If you run a business, you know how competitive and overcrowded the market is today, in nearly every industry. It seems next to impossible to stand out in such a crowd. Needless to say, your competitors have already established a foothold in the market and they’ve gained a head start, which makes it even more important for you to start gaining speed.
So, what can a business do in this type of environment? Optimise for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
This marketing strategy provides every business with an opportunity to truly stand out when implemented correctly.
It goes without saying that reaching your target audience and making them aware of your brand and what you have to offer is vital for business success. SEO can help you get there and achieve more, even if you have few resources at your disposal.
That being said, the foundation of every SEO campaign is keywords. Keywords are short phrases people type in search bars to find what they need online. If you rank well for the same keywords your target audience uses, you’ll immediately become more available, accessible and visible to your target consumers.
But how do you choose the right keywords that will get you the desired results? Let’s find out, shall we? Here are five simple steps to determine keywords for your business.
Step #1: Brainstorm Ideas
Before you actually start researching various keywords for your business, you should take the time to brainstorm some ideas that come to mind. The best way to start is to put yourself in the shoes of your average customer.
So, what would you type in the Google search bar if you were looking for your own products or services? This can give you some out-of-the-box ideas on how to proceed. Of course, what you think people will type in the browser search bar can largely differ from what they actually search for, but this first step can help you get in the right mindset for the process.
It requires in-depth research and a strong understanding of your target audience, including their search intent. By typing in a certain keyword, what does your target audience hope to find?
Step #2: Research Your Audience
Your audience’s behaviour online is the key to understanding which keywords they use to look up something online and why. After all, the purpose of keywords is to match your content with that of the user intent.
Keywords help search engines understand the context of your content so they can present it to consumers that search for something specific. How effective your strategy depends on a lot of different ranking factors and your overall SEO efforts, but that’s another topic for another day. Today, we’re focusing on the first step in the overall strategy, which is keywords.
That said, researching your target audience is an essential part of your overall keyword research strategy. Here are a couple of questions you should seek answers to so that you can better understand your designated customers.
- Does your target audience have a specific question they need answers to?
- Are they comparing prices or simply comparing products and services?
- Are they looking for something specific or a product/service in a more general category?
- Do they want to buy something or are they simply casually browsing the web?
Now, finding the right answers might be trickier than it seems, so here are a few tips on how you can get there.
Ask consumers for feedback
If you happen to have a consumer base already, you can ask your existing customers about how they perform their search online and why. Send out an email survey or create a quick prompt on your website that entices existing customers to provide feedback.
If you’re able to make changes and improve your processes based on customer feedback then consumers will appreciate you even more. That’s why asking for feedback can reveal more than you’ve expected.
Here’s an example: A consumer might reveal that they use specific phrases to find not just products but a specific website that matches their needs so that they can browse offers seamlessly.
If your website doesn’t directly match consumer needs then ranking for the right keyword won’t do you any good. If you need a little help perfecting your user experience, find the best web development company in Houston, and see what they have to offer so that you can upgrade your website to be as user-friendly as possible. This way, if a keyword search brings a prospective customer to your site, they’ll be more likely to stick around and browse your offering.
Get involved with the community
Forums and social media groups are basically a gold mine of information online. Joining these community groups can tell you a lot about your target audience. You can identify their pain points, understand their habits, determine their needs, preferences, expectations and demands.
This information is vital for developing a keyword strategy that will improve your SEO efforts in the long run. While you’re out and about doing research, you can also establish a more meaningful relationship with your audience that will help you out later on when your business starts to grow and develop further.
Step #3: Consider Long-tail Keywords
Once you’ve done your research and gained a better understanding of your audience, it’s time to choose the keywords you want to try to rank for. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of competition surrounding keywords, especially short-tail ones that are quite broad, such as “pizza,” for example.
Therefore, going for the obvious choice may not be such a good idea after all. Instead, consider using long-tail keywords that are more specific, such as “gluten-free pizza” and even “gluten-free mushroom veggie pizza,” for instance.
These keywords may have a lower search volume than “pizza,” but if they are directly related to your offering, they will attract the right kind of audience — people who are not just searching for pizza, but want gluten-free mushroom veggie pizza specifically.
Consumers who use long-tail phrases when conducting online research tend to look for specific things and they are likely already ready to take the desired action. That means more organic traffic for selected keywords and more qualified leads. In other words, less is more when you consider there’s more quality to be had.
Step #4: Implement Your Selected Keywords
As mentioned before, keywords match your content with user intent so it’s very important that you implement the keywords throughout your website to start the process of trying to rank in search results.
If you want consumers to explore your content once being led to it by keywords and search engines, it’s vital that you provide them with an exceptional browsing experience. That might mean looking for the best company that specialises in web design in New York City or an agency local to you.
Keyword implementation is essential for SEO. Once you begin your journey, it’s important to keep it up. Constantly perform research and stay on top of industry trends to help propel yourself ahead of the competition. Here are a couple of things you should do regarding proper keyword implementation in your content:
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Implement keywords throughout your site, including landing pages, articles and blog posts
- Use on-page SEO to ensure search engines can crawl and index your pages
- Implement keywords in Meta descriptions and title tags
- Use keywords in anchor text when conducting link building and guest posting
- Implement keywords in your URLs
Step #5: Diversify Your Keyword List
Over time, your keywords will either gain or lose volume and relevance. It’s very important that you have multiple keywords in mind and avoid sticking to a selected few all the time. Like any other marketing strategy, SEO evolves and priorities change, especially when you consider the fact that search engines like Google update their algorithms multiple times a day.
That’s why you’ll have to abandon some keywords and find new ones when an opportunity presents itself. This is just part of the journey you have to keep in mind. Furthermore, keep an eye on your competitors.
The keywords they use can help you devise your own strategy and help you gain a competitive advantage. If they start changing their keyword preferences it may indicate a change that’s about to happen so you can properly prepare for it and not get left behind.
In addition, consumers will also change their behaviours from time to time. That means your keyword strategy must change as well. A good example is that a lot of consumers are switching to voice search from traditional browser typing. That means a whole new keyword strategy that can adapt to this shift in consumer preferences.
Keywords are still as relevant to SEO as they were before, even though some experts might suggest that other factors have surpassed them in importance. Instead of experimenting, it’s always better to rely on things that have proven to provide viable results time and time again.
Keywords have proven their worth and their value over time. If you find the right keywords for your business it will undoubtedly help your company increase traffic and in turn, conversions. The rest of your efforts will only serve to complement your keyword strategy and take your SEO campaign to a whole new level.