There’s one thing that a successful SEO strategy would be nothing without: Keywords.
You can have the best buyer persona in the world, the most well designed website in the world, and the best-written content in the world, but none of it will mean much in the world of SEO without proper keyword usage. That’s why keywords are the first thing you should focus on if you want to improve your website’s SEO.
Keywords are the words people type into a search engine. They are, essentially, the things people are searching for. The key to good SEO is having your website “rank” for the keywords your target market is searching for. Ranking means having your website appear in the top organic (not paid) search results. As discussed in last week’s Power of SEO blog, the higher you rank, the better you’re doing.
How do you create a keyword strategy that works?
There are a lot of things your business needs to do in order to compile a list of keywords that actually work for you. At Flawless Inbound have used our experience working with keywords and SEO to come up with three key strategies to creating effective keywords:
Find keywords your target market is searching for
The first thing you’ll want to do when coming up with a keyword list is research into your target market. Start by understanding your buyer’s personas. If you know this inside out, you will be better equipped to do research into their keyword demand. Next, think about what your buyers would be searching for if they were need of the solution your business provides. Then take those words and use them to start building your keyword list.
There are a lot of tools available online to help you take one keyword and make it into many, or to refine it (we’ll explain more about this in point 2). These tools will often be able to tell you how many searches per month the keywords get and more. Using this, you can pick the best ones to drive traffic to your organization’s website.
Understand the need for, and use, long tail keywords
You don’t just want to get any visitors to your site; you want to get the right ones. That’s why creating long tail keywords is crucial to choosing the right keywords for your business.
Let’s say you’re a B2B organization that provides IT solutions in Edmonton. You might be thinking that it would be amazing to rank at the top for “IT,” but that’s not exactly the case. Even though short, general keywords like this might get 5000 searchers a day, they make up less than 30% of searches performed on the web. Never mind the fact that your competition for rank with “IT” would be astronomical. The secret to winning a top ranking lies in long tail keywords, which get the other 70% of traffic.
So what’s a long tail keyword? Well, in the case of our IT company, it might be “IT solutions in Edmonton.” But, in general, the longer you go, the more your chances of that keyword converting. So if your IT company mostly sells to healthcare organizations you could use “IT solutions for healthcare Edmonton” or even “affordable IT solutions for healthcare Edmonton.”
These long tail keywords might get a lot less searches per day than IT, but it’s going to be much easier to score a top ranking spot. Even more, it’s more likely to draw in someone who actually wants to buy. Someone searching IT is probably just trying to understand what that means, but someone searching IT solutions for healthcare Edmonton is probably looking to buy.
Use only keywords that are relevant to your website content
The final point to remember when working on your keyword strategy is making sure your keywords are relevant to your website content.
Keeping up with our IT example, if you are using “IT solutions for healthcare Edmonton” as a keyword, then your website better actually contain information about IT solutions for healthcare organizations in Edmonton. The more your content actually matches the keywords you use on your website’s back-end, the better your ranking will be.
Plus, search engines are smart. They know when you’re trying to trick them. Learn more about this later on in our Power of SEO series (SEO Mistakes to Avoid).