What are Keywords?
When someone asks me the question “What are keywords”, my geeky heart leaps in my chest. So if this is the first time you’ve heard of keywords, or you simply want a better understanding of what keywords are, here’s a brief breakdown of the basics:
Keywords are words or phrases which you choose to drive targeted traffic to your business. This is a free way to lead customers to your door and using the right keywords can cause sales to skyrocket and give you more business than you can handle.
But it’s not enough to just choose any old keywords, and you’ll need to spend some time scoping out the competition. If you’re in a highly competitive market and you have big companies dominating all of the search results, ranking will be much harder since they’ll have big budgets to spend on SEO and marketing.
This is why it’s crucial to define what makes your business different from the competition. And this definition will help you start ranking.
It’s also important to differentiate between keywords and your brand. My brand is Kuyf Copywriting, however, people are unlikely to search for this phrase in Google unless they’re previously heard of me. Potential clients are much more likely to search for terms which include the keywords copywrite, freelance writer, copywriting, or those which include the specific type of writing that they’re looking for.
This is the same for your business. Say you have a pest control company and you’re working on your online presence. Very few people will search for Dave’s Pest Control, but they’ll probably be Googling phrases like “Pest control company in Brisbane” or “how to get rid of mice”. This is another reason why blogging is so important, as you can introduce longtail keywords (more on these in a future post) to get your business in front of new customers.
How to find the best keywords for your website
Keyword research is arguably the most important part of Search Engine Optimisation. Skipping this research is the equivalent of throwing a party but forgetting to send out any invitations (lots of booze, but not many people).
Keyword research was much easier a few years ago when it was simply a matter of using Google Analytics to see which terms people were using to find your website. While this is no longer possible, there are a few other ways you can research the best keywords for your site.
Using Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a good keyword tool for finding keywords. You’ll just need to ignore the unreliable search volume data which is only helpful if you’re spending money advertising. Sign up for a Google AdWords account, click on the Tools button up the top and then click on keyword planner.
From here you click “Find new keywords” and you can then enter a bunch of keywords and phrases which relate to your product, service, or the subject of your blog post.
Click “Get Ideas” and two options will come up- Ad Group Ideas and Keyword Ideas. For now we’re going to ignore Ad group ideas and click on Keyword ideas. Here’s what our pest control business keywords look like:
As you can see, this industry has a lot of competition. Our search terms are showing high monthly searches but also high and medium competition. In the bottom box, you can see a list of keywords which Google Adwords has given me, and this is where things get interesting. I usually click the competition button and sort the results from low to high since I’m looking for keywords which have a low amount of competition but a decent amount of average monthly searches.
The competition isn’t about how many people are searching using that keyword, it’s about how many people are purchasing it when buying ads. So for your company blog this isn’t too important, however, it’s important to remember that keywords which have high competition can be harder to compete against since more people are buying them.
The global monthly searches show how many times the keyword was searched for in the last month. While it’s tempting to go for the biggest number, if you have a new business or website it can be worth targeting less popular terms, especially if you have a small niche.
Google Trends can help you compare the traffic for different keywords, and you can even look at different countries and regions.
Another option is to use the search engine on your site and see what your visitors are searching for within your website. If you’re getting a common search term which you haven’t addressed, now is the time to fix it and keep those visitors around.
The trick is to think about what you want to be ranked for. In order to do this, you need to start with your ideal client or customer. Think about what they do for work, where they live, how old they are, and what keeps them up at night. Think about their vocabulary, and the words and terms they would use. Picture them and think about what you can do for them.
It’s a big fat waste of time to create great content, optimize it, work on getting links, and then realize that random people who aren’t customers and will never be customers are visiting your site, instead of those who could be benefiting from your product or service.
Next you need to focus on yourself. What does your business do? What problem does it solve? What is each blog post about? And will the keywords you choose lead potential customers to your website?
Don’t forget to regularly check Google Analytics to see what words people are searching before landing on your site. This can give you a good indication of the type of language they’re using and what they’re looking for.
Do you need some help finding the best keywords for your website? Do you want great content written by a professional and optimized for SEO? Send me a message today and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.