When people use a search engine such as Google, they type words into a Search field to find information. Marketers call those words ‘keywords.”
If you have a website or sell your product or services online, you need a keyword strategy so your website and products or services can get found by people and search engines.
What is a keyword?
Keywords or phrases are ideas and topics that explain what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that people enter into search engines to find information.
What is a keyword strategy?
Keyword Strategy: Using Keywords in Your Campaigns. Keyword Strategies are essential to developing winning search engine marketing campaigns. … The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords, which are keywords that relate closely to your business or are associated with your industry.
Certain keywords bring people to your business. Keyword research is the process of discovering what words people enter into search engines to solve the problem that your product or service can solve. For online marketers, you need to understand what words or phrases people write or speak into Google that will help them find your website. If you never heard of your business but needed the service that you provide, what would you enter into Google?
When you perform keyword research you are identifying the search terms your potential customers would use. Then, you use those keywords on your website and in your online marketing campaigns to attract leads to your website. SEO – search engine optimization – is the process of getting organic traffic (traffic without using paid ads) to visit your website, and heavily relies on having a strong keyword strategy.
How To Do Keyword Research and Build Your Keyword List
- Identify Which Search Terms People Enter in Google to Return Your Type of Product or Service
For example: MasterWing Creative is a digital marketing agency located in Delray Beach, Florida. If you needed help to promote your business what would you enter into Google Search?
- marketing agency
- website marketing
- Delray Beach marketing
- online marketing
- digital marketing
All of those are examples of keywords that people might use to solve their problem if they want to hire a marketing agency.
You can find keywords by
- Trial and Error: entering words into the Search field and seeing what is returned
- Looking at alternate keyword suggestions by Google:
- Suggested alternate keywords auto-populate in the Search field as you enter the words
- At the bottom of the SERP – search engine results page – suggested alternate keywords display at the bottom of the page
- Use free or paid keyword research tools: there are many, here are a few:
- Use your client persona or avatar to understand what keyword search terms each of your ideal client types might use.
- Research what keywords your competitors are using:
- Bring up their name in Google search and see what words they use in the snippet describing their business.
- Open their website. Hover your cursor over the tab for each page of their website: what word or words display?
- The Importance Of Local Keywords
Only 1 keyword phrase – #3 – used a local keyword by including the name of the city where the marketing agency is located, Delray Beach. Local keywords are the “secret sauce” to help you outrank your competitors. Use your keywords with your location to help you rank on Google Maps and in the Google Map pack so that when some one looks for a “XYZ near me” Google understands exactly what you do, and where you’re located.
In the example above where someone is looking to hire a digital marketing agency, local keywords for MasterWing Creative Agency might include
- South Florida marketing agency
- Delray Beach website marketing
- Delray Beach creative agency
- Boynton Beach and Delray Beach online marketing
- South Florida digital marketing agency
- Create a Spreadsheet of All Your Keywords and Phrases
You shouldn’t have just 3 or 4 keywords: Depending on how many products or services you have, and how many pages are on your website, you may have dozens or even dozens and dozens of keywords for main search topics and less popular but still relevant keywords. Organize, track and manage your keywords on a spreadsheet.
You need to determine the main keywords and subkeywords. Each keyword may have 3 or 10 or subkeywords. If you have 10 pages on your website, your spreadsheet may have 10 pages: one for each main keyword and all its subkeywords.
Rank them from most important and relevant to least important.
- Identify Which Keywords You’re Going to Target
Some keywords may be so popular and used so strategically by your competitors that it could take months or years for you to rank on those keywords. So don’t target them! Instead, go after the keywords you can rank for. There are tools to help you analyze how hard it is to target a specific keyword, or you can DIY it and keep testing and experimenting by entering them in Search and seeing what returns.
- Integrate Your Target Keywords into Your Website
Optimize your website by using your keywords in the copy on your website.
- Each page should have a unique keyword
- Keywords should be used naturally and intelligently: don’t try and force the keyword unnaturally by using it over and over and over, called keyword stuffing.
- If your website isn’t easy to read, people will leave it – and Google will recognize this and it will affect your rank.
- Google uses an algorithm that has an ideal % of keyword usage for the number of words on a page. While Google doesn’t release it’s algorithm, many marketers suggest 3-5% of your copy as the ideal keyword quantity.
- Supplement your keywords by using your subkeywords to help target people who may use the not quite as popular but still relevant search terms.
- Review and Repeat Research Every 4 – 6 Months
Keyword research is not a one-time activity. If you are trying to rank against your competitors, they will see your rank is rising (and theirs is decreasing) and change their keyword strategy. Keyword strategy must be analyzed and updated regularly in order to continue to gain or maintain your search engine rank.
Where Else Can You Use Keywords?
Once you integrate your keywords into your website copy, there are many other places to use your keywords for SEO to optimize your website and gain online visibility:
- Website title tags
- Website images
- Page meta descriptions
- Page headlines and titles
- Social media bios and posts
- Online ads
- Website page URLs
- Blog posts
Keyword research and targeting can be done by anyone willing to put the time in to do the research, testing and create and execute a strategy. Digital marketing and SEO agencies can be hired to create and implement a keyword strategy.
Increasing your Google rank through SEO and keyword targeting does not happen overnight. A well-done campaign targeting a specific keyword could easily take 6 months before you get good results: and even longer if your competitors have a similar SEO campaign. Whether your SEO keyword strategy is complex or DIY common sense and trial and error, it’s very hard for your business to rank high on search engines without a keyword strategy.