If you are new to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or just need a refresher, it is imperative you understand how to choose the right keywords to draw potential customers to your website. Let’s take a closer look at SEO and how it can work to your company’s advantage.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the method which attempts are made to improve search engine rankings through suitable keywords. On search engine result pages (SERP), search engines display links to pages they find relevant and trustworthy.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are words and phrases that users enter into a search box of a search engine to find the relevant websites which contain the search parameters or words closely related to the ones being searched. Some keywords receive countless unique searches each day while others get only a few; this is why choosing the right keywords is crucial.
Keywords Still Matter
Those who remember the early days of the internet will recall that some web pages you visited would appear normal until you scrolled to the bottom of the page where hundreds of keywords would be crammed in together. This practice was known as keyword stuffing used to attract the search engines attention, but it does not now.
Search engines are light years away from being influenced by the overuse of keywords. They now have sophisticated algorithms that put out a “signal” which recognizes spamming right away and will penalize the website that does it. This signal is why finding effective keywords matter; they can get your company’s website the right kind of attention.
Keyword Research is the Difference Between Effective and Ineffective
Researching keywords for SEO is merely trying to identify the keywords that your potential customers are entering into a search field to locate companies that provide goods or services, such as your company offers. Research is fundamental to a strong SEO plan.
Finding the Right Keywords for Your Company’s SEO Campaign
A Flurry of Words.
Just like conceiving of any project, the begging starts with brainstorming. Come up with a list of words that you believe customers are searching for when looking for a company like yours. Brainstorming is an excellent opportunity to apply game theory, or more specifically, strategic thinking. This method involves questions such as, “If I were searching for a product like the one my company produces, what words would I use?”
Know Your Target Demographic
Doing market research on what demographics are likely to use your company’s goods or services will help you to choose the right keywords. Find out what the most common searches are for that demographic and mine the results for relevant keywords.
Use Keyword Research Tools
There are a variety of keyword research tools available to assist you in your search. Google offers both the Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends. You can also find related searches to a keyword at the bottom of both Google and Bing; these related searches are an easy way to add keywords to your SEO arsenal.
Another useful keyword tool is Keywordtool.io which takes your keyword and the search suggestions from Google to and adds characters before and after your keyword to provide a host of search terms.
Soovle will provide suggested searches from across a number of platforms including Bing, Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, and YouTube to name a few.
Use Targeted Search Terms
If your company is selling mountain bikes then a keyword such as “bicycles” is too wide a term; it could include ten-speed bicycles and kids bikes. Using specific search terms such as “mountain bikes,” “off-road bicycles” or “trail bicycles” will get clicks from search engine users and increase SERP rankings.
Remember, the keywords you use should match the content on your site; if not, you will see a high bounce rate from users who have no interest in your company’s product.
Keywords are not a magic bullet that will instantly drive traffic to your website, but with research, trial and error, and persistence you can find keywords valuable to your company’s SEO campaign.