While keywords and long-tail keyword phrases are not the be all, end all of website content, they can become the foundation of your user experience. When you provide for an excellent user experience, you are building your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Researching effective keywords are a fundamental part of SEO.
Selecting effective, relevant keywords can be key to creating user-friendly, useful, quality content. Quality content improves your user experience and your site’s domain and page authority. It can help build links from respected industry resources and also give you clues to how to improve your content, build relationships and increase sales.
How to Search for Relevant Keywords
Use a Tool
Google’s own AdWords Keyword Planner is free. It is a terrific place to start when determining what keywords your audience is using to search. It gives a broad starting place and can provide clues to other opportunities to expand your business, when you see what related terms are also being searched.
Start by entering several industry terms, products or services you offer as “seed keywords”. We recommend downloading your results into a spreadsheet to help you get organized.
Create a List
Curate your keyword list by selecting relevant keywords to your industry and your specific brand. Creating tabs in your spreadsheet to sort out sections and categories by interest or relevance to your brand helps keep the list organized. Go back to AdWords to add or amend your initial search to build out your list.
Use Long-tail Keywords
We’ve mentioned them several times – so you know they’re important – and we’ve even written a separate article about them. From your search results, create a “top ten” list of long-tail keywords. These provide a stronger ROI and fund your initial conversions.
Find Phrase Patterns
Group your keywords into like phrases; use color coding to begin to categorize your terms so you can spot similarities more easily.
Organize by Prefix & Suffix
Placing your search term in a spreadsheet column with searched keywords in separate prefix & suffix columns gives insight into the mind of the searcher.
Search for Synonyms
You may need alternatives to your keywords. Keeping in mind the mindset of your searcher, consider what alternate synonyms or semantic uses, i.e., How does a searcher actually use the keyword or phrase in a search?
Plural Keywords vs. Singular Keywords
Plural keywords are used by searchers who are looking for information – who are searching and doing research. Singular keywords increase conversions. Singular keywords and long-tail keyword phrases lead website analytics’ conversions.
Discover User Intent
As you’ve been developing your keyword spreadsheet, you’ll want to focus on your searcher, not search engine results. This will help your content creators create quality, relevant content for your visitors.
When you see your keyword spreadsheet begin to fill out and become more useful to you, ask yourself questions to get into the minds of your searchers. Ask, “Why this term?” “Why these groupings of like phrases?” “Why these associations?” The answers to these questions will help inform how each keyword or phrase is used (or isn’t used) on your website.
Review Keyword Competition
Use a tool like Raven Tools, Moz Keyword Tool, or SEMrush to discover competitive data. Google Trends shows keywords in relation to other terms over time. Add these results to your keyword spreadsheet data to build a big picture of where your audience has been and where they are going.
Implement Your Keywords, Long-tail Keywords, and Keyword Phrases
Once you have completed these steps, review your keyword data spreadsheet and add colors to help you identify themes or phrases for a searcher new to your industry, a returning customer, and similar categories.
Once you’ve completed your research, discovered insights into your searchers’ minds, and implemented an effective keyword strategy on your website, you can use that keyword research to determine future content.
Contact Advanta today to find out more about how we can help you improve your website content!
Lynda.com SEO: Keyword Strategy in Depth with Matt Bailey