Search Engine Optimization(SEO), is the Holy Grail of the Internet and the magic formula that Google and other search engines use to determine which results get listed first in searches. It’s only natural for any business with a website to want their results to appear at the very top of the list when potential customers are searching. However, there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to how to achieve this. So, in today’s post, we’re going to dive into some of the ways you can really pack a punch with your SEO – finding the best keywords for your business. The following 9 strategies will help you create & optimize keywords & swing things in your favor. Let’s get started!
1. First, Not-So-Good News
The most common search words and terms are called ‘Head Terms’. The reality is that the majority of small businesses will never be able to capture the top search spots. It’s because the large companies have the capacity, capital and volume to be able to always dominate this arena. The good news, however, is that the small companies have a chance.
This is where long-tail keywords come into play. Long-Tail Keywords are the phrases that customers type in when searching for the product/service they need. These keywords are typically 3-5 words long and more specific. For instance, phrases like, ‘mid-century modern dressers’ or ‘mid-century decor items’ will give you a better chance in showing up in search results. This is simply because when a phrase becomes very specific, you’re competing with fewer sites and therefore, you rank higher in the search results!
2. Think Like Your Customer
As a small business owner, one of the easiest mistakes you can make is to get caught up in everything you have to offer. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how amazing your business is if your customers can’t find you.
So just stop for a moment and be the customer. If you were looking for your product/service – where would you start? What would you search for and what variations of searches would you do? A simple search for “mid-century furniture’ is a lot different from ‘where can I find mid-century furniture’. Take some time and critically analyze who your customer is and what they’re going to be searching for.
Another strategy is to study your competition. The best way to do this is by finding other companies offering similar products or services and see which search phrases lead to their sites. And then, make sure to include those keywords in your site as well. Place these keywords in your body copy, heading and images.
3. Change Your Perspective
While it might be an ego boost to look at your search results and see thousands of views on your site, if they aren’t buying anything- it doesn’t matter. It would be better to see hundreds of views from customers making purchases. Your profit will be determined by converting ‘views’ to ‘purchases’.
It only makes sense that your success will be dependent on how well you define YOUR customers, that is, the people who want exactly what you have. So take some time and clearly define: What is the customer’s specific unmet problem or need that my business solves? Then use this information to produce keyword-rich content to show how your audience’s problems can be solved with your product or service.
4. Google ‘Suggestions’
Did you know when you start searching for something in Google, it suggests various solutions for you? You can perform those searches as if you were a customer to see what Google is thinking. Start typing all of the variations you can think of from a customer’s perspective and see what Google suggests. When you find phrases that apply to your product/service, make sure that your website uses those long-tail keywords exactly as they appear in the suggestions.
5. Google ‘Related SEARCHES’
A similar tool is found at the bottom of Google’s search page. The section you see is what Google classifies as ‘related searches’. Again, the important thing here is to not think in terms of what you have to offer. Instead, think in terms of what the customer is looking for and how Google helps them to find you. Make sure you use these suggestions to the letter in your website copy.
6.Utilize A Variety Of Keyword Research Tools
There are resources available that you can actually use to analyze searches and get ideas. Consider it your thesaurus for search phrases. You might even find some keywords for your business that you didn’t know existed but are perfect for your niche. Use these keywords and see all of the paths they lead you to:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Google’s Trends
- WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
- YouTube’s Keyword Tool
- Twitter Search
7. Analyze Your Website Analytics
Just pay close attention to your website analytics & you should be able to see what is working so far. If you discover search terms that are being used, you may want to seriously consider having pages dedicated to each of them. Again, see the customer, be the customer, and then respond to the customer!
In Google Analytics, you can view these search queries by going to Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Organic. One place to look might be question keywords (searches that begin with what, why, how, etc.)
8. Search Query Reports
If you’re running a PPC campaign (AdWords), you want to make sure you’re analyzing your Search Query Reports. Just like Google Analytics, in AdWords, you have the ability to see searches that brought customers to your site. But what is critically valuable here is the ability to see conversions. Again, it’s nice to have visits, but the real profit occurs when customers purchase your product/services. That’s the true maker of success. Capitalize on the long-tail keywords if they are converting visits to purchases!
9. The Secret Formula
The key is to find a way to make your customer feel like you’re talking directly to them.
Long tail keywords are one way of doing that. It makes the customer feel like you knew exactly what they were looking for. Look at everything you’re offering and see if you can change it from a generic, mass-approach to one that is customized and feels like a personal invitation.
Don’t forget – the rules do change
Google and other search sites constantly change the ‘rules’. And the rules are never known in the first place. As companies find out how to manipulate the system, Google finds out about it and changes their system to stop it from happening in the future. They even have ways of verifying ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ techniques. This is to determine if companies are using deception or not. So, if you want to maximize your long-term growth, you need to spend time & create pages that have valid content and keywords that genuinely represent the content it leads to.
The reality is that it’s easy and profitable to build a foundation of great SEO for your website, you just need to learn the dynamics of website audit for SEO. But do keep in mind that the world of search is a fluid one. To get anything right it takes lots of trial and error, figuring out what works for your specific niche and website, and a bit of elbow grease. One of the best steps you can take toward getting your SEO in shape to start working for you is figuring out quality and relevant keywords for your business or site! Focus on your content, think like your customer, keep trying and adjust as needed!
Keyword research can be a tedious task especially if you don’t know how to exactly go about it. Worry not, to decide the best keywords for your business or any SEO related help you can hire a Digital Marketing Agency and concentrate on your business growth.