When it comes to attracting organic traffic to your website, choosing the right keywords for your content is THE most important part of SEO.
The SEO keywords will determine the direction of your content and ensure that the content will be relevant and easily searchable on Google. That’s what keyword research is all about – identifying relevant high-volume search terms.
So, how do you choose the “right” keywords?
1. Start with Keyword Research
Keywords are simply the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines like Google. Depending on your marketing budget, you can hire an SEO agency to conduct your keyword search. Because SEO professionals perform keyword research every day, they have the experience and expensive software licenses to obtain more technical information.
Another option for keyword research is to talk to actual people – customers and stakeholders like salespeople and your marketing team. Get ideas and insights from them about what they would search for to find your business, services, products, or content. Use the seed keywords you gather from these people to find related keywords.
2. Identify Topics
After you perform your keyword research, you should have a ton of individual words and phrases. The good news is – topics are more important than keywords. You don’t need to build out pages for every keyword, so translate from keywords to topics.
What type of topics will your target audience search for on Google? Make a list of all the topics related to your brand. You can also look at the content that’s already on your website for meaningful topics.
3. Think about Search Intent
Search intent (or user intent) is the purpose of an online search – it’s the reason why a user conducts a specific search. Is the searcher looking for an answer to a question? Are they looking for a specific website? Or are they searching because they want to make a purchase?
Make sure that a landing page fits the search intent of your audience. You don’t want to show them a product page if they’re searching for information. If someone wants to buy your product, lead them to your store – don’t frustrate them with a long article they aren’t looking for.
The words people use in their search queries provide insight into user intent. But this also works the other way around when you formulate keywords with intent-specific words.
4. Plan Your Buyer’s Journey
Think about the journey most potential customers take from hearing about your product to making their first purchase. Most people don’t make a purchase the first time they hear about your company. Instead, they go through different stages known as the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness – a potential customer realizes they have a problem. In the awareness stage, they may not even have a name for their problem – they’re only aware that the problem exists.
- Consideration – the potential customer gives their problem a name and begins researching possible solutions.
- Decision – the final stage is when the customer chooses a course of action from a list of possible solutions. As marketers, we hope the customer selects our product instead of our competitor’s products.
When choosing keywords and planning content, it’s helpful to think about your target audience and their stage in the buyer’s journey.
5. Analyze the Competition
It’s important to pay attention to the competition for your target keyword phrase when you’re conducting keyword research. The easiest way to analyze the competition for a specific keyword is to enter your keyword into Google or another search engine and see what comes up.
The first thing to look for is ads. In Google, these are marked with either the “Ad” tag or the “Sponsored” tag. Google always displays paid-for ads above other results, so before you commit to creating a piece of content, asses the ad landscape.
Another thing to notice is the websites that organically appear on the first page of Google for your target keyword. If brands with enormous marketing budgets dominate the first page, it’s unlikely you’ll take the top spot with your first blog post.
Finally, look at the results themselves. Can you create content that the average searcher will find more valuable than the content already in the top spot? Weak content is usually short, poorly formatted, and lacking key details. If you can meet the searcher’s need more thoroughly than your competition – you can claim the top spots!
6. Select Target Keywords
Focus on 30-40 keywords and narrow down what kind of content will be created for those words – what you need to optimize. Does it already exist on your website? If not, make a list of content topics you need.
Once you start ranking well for 20 or 30 keywords, you can add a few more. The process of content creation takes a long time, so don’t get overwhelmed by trying to focus on too many keywords at once – concentrate on a few and categorize them by which ones you want to rank for first.
7. Monitor Performance
You’ll get the data you need when your SEO plans and paid search are put into action. Then you’ll find out if you’ve chosen the “right” keywords.
When you have data, you can adjust the priority you put on specific keywords and topics or identify other areas to optimize.
Things to watch for:
- Keywords that don’t rank organically
- Keywords that generate a lot of impressions but few clicks
- Keywords that generate a lot of traffic but not many conversions
If you notice any of these, look at the SERPs and dig into analytics to see if there’s a UX issue, a conversion rate optimization need, or something deeper.
Choosing the “right” keyword can often feel subjective and elusive but going through these steps should provide enough insights to create a good content and SEO strategy. Even though keyword research can be a time-consuming and tedious task, it’s worth it in the long run.
At Impact Group Marketing, we specialize in impactful and trackable digital marketing solutions – including SEO, digital listings management, paid advertising management, and content writing. We offer three search engine optimization packages to fit your business goals and budget. Contact us today and let our experienced team of developers help you get noticed by search engines.