Keywords and SEOBefore we discuss how to find the right keyword for your business, let’s take the time to review the relationship between keywords and SEO. Remember that the goal of Search Engine Optimization is to get the top spot on Google’s Search Engine Results Page for a particular keyword or key phrase. So, for example, let’s say that you are in the business of selling towels. You’ll want your SEO campaign to target keywords like “towels for sale” or “buy towels.” The goal of your SEO campaign is to put your site on the number one list on Google’s search results whenever someone types in “towels for sale” or “buy towels” on Google’s search fields. This sounds simple enough, but choosing the right keyword is not as simple as you think. For one thing, “towels for sale” and “buy towels” are actually very bad keywords for the simple reason that it does not offer a lot of details about your hypothetical product. This is also true for most vague or general keywords. They just don’t offer enough value to SEO. So if you want to know how to pick the right set of keywords correctly then here are seven tips that will help you get started.
Understand Your Products/ServicesYour business’ products and services will determine your targeted keywords, and it helps to be as specific as possible. Vague keywords are not only misleading, but they can also turn off a lot of potential customers. This is because when people buy an item or a service, they want something that caters to their specific needs or preferences. Let’s go back to our example: Towels. Let’s say that your towels cost less than $5. In this instance, you can target a keyword like “towels for less than $5” or “affordable towels.” Here’s another good example. Let’s say that your towels are designed for sports. In this case, you’ll want to target a keyword like, “sports towels for sale” or “affordable sports towels.” Choosing a keyword that accurately describes your product or service is not only good marketing, it’s also a good SEO.
Understand Your CompetitionIt’s tempting to choose the most popular keyword for your niche, but popular keywords are very competitive. Consider our example, “towels for sale.” Google has over 180,000,000 search results for this particular keyword. Now, there’s nothing wrong in targeting a keyword that has over 100 million results, but only if you are ready to take on the competition. If you can do that, then go ahead. If not, then choose a related keyword that’s less competitive. For example, let’s say that most of the towels you’re selling are blue. If that’s the case then you can target a keyword like “Blue Sports Towels for Sale,” which has around 55,500,000 search results on Google. That’s a lot smaller than 180,000,000 search results and therefore less competitive. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the internet is an extremely competitive platform, regardless of which keyword you target. But less competition is always better than more, which is why less competitive keywords are almost always better than more competitive ones. Later, when your business has grown, you can target more popular (and competitive) keywords, but if you run a small business or organization then it’s best to stick to something less challenging.
Understand Your MarketYour keyword affects your market and vice versa. This is because certain keywords are associated with certain items and activities, and Google’s algorithms tend to combine these various associations into bundles to help their clients. Let’s look at our example “towels.” Towels may be associated with the sports and exercise market. They may also be associated with babies and young children. They can also be associated with cooking and other household activities. So when you choose a keyword, it’s important to emphasize what kind of market you’re selling to. In the case of our example, the keyword “towel” is too general. Instead, it should be something like “sports towels for sale,” “towels for travel” or “towels for young children.” By choosing a keyword that reflects your target market, you are able to create an SEO campaign that matches your business’ target market.
Understand Your AudienceAnother important factor to consider is your audience’s online behavior. A person who is looking for some product or service on the internet will typically use the first word or phrase that comes to his or her mind. They will then look at Google’s first three to five results to see if they have what they’re looking for. If they cannot find it then they will use other keywords until they find what they are looking for. So when you’re picking a keyword, choose one that seems to appeal to your audience. This way, they are more likely to find your product when they’re searching through Google. For example, let’s say that you found out that your audience really likes the word “affordable,” so what you need to do is create a keyword like “affordable towels.” This way, your audience is more likely to find your product.
Remember Your LocationSome businesses cater to international markets and clients, while others cater to specific communities, towns, and countries. Either way, your keyword should reflect your market’s location. This location can be a city, a county, a state, a province or even a small community. The important point is that the location is present on your keyword. For example, let’s say that your business sells towels in an imaginary town called “New Town.” Your keyword should look something like “New Town Towels.” However, if New Town is located in the state of New York then your keyword should look something like “Towels in New Town, New York” or “Towels in New Town, NY.” The same idea also holds true if you are selling in a different country. For example, let’s say that New Town is located in Australia or the UK. The keyword can look like “Towels New Town, Australia” or “Towels New Town UK.” But what if your business caters to international clients? The solution is simple. You should target a keyword like “Towels international shipping” or “Towels overseas shipping.” You can even use a keyword like “Buy Towels Online” if your company sells towels through the internet. In any case, targeting a keyword that includes the location of your business, your market or both is an important part of SEO.
Special FeaturesIf your product has special features, you should take them into consideration when you are ready to choose your keywords. For example, let’s say that your towels are extra durable. Your keyword should look something like this: “Super durable towels for sale” or “Towels extra durable.” If the towels are made from the sweat absorbing materials then your keyword should look something like, “sweat absorbing towels” or “sweat-proof towels.” By choosing a keyword that reflects your product’s special feature, not only are you able to optimize your SEO campaign, you are also able to reach out to people who are most likely to buy your product. When combined with other keywords, a special feature keyword is able to create more value for your SEO campaign, and consequently your business.
Test Your KeywordsNow comes the tricky part of choosing a business keyword. After you have decided on a keyword or group of keywords for your SEO campaign, you will need to test them using keyword tools. All the major search engines offer keyword tools, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll stick with what Google has to offer. A good example is Google Trends, which is a useful tool for compiling a list of keywords. It also allows you to create certain parameters while testing keywords and phrases. These parameters include:
- Web searches based on the type of content (e.g. image, news products)
- Worldwide searches for analyzing keywords with locations
- Keyword searches using a particular date range
- Keyword analysis using different categories