Choosing Effective Keywords for SEO: First Steps
Choosing the right keywords for your industry is more of an art mixed with analytical data.
Keywords—you hear it all the time from marketers, SEO experts, and now even us at Business Tech Pro, but what is it about finding the best keywords for website search results? For some just starting out, or perhaps those who have been in the game for a while and have received poor advice, choosing the right keywords for your website can seem like a no-brainer. However, then the analytics come, and you are puzzled as to why you haven’t been ranking like you thought you should. Unfortunately, choosing keywords can be a complex issue, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process to get through once you know the best practices to use when creating content and acquiring a Google AdWords account.
So where do you start in acquiring the best keywords for your business website? One could say that you should conduct an interview with yourself, asking logical and hard-hitting questions about your website and what to honestly expect from it. Many of these questions include the following:
- What is my industry?
- What do I sell specifically?
- What is the demand for my products and services?
- How competitive is my field?
- Who are my competitors and how do they rank in search engines?
- Who would be searching for my products and services?
- If I were to search for a product or service like mine, what would I type into the search box to find what I’m looking for?
Long-tail Keywords: The Real Way to Rank
Answering questions like these can give you great clues as to what your target keywords should be on a basic level. However, a problem that many businesses run into is trying to rank for single keywords instead of phrases, or long-tail keywords. Long-tails are made up of two or more words that have great relevance to each other as well as the order in which they are placed in the search box.
For example, if you are a florist and want to rank on Google for the keyword “flowers,” you will have a much harder time since it is so broad and is possibly dominated by a larger commercial competitor in your same industry. However, if you are a florist that specializes in creating bouquets of red roses, you would have a much better chance of getting conversions if you choose to rank for “red rose bouquet.”
More often than not, people search for particular products made up of a mix of nouns, adjectives, and verbs to find what they are looking for without spending a long time searching. People also prefer to ask straight-up questions in search boxes to send the answers they seek. Knowing the habits or your target audience will help you to construct better keyword groupings that are relevant to your business and their needs.
From here, you can begin constructing a list of keywords that are relevant to your business, products, services, and your target audience.
Target Your Location
Location is another useful way to get traffic if you are a locally-owned business serving a certain area. If you are pure e-commerce without a central location for people to visit, adding in the locations you deliver to or do business most often can also draw some conversions. Example: “red rose bouquets in Los Angeles CA” or “red rose bouquet delivery in Los Angeles CA.”
Building your list of keywords may stretch beyond the keywords that exactly describe your products or services. These secondary keywords are relevant and related to your main keywords and can be lead-ins to your main keywords.
For example, as a florist who sells red rose bouquets, you may also sell flower vases, so trying to rank for “flower vase,” “crystal vase,” or “rose vase” would be good additional keywords to look into given their direct correlation to the original “red rose bouquet.”
FREE Resources to Find Keywords
If you are having trouble coming up with your list, here are a few FREE tricks you can use:
- Google Autocomplete – When you type in a possible keyword into the search box on Google or Bing, you will typically see words grayed out in a drop-down menu. These autofill options are representative of popular searches with the keyword you have entered into the search box, giving you a clue as to how people use that word for searches, adding variations of the keyword to your list.
- Related Searches – It can be easy to miss if you are not used to going down to the bottom of a Google search page, but there is a set of related search phrases that people have often used when using your keyword, providing further insight as to how your chosen keyword is most used.
- Google Keyword Planner – One of the most effective tools for determining keywords for Google, this tool will give you clever ideas on how to best build your AdWords campaign
- Google Trends – Find out what’s hot in recent Google Searches to see what people are searching for
- Keyword Tool – Used in conjunction with Google Autocomplete to render lists of relevant keyword predictions based on your specified keywords
- SERPS – A collection of free SEO tools such as Keyword Rank Checker, Keyword Research Database, and Google Location Changer (NOTE: more advanced features require paid subscription)
- WordStream Free Keyword Tool – In addition to their other services, WordStream has a keyword search box to determine their strength
If you have more advanced questions about creating keyword lists and using them effectively in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing campaigns, Business Tech Pro has an experienced team of experts that can help you discover the best keywords for your business and develop strategies that render conversions and sales. Contact us by phone at (888) 326-6856 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. During business hours, our representatives can chat with you via our web chat icon on the Business Tech Pro homepage or text us a message at (949) 860-7477!