Keywords are important to SEO. It’s the initial ingredient of a kicking online marketing campaign.
Without a proper keyword strategy in place, your website loses organic traffic — resulting in a loss of leads, conversions, and yes, profit.
In this guide, we’ve broken down basic insights on SEO keywords and how you can implement them into your content and overall marketing strategy.
So, what are keywords?
With thousands of websites online, do you ever wonder how people actually find your site?
Unless you’re a well-known brand, they’re likely searching for keywords or phrases related to your product or service.
SEO keywords are the words or phrases in your website content that connects you with the searcher intent behind those keywords. So it’s not just about throwing in random words that rank in search engines, it’s about providing valuable content to your readers.
Say for example you’re in the home improvement industry, creating content out of targeted keywords like “bathroom remodelling services” or “kitchen renovation” helps you meet the searcher’s intent.
To summarise, keywords help you…
- Define your content strategy. Keywords work as a backbone for your website content —allowing you to decide on the topics you can expand to connect with readers.
- Drive organic traffic to your website. Targeted keywords tell search engines what topics you rank for. Think of them as the connection between your content and what people are searching for online.
- Increase leads. The right keywords bring the right audience. And the right audience are more likely to connect with your brand better.
You don’t simply insert SEO keywords into your website. There are proper steps to make them work and deliver the results you want. This brings us to the most actionable part of this post: keyword research.
6 Keyword Research Tips to Optimise Your Website Content
Determine your target audience and outline their buying process
Who are you selling to?
Get to know your target persona by collecting characteristics of your ideal customer. Think of the people who’re likely interested in your product or service — then list down factors like age, sex, geographic locations, etc.
Are you selling clothing to trendy tweens and teenagers? Or are you looking to target working-class bachelors in their early 20s?
The more detailed you get, the easier it is to narrow down your keywords list.
Then, align your keywords with their buyer’s journey
Customer journey is the process where people make an informed decision before buying from you.
They generally go through the following three stages, namely:
For the awareness stage, search queries are often question-based. A person looking to remodel their old home could be sending search queries like “remodelling ideas” or “how to restore old houses”.
On the consideration stage, buyers have a clearer picture of what they need. Taking from the example above, they could be searching for keywords like “cheap home remodelling contractors” or home remodelling stores near me”.
Finally, on the decision stage, customers are ready to make a purchase. They’re comparing prices, looking at reviews, etc.
It’s important to create in-depth content around these keywords to help customers discover your brand — bringing us to the next step…
Decide on pillar topics
Now that you’ve determined your target audience and mapped out the customer journey, it’s time to focus on your niche.
Derive five to ten pillar topics from your services or product categories.
For example, when providing home improvement services, you can break it down to topics like bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, basement renovation, and home additions.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with topics, use Google. Search for one topic and get ideas from related searches found at the bottom of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
Consider keyword research tools
Use keyword research tools, like Google Keywords Planner and SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool to generate targeted Keywords.
They also come in handy when you need new keywords for your upcoming marketing campaigns.
Use Google Analytics to determine the keywords that drive leads to your site.
Generate your site’s traffic report and see what search terms and see what search terms visitors used to find you. Reserve those terms when narrowing your keyword list.
Narrow down your keyword list
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of keywords. Instead, carefully identify what search terms your target audience are using — as well as the intent behind them.
That said, take note of the following criteria:
- Relevance and audience. Prioritise search intent. Instead of focusing on the actual keywords, identify the reasons your audience search for it in the first place. They could want more information on the product or they’d want to do comparisons before making a purchase.
- Optimise five to six keywords per page. This is the ideal number for a small website — going overboard may result to keyword stuffing.
- Think twice about high-volume keywords. Aside from the competition you face, high-volume keywords have higher bounce rates and low conversion rates. Instead of high-volume keywords, make sure you aim for the following criteria on the list…
- Focus on head terms and long-tail keywords. Head terms are generic keywords with one to three words (e.g. bath remodel). Long-tail keywords are more specific with more than three words (e.g. bathroom remodelling design ideas).
- Localise your search terms (e.g. bath remodel in Mascot, New South Wales). This helps improve your local search ranking.
Keyword mapping is distributing your keywords to website pages to help attract more traffic to your site. It’s a key feature of on-page optimisation, helping search engines like Google analyse your web pages and determine if the content aligns with searches.
How does keyword mapping work?
- Identify the relevance of each keyword to your pages. If two or more keywords mean the same, it is most ideal to target them on one page.
- Create your keyword map. Use a spreadsheet and input a list of your target keywords in groups. Then add columns for the page, page URL, search volume and part of the page you’ve assigned each keyword (e.g. H1, Title tag, Meta description).
Keyword mapping makes it easier to structure your website content and kickstart your content marketing strategy.
Keyword analysis is a method of knowing the value or performance of your keywords.
Using Google Analytics, identify the amount of traffic each keyword brings to your site. Retain highly-generating keywords, then replace those aren’t by mapping new keywords. You can refer again to your initial keyword list.
Keyword analysis is not a one-time task. Do a regular audit at least once a month to make sure you’re not losing your rankings and conversions.
Before you leave…
Remember, integrating SEO keywords involves a lot of trial and error.
Favourable results do not happen in the blink of an eye. Keep A/B testing your content to find the right keywords to rank high your pages on search engines. Once it happens, you’ll see your SEO efforts paid off.