Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices
The very first step in search engine optimization (SEO) is to figure out what keywords and keyphrases you’re actually optimizing for. What are keywords and keyphrases? These are the terms that people are searching for when they go to Google, Yahoo or Bing and ask it a question or type a query.
For example: If your company sells dance shoes, you would want to try to optimize for dance shoes. You want to show up for “dance shoes” when someone typed it into Google on the top 3 results. (Btw: there is a lot more to this, I’m just writing generally here).
Where do you go for this information?
There are a lot of SEO tools out in the market to help you do keyword research, but the simplest thing to do is go to Google Adwords and use their keywords planner.
Step 1: Go to adwords.google.com. You will need a Gmail account. If you don’t have one then you will want to sign up for one and then go to the AdWords system. You can skip the “get started”, you do have to be very careful with this stage. Don’t worry, you won’t get charged for it.
Step 2: Go to Tools & Keyword Planner
Step 3: Click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” a box will open where you can set your parameters. You can start typing keywords in the box and make sure you use a comma “,” between each keyword or keyphrase.
Google Traffic Data on Keywords & Keyphrases
There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at when figuring out keywords and keyphrases. Here are the things you want to look at:
Search Volume: Google provides the average monthly search volume for a particular keyword or keyphrase. This will give you really an estimate of the number of people that are searching for a term. The more searches you get, the more people that are really looking for the information and thus you have a better chance of reaching more people.
Relevance: There isn’t really a relevancy score that Google can provide to you, but the way you want to look at it is, if you type in that particular keyword or keyphrase does your competition come up? You might think that, “hey this is a great keyword, there are a ton of searches”. When you actually look at it, none of your competitors are showing up and you’re really left with nothing that is relevant to your business and what you do or the services you provide. You really want to make sure that you avoid terms like that.
Competition: As with any business there is always some level of competition. In SEO, you want to look at the potential cost versus how likely your success will be. Google provides a nice general formula of how much competition there will be. The tool tells you if the competition is low, medium or high.
Understanding What You Should be Looking for in Keywords or Keyphrases
If you skipped the blog on Personas, then I suggest that you go back and really take a look and figure out how your potential buyers would think and behave. What would they really be looking for when they go to Google?
- What are they interested in finding? (Example: Answers to questions? Differences between products, etc.) Please note: I will get to this in another blog soon.
- What problems might the buyer be facing?
- What type of language does your potential client or customer use when describing your product or service?
Once you have the list of keywords and keyphrases you can now begin using them to optimize your website.