The root of every search on the internet is keywords. Keywords are search phrases people input into a search engine to find the information they’re looking for.
The primary purpose of your business’ website is to be visible when prospects and customers search online for keywords related to your business or industry.
To get found online, you need to optimize the content on your site’s pages for the search engines and people searching for you. This helps your site rank on the first page of search results for the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
In this article, we explore five fundamental steps to choose the best keywords for SEO success:
- Learn what your customers are searching for by thinking like them
- Study Your Competition
- Target Long-Tail Keywords
- Understand the metrics behind the keywords you’re targeting, and finally:
- Update existing keywords
Learn what your customers are searching for by thinking like them
Know your target audience and put yourself in their shoes when you think of the best keywords. Try to imagine what you’d type into Google if you were looking for information about something. You may go as far as asking your friends or customers for common phrases they use when searching for something.
To rank your site higher on Google (and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo), you must think about the keywords people use to search for your business and then double down on those keywords as you write content for your site.
Figure out the most popular way people search for your business using Ahrefs Keywords Explorer. This tool helps you understand other ways people may be searching for the same thing by showing the difficulty of a keyword (how hard it is to rank high), the number of clicks on a keyword, and search volume (how many times people searched with the keyword)
However, SEO keyword search tools tend to surface a lot of keywords, which can be overwhelming. One way to narrow things down to only super relevant results is to take the 2 to 3 most relevant top-ranking pages and paste them into the Ahrefs Content Gap tool. That will unveil the common keywords for which all of those pages rank.
Go to Google and begin typing a query in the search box (without hitting enter) to get deeper into the more granular searches your customers are making. Google will immediately suggest some additional search terms that people have used.
Use Keywords Explorer to see the search suggestions report if this sounds like a bother. This report virtually automates the procedure and shows keywords formed by Google autocomplete with valuable SEO metrics like search volume and Keyword Difficulty.
Study Your Competition
Identify your main competitors and check out their websites to see the keywords they are targeting. Go through their content to have a clearer idea of the keywords they are using. Doing this will help you better understand different keyword ideas that you may not be aware of.
Find popular and engaging topics in your field with tools like Content Explorer. Content Explorer provides one of the quickest and most reliable methods to understand the most popular and engaging in a given niche.
To get the best of SEO, you should know how people talk about the niche you operate in, the benefits and issues they have, and more. Take every chance to talk to customers and note the language they use. Thus, you can grow your keyword list by looking around you.
Know the metrics behind the keywords you’re targeting.
Most people concentrate on only two metrics during their keyword research: the search volume (the average number of monthly searches) and keyword difficulty (an estimate of how hard it will be on the first page of the search results for that phrase).
These are crucial as they give valuable insights into the prospect of the keyword and how tough ranking for it is likely to be.
However, instead of looking solely at search volume, you should figure out the true search traffic potential for each keyword. That way, you can channel your efforts to rank for those likely to send the most targeted traffic your way.
Understanding the metrics behind your keywords also helps you monitor and analyze the results they bring. Your findings make it easier for your audience to find you as you know the best keywords to use in your product descriptions, blogs, social media, metatags, etc.
Target Long-Tail Keywords
When looking for keywords to target, you want to optimize for keywords that have more than three words (“long-tail keywords”). This is because these longer keyword phrases usually have little competition and are more specific (Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Samsung phone)
Long-tail keywords also allow you to optimize for phrases that have “buyer intent.” like “DELL laptop with 14-inch screen” vs. “laptops.”
Let’s use the laptop example above to explain buyer intent and long-tail keywords. When you optimize the content on a page for just the keyword “laptops,” you could get people looking for information about laptops, how laptops work, what you should use to help laptops perform better, what to look for when buying laptops, etc. None of these visitors are currently looking to purchase a Dell laptop from your store.
But if you develop pages about specific models of Dell laptops with 14-inch screens, you’re going to get people who are likely ready to buy a Dell laptop because they’re interested in Dell laptops with 14-inch screens. These are people with “buyer intent” and who are more likely to make an actual purchase—the types of visitors you want on your site if you sell Dell laptops.
Update existing keywords
Sometimes, finding the best keywords means changing the ones you already have.
Often, many websites have keywords that brought traffic to them for some time. However, because they have failed to update these keywords, traffic to their site has reduced significantly over a time period.
To avoid this, it is crucial to update keywords on your website. Feedback from customers, website visitors, and analytics can help you identify keywords that work and those that don’t. Emerging competitors can also inspire your keyword updates, and following them will help you keep tabs on the latest keyword trends in your niche. Doing this helps you know where to look for your new keyword selection, and increases your chances of ranking on the first page of search engines.
Grasping the art of keyword research and ranking your site to reach the first page on search engines can take time. But once you master search engine optimization, you will see more traffic to your site as your sales hit the moon!
Time To Choose Your Keywords
With the help of our seasoned professionals at Top Content Marketing Agency, your business can draw more attention through keywords that highlight the competitive advantage of your product or service.
Schedule a strategy session now with a growth expert to improve your website ranking on search engines.