From ancient times till nowadays words were a tool to control people’s minds and manage their activities. Not much has changed. People on the internet are busy and don’t have time to search on Google’s second page. This means Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial activity for staying relevant online. There are a lot of different components of SEO, keyword research is a biggie.
What is a keyword?
Ok, so let’s start from the very beginning…
A keyword is a single word, phrase, or even a sentence that you might include in your website’s copy in order to help people searching the internet to find you. When people type a query into Google, Google will check the internet for phrases that are the same as their query, similar to it, or connected somehow. if your website seems the most relevant out of all websites out there, Google will display your site first in their results. This means proper keyword strategy is an extremely powerful marketing tool.
In order to do this research right, you need to ask yourself typical “marketing” questions: Who is my audience? What question made them go online? What do they want to find? Why should they find me and buy from me etc. This process should give you not only general ideas for keywords but an idea of how your customers differentiate you from other, similar businesses.
So, what keywords do I need to use?
You need to go through all possible keywords which your customers can use to describe your company or service. If you’re selling pizza you might want “buy pizza” “margarita pizza” “Pepperoni Pizza” “great pizza places” etc etc. However, competition for keywords is very high and you need to know the different types of keywords and which to compete for. If you’re a small pizza place, you’re probably never going to rank for “Pepperoni Pizza”, but that doens;t mean you cant win business from search engines. To understand why, take a look at the different types of keywords:
l Single word (or short pairs) – Most of the time it is name of the company or activity your company is performing. It is useful to spend resources on short branded keywords if you’re sure that people already know your name and are looking for you. “Inferno Pizza” or “Inferno Pizza Delivery” are examples of this.
l Key phrases – basically same but a longer phrase. Eg, “fast pizza delivery”, “best vegetarian pizza”.
l Long tail keywords – often a string of words or rarely searched for words. The more words in a keyword, the less likely it is to be searched for. Eg, “Inferno pizza restaurant denver”, “best pizza place for vegetarians canada”
You will definitely need to use long tail keywords to find new customers. These keywords are less competitive, and if you optimize for them well, then people searching for them will likely find your pages first. On the other hand, less people will be searching for them, so you need to find as many good, relevant long tail keywords as you can. If you catch enough of this long tail traffic, you can really boost your business prospects.
How to make a keyword list?
There are two ways to create your keyword list; steal keywords from your competitors and compete for them by optimizing your website to use those keywords regularly and organically, or create your own list;
Usually stealing is bad, however, in the world of marketing, all is fair in love and war. You can steal some keywords which generate high traffic for competitors and sweep up some of their traffic if you have a great, useful, and active website. Creating your own list of keywords will still be important however.
As mentioned above, to create a list you need to “feel” your audience and predict what they might search for in Google. By knowing your niche, your customers, and your advantages, you can customize keywords and find words to compete for and include in the copy on your website.
Looking for popular keywords can follow this basic formula: Low competition + High visitor value + High search volume.
For keywords research you can you these online tools and, by entering some suggestions, they will show you further suggestions, along with how competitive those keywords are. With these tools and some lateral thinking, you can pick out the ones that look like the best prospects.
Use Keyword Research As Justification for Content Strategy
One important point that was mentioned to me by Jacquelyn Pica, writer and SEO specialist at The Penny Hoarder was:
“Keyword research can help answer the “why” for staff members, too. For example, if you work in editorial, you can use keyword research data to show your team why writing a specific piece of content is so important, and how the search volume can boost your site’s traffic, and potentially even revenue.”
And there you have it. It’s not rocket science. Anyone can do it! Just remember to be methodical, to check up on your keywords every 6 months, and remember not to stuff your site with keywords! Google hates that, so keep it organic and produce new and interesting, and relevant content for your keywords if you want a traffic boost.