Do it your self SEO

Keyword Research for SEO

For almost a decade, one of the most successful marketing techniques for doing business online has been inbound marketing.  Where outbound marketing focused on buying ads and e-mail lists to acquire leads, inbound marketing is all about drawing prospective clients to your website through useful, quality content relevant to your industry.

By writing content that is engaging you will keep new visitors on the site longer and improve your chance of having them click on a call to action.  Existing customers will love your articles too.  As their admiration and confidence in the business grows, they will return to your site to learn more from a subject matter expert.  These followers could become the source of repeat business.  Also, good articles are likely to be shared through social media; thereby creating inbound links and improving the popularity of your site.

Understanding Search Engines

The algorithms used by search engines to provide searchers with high quality results have become increasingly more complicated.  What you need to know is that when a user queries a search engine using a phrase of keywords, the content on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is ranked by relevancy and popularity.  In order to make sure your article is considered relevant to a specific keyword phrase, the topic of your page needs to be clearly defined and the keywords need to be used in headings, sub-headings, text, and anchor text of links to the page.  Popularity is based on how many people link to your site and page.  This is another reason why having followers share your content on Facebook or Twitter is beneficial to you!

Choosing Content to Write Using SEO

Now you know that you want to write compelling, informative content for your web site to attract potential customers and improve the quality of your website – but what to write?  This is where a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy comes in.  You’ll need to determine what keywords your customers are searching for (what keywords have high search volume), how much competition there is for a keyword phrase, and how much work it will take to rank your site high on a SERP for a given keyword.  Keyword research is a critical part of SEO.

Step 1: Choosing a Topic

The first thing you need to do is brainstorm topics to write about.  There are several approaches you can take to help get yourself to a list of 10-15 keyword phrases:

  • Determine what kind of information your customers would find useful. What would someone new to your product or service offering need to know?  Ask your customers.  Ask staff members who work directly with customers.
  • Check what your competition is writing about.
  • Check your website analytics to see what queries brought your customers there.

As an example, if your business is an appliance store, you might come up with topics such as “dryer vent”, “efficient dish washers”, “cleaning ceramic stove top”, “convection oven”, etc…

Step 2: Keyword Research

The next step you will want to take is to research your keywords to:

  1. Check the monthly search volume and competition of your keywords (globally and locally). If a phrase has a high search volume and high competition then working your way up the rankings may take a lot of work and time.  Are the first page of results major brands when you search for your keywords in a search engine?  It would be preferable if a phrase had a medium to high search volume and less competition.
  2. Check if there are related keywords. If so, check the search volume and competition for these as well.  It is likely that a generic phrase like “convection oven” has high volume and competition but a related, more specific phrase like “convection oven vs conventional oven energy use” has less competition.  Another benefit of using long-tail keywords is that you have a higher chance of conversion from the searcher because they are likely to be further along in the buying cycle.
  3. Check for trends in history. You might find one of your low volume keywords is actually starting to see some traction in recent months and is worth investing some time on.  Or maybe a keyword phrase receives more search volume at a different time of year due to seasonal sales.

The goal is to find keywords that are not a difficult win.  This will improve the relevance of your site for those and related keywords so that you can work towards improving your ranking of more competitive and difficult phrases in the long term.

Step 3: Write Your Articles

After some work you should have a short list of keyword phrases for topics that your target customers want to learn more about.  Now you just have to write amazing, high quality content that will provide value to your site and excite your customers enough to share!

Keyword Research Tools

There are many keyword research tools available to help you with your SEO.  Some are free and others cost a significant monthly fee.  The features of each also vary so you need to find one that suits your needs and budget.

If you have a google account you can use a couple useful Google tools for free:

  • The Google Keyword Planner Tool helps you to find the volume and competition metrics of your keywords, and related keywords. It is best to select “Show only closely related items” within the Keyword options to keep the scope of suggestions narrow.
  • Google Trends will show you the interest of a keyword phrase over time and by region. It can even attempt to forecast interest in the keyword for the next year.  Trends will also show the top related keywords, and those that are rising in popularity.

 

Helpful Links:

Google Keyword Planner Tool: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

Google Trends: https://www.google.com/trends

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  1. Pingback: 5 Tips to Improve SEO by Tweaking Your Content! | Marketing Darcy

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