Keywords are the bricks and mortar foundations for your websites Search Engine Optimisation. They help us understand how our customers are searching and help us ensure we give those customers the information they want.
Now if you are new to all this, you may well be screaming at your screen, “What are keywords”?
Keywords are what we type in when we are searching for products, services, and answers on search engines.
Companies optimise their webpages for search by assigning keywords to various pages, blog posts, products and images. The implications for a business of picking the right keywords are therefore huge. Even if you are not doing a PPC (pay per click) campaign, keywords are integral to a websites organic ranking on the search engines.
By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.
Know thy own business
What do your customers value about your business? Do they love your product because it is fast-acting or because it is long-lasting? Are you dirt cheap or are you premium priced? Do you provide people with training or do you charge for a specific service? You need to be able to identify the most important keywords that describe your business in order to market your products and services to your target audience.
As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results. So if someone is looking for cheap second hand furniture in Magherafelt, you better make sure that you have “cheap” and “Magherafelt” as well as the obvious “second hand furniture”.
It’s not always about getting people to your site, but about getting the right kind of people. If you are advertising a car boot sale, you would want to rank for those words in search, however you could also end up getting visitors who are looking for a new pair of boots on sale.
To create content that ranks well organically and drives visitors to your site, you need to understand the needs of those visitors — the language they use and the type of content they seek. By researching the words people type into search engines and by then using this research to create your content; you can drive the right traffic to your site, and most importantly, traffic that is more likely to convert.
So where do I start?
Keyword research always starts with a theme, an idea, or head keyword. This can come from your own industry knowledge, or from the products and services you provide. Make sure you have a spreadsheet or notepad where you can keep note of all your keywords while you look up various websites and social networks to discover variants on those keywords.
Now you may be thinking, great, I can just have loads of keywords on all of my pages, and the traffic will start flooding in, but it doesn’t work like that! Creating great content is about providing real value for real people, not just sending signals to the bots at Google.
Even if you aren’t using Adwords, Googles Keyword Planner can be a great place to start. It’ s really useful for those who want to achieve good rankings and get more visitors to their website through SEO, it will provide keyword ideas and to give estimates of monthly search volumes for keywords. It will show you what keywords are relevant to your business that have a decent amount of search volume.
There are some basic rules you should go by to get started:
- Unique keywords should be employed on each page of your site in the areas that bots and humans normally look to reassure them that you have what they’re after. This includes both the title tag and the body of your content.
- You can also look at working your primary keyword into your URL, a H1 tag on the page, the meta description, and alt attributes of images on the page; all of these places will help search engines know what your content is really about.
- Using your keywords in these areas is the most basic way to target your content to searches. It’s not going to immediately shoot you to the top of the results, but it is essential SEO.
SEO is an extremely complex part of website marketing, but the majority of people can easily understand the basics, and it’s always good to know the basics, even if you are planning on getting an expert to help you out.
There are loads of great, in-depth guides out there you can read for further information.