Keyword research is not just about attracting traffic to your website, it’s about attracting the right traffic. Conducting keyword research will help to streamline your targeting methods but it can also give you insights into the way your customers are searching for your products or services, whether these behaviours are changing over time and shifts in consumer trends and demands.
Learning how to target and rank for the right keywords for your business can help you to grow your business and see high returns for your efforts.
Seed – expand – sort
When beginning your keyword research it is useful to use this method to find the keywords that your potential customers are using when searching for your product or service.
This is where you start with ‘seed’ words for your company. For example, the seeds words for a company selling personalised chocolate could be:
- Personalised chocolate
- Edible gift
- Custom chocolate
We would suggest no more than six keywords in this seed list.
Once you have created your seed list use Google’s free Keyword Planner to expand this list and find other related, relevant keywords that your audience is searching for. The keyword planner will use your seed keyword along with the information on your landing page to provide you with a suggested list of words.
You will now have hundreds of suggested keywords provided by Google – you will need to sort these keywords to find the ones that are most relevant to your website and the product you are selling.
When looking at sorting keywords, there are three main things to focus on:
Focus on long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are keywords that contain more two words, for example, “customised chocolate wedding gift”. Long tail keywords will result in better conversions and higher quality traffic as the intent of the user is higher the more specific their search query is.
Relevancy of your landing page
Make sure that the page that users are landing on is relevant to the keywords they are searching for and clicking on. Behaviour on site is one of Google’s ranking factors when it comes to SEO, so a high bounce rate and low time on site will not be looked upon favourably by Google.
Correctly completing the ‘seed – expand – sort’ step will help you choose the relevant keywords.
Do a Google Adwords test
If you’re not quite sure which keywords to focus your SEO efforts on then why not run a Google Adwords test to figure it out.
Create a campaign and build an ad set with the keywords you are considering. Run it until you receive 200-400 clicks. Analyse the top converting keywords and use those as your focus.
Search volume and competition
When choosing the right keywords for your business it is important to look at the demand (search volume) and difficulty (competition) for each keyword. A high volume low competition keyword is the best case scenario, but not usually the case.
If you are in a highly saturated market, then the major keywords will have a lot of competition, however this does not mean they should be ignored. On the flip side, it is not beneficial to put all of your keyword marketing efforts into ranking for a keyword that is only bringing in 10-20 visitors per month to your site.
Location based keywords
If your products or services are only sold or provided within a certain geographical area, then use location keywords to further specify your product/service to find the right audience to drive to your site.
Free and paid tools
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