Keywords are like the holy grail of content provision, making sure our sites get taken notice of, customers can find us, and the content we publish online is targeted to reach the right audience, at the right time.
Every forum ever published about website / blog best practice will stress the need for keyword research.
Without it, our publishing activity will be random, unfocussed and predicated on a large amount of guesswork and very little tangible strategic effort.
Having the best set of keywords in place to attract your target market turns your site from a static receptacle for information in to a potential powerhouse of marketing.
All well and good, right?
We know that keywords are important.
However, one of the questions I’m asked more than any other is – ‘How do I actually work out what keywords to use?’
It’s a very good point.
While we may understand the importance of choosing the right language to strike a note with the search engines, knowing what to do in principle is very different to understanding the fundamentals of keyword methodology, and then applying it to our sites.
So, for those of you out there who are new to this type of research, and for the rest of us who need a benchmark for assessing our existing strategy from time to time, here’s your keyword research refresher!
How Keywords Work
When we go online to a search engine like Google, we have a fair idea of what we are looking for.
If we’re, for example, hunting out a quote for competitive service for cleaning a sofa, we might simplify our request for Google in to a handful of words.
These could be ‘sofa cleaning’, ‘upholstery cleaning’, ‘competitive’ or ‘cheap’, and our location.
Google then pops off with our request and brings back a search return based on our request.
The words our customers key in to the search engine strip are our keywords.
If we want to make sure Google and others return to our site when people query exactly what products and services we provide, we need to make sure that we tell the search engines that that’s what we do.
Again, and again, and again.
So our keywords form the absolute foundation for all of our content.
As website / blog owners we should use our keywords on our pages and blog (as long as we don’t stuff our pages with the same keyword phrase time and time again), so we can shout out to Google that we are exactly the right site that your customers are looking for, when they specify their specific requirements.
Choosing the best keywords to attract visitors
When it comes to selecting the best keywords for your site, there are three simple rules to remember:
Keyword Research Rule #1:
90% of keyword phrases get no traffic.
When determining your keyword phrases you should only target keyword phrases that have significant traffic to make it worth the time and effort.
This will make sure that your site is focussed upon attracting the highest number of customers possible, through effective SEO.
Keyword Research Rule #2:
90% of keyword phrases have very poor profit potential.
You should only target keyword phrases that will bring you in cash, not just traffic.
Many keyword phrase DO NOT convert into sales.
Keyword Research Rule #3:
Unfortunately, for most website owners / bloggers, 90% of most keyword phrases are simply too competitive to appear on the first page of Google.
How many other websites are in the same niche as you?
You want it to be as low as possible.
Choose your words by researching how much competition there is out there, and if it’s too high, consider establishing a more specialised niche for your industry to set you apart from your competitors.
Whether you are new to keyword research or have been going for a while, it’s worth testing out your chosen phrases to make sure that they adhere to these three principles – leading to more traffic, more purchases, and more valuable content on your static web pages and your blog.
What’s your experience of targeting the best keyword phrases for your site?
Please share your views in the comments below.