google’s robust business listing platform will still get published using data that Google thinks is correct based on several factors, such as user reviews, in-app user verifications, etc.
Your local keywords could indicate the country, region, or city your business is located in.
Some SEO experts even go as far as incorporating the street name in their keywords, especially in upscale business areas where there are also plenty of competitors.
Make sure that your local keywords are integrated adequately on some of your select keywords so that it attracts potential customers and doesn’t seem out of place.
Identifying the searcher’s intent
Search engine users do searches for every purpose possible.
Luckily, Google’s algorithm has made significant understanding of people’s search habits, making it possible for the search giant to present the right information format most of the time.
Whenever a user runs a search, their intent isn’t explicitly identified. It is up to the search engine to determine their purpose and present the user with the information they need in the appropriate format.
While there are plenty of possible search types, five significant categories of search that are mainly being used today:
- Informational queries: When a user is looking for necessary information such as dictionary and encyclopedic entries
- Navigational queries: When a user is trying to find directions going to a particular location
- Transactional queries: When a user is trying to book a ticket for hotels, airline tickets, etc.
- Shopping research: When a user wants to find information about a particular product and compare it against other products
- Local queries: When a user is looking for local stores such as a coffee shop, barbershop, etc.
Using keyword research tools
Lastly, you should look at using a powerful keyword research tool for best results.
SEO is a highly quantitative marketing channel, and these tools would have access to performance-based insights that will help you make decisions to improve your campaigns significantly.
The most popular tools among marketers are MOZ Keyword Explorer and Google Keyword Planner.
Both give their users an average for monthly keyword-specific search volumes and keyword suggestions that are related to the keywords you choose.
Laying an insightful keyword research
Whenever you market your business through SEO, keyword research is always the first step that you should do.
Because almost all the following steps will rely on your keyword research, getting it right is very crucial.
With solid keyword research, you can be confident that your SEO campaign has a solid foundation that will effectively increase your website’s ranking and grow your website traffic in the long run.