Keywords are the dynamo that powers search engine optimization (SEO). When you create content to post, you need to make sure you are putting the right keywords in the title, the actual text of the content, and of course any promotional posts you may add as well. How do you know what keywords will yield the best results? Research, research, and more research is the answer. This also allows you to choose topics that are trending to write about based on those keywords. This will allow you to dominate search results and see a rise in referrals. Let’s examine the best methods for unlocking the power of the perfect keyword through research.
Keywords are, simply put, words and short phrases that are targeted to attract traffic from Google or other search engines.
What do I do with keywords?
Once you choose a keyword, you compose titles and blog posts that will use this keyword, in addition applying SEO strategies and using the keywords in advertising in order to increase your search result ranking. Higher ranking means more people searching for your selected keywords can find you. From those positive results, you can promote your products and services.
Short vs. Long Tail Keywords
This is just a differentiation established by marketers to distinguish between the two main kinds of keywords. Short tails are key phrases like “cat food”, as opposed to a long tail keyword like “cat food for poor digestion.” Ranking is more competitive with short tail keywords, making it difficult to establish a rank at all since they are more commonly found.
Choosing a Keyword Outcome
Before you can begin researching, you need to set a goal for what you want it to do for your business. Ranking is pointless unless you are certain about the specific outcome you want. You can get thousands of clicks per day, and see no results if you don’t have a goal in mind. Here are some potential outcomes you will want to consider:
- Selling products and services
- Getting subscriber signups
- Establishing yourself as an authority
Once you have decided on the outcome you want, you can begin researching keywords to support it.
Finding The Perfect Google Keywords
Your research begins with a focus on determining whether or not your keyword can rank on Google, and if it does, deciding how to formulate your keywords and phrases to best set yourself up for success. Here are a few methods for doing just that:
Use a Competitive Keyword Metrics Tool
These tools allow you an inside view of what your competitors are doing with their keywords, as well as how competitive selected keywords might be. Starting with a keyword metrics tool is a smart move because you can run multiple keywords and keyword phrases to get an idea of what is trending and ranking. There are many keyword metric tools you can use, so search around a bit to find one that works for you.
SEO Analysis Tools
After you have checked into keyword performance and selection for your competition, you can also use an SEO analysis tool to determine how your competitors are increasing their rank. You can also use these tools to see whether your potential keywords are actually garnering any traffic.
Investigate The Top High Ranking Sites
Pull up the web addresses for the sites that ranked highest with your potential keywords. This will help you develop a strategy for competing. Here’s what to look for:
- Likes/shares on social media
- Top posts that link
- Original, site-specific tools or plugins that make their posts valuable according to Google
- Potential improvements, such as if you could write about their topic/keyword in a different way.
After analyzing all these factors, you should have a clear picture of what is out there already and how worthwhile your ad or content post is in terms of ranking and gaining referrals.
Important Keyword Facts to Remember
Change up the order of your phrasing and keyword selection. Google likes variety in results in order to increase the likelihood that people will find the answers and results that they are looking for. Switching things around may give you a competitive edge.
The primary reason for checking traffic levels is to see if small details like plurals affect those traffic numbers. “Rubber chicken” might get 3,000 hits a day, but then “rubber chickens” might see 30,000. Some experts disregard this as unimportant, but it may just be that minor boost that pushes your content up a few ranks ahead of your competition.
Question and Answer
When Google updated, they weren’t changing their method of indexing as much as they changed the way Google responds to question searches. You will need to spend some time mulling over how users might phrase questions in Google. This may be a key factor in to your choosing keywords as they apply to questions and running them as a part of natural questions and answers on Google.
Current Content vs. Old Content
Google tends to heavily favor new articles rather than older ones, even if the older content is of higher quality. Be certain to verify that your target keyword is showing results that are current or not.
Keep in mind that the results of your research are not the final word in terms increasing your search ranking or choosing the perfect keyword to let it work for you by increasing your traffic and ranking. They are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. Often, you look at all the date you can find, and then you go with your instincts and see what pans out. Research is really all about increasing the chances that your keyword will achieve the goal you set for it when you got started.
Further Points To Ponder
When it comes to truly unlocking the power of perfect keywords, there are some other things to consider in terms of measuring the success of your keyword in accomplishing its set goal.
How does your site flow?
Where are you directing the users who click on the links attached to your keywords? Is your site set up to send them to the content you most want them to see in order to achieve your keyword goal? All the research and clicks in the world are meaningless if your site doesn’t help make your keyword achieve the purpose you set for it in the first place.
How are you promoting your keyword?
Google rank is just one of many, many promotion methods. For example, some keywords are better for advertising on sites like Google+ or Twitter, whereas some others might do better as part of a well executed Google Adwords campaign. Maybe some of your keywords might do better on Facebook if they have a higher shareability factor. When picking that perfect keyword, you need to consider how it will impact the landing page and method of promotion. Google search results are powerful, but they are not the ultimate means of exposure.
Are you “activating” your keyword?
Is your keyword putting searchers into a purchasing state of mind? You may have a power keyword specific post about shoes that draws in thousands of visitors a day, but does it result in them buying a pair of the shoes reviewed? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. If you aren’t seeing the outcome you planned for at the beginning, you may need to “activate” that keyword, or change it around to reflect the desired outcome, like changing “awesome shoes for running” to “buy this awesome pair of running shoes”, etc.
What’s your target demographic?
Who are you trying to reach with your keyword outcome? Target demographics are what should determine what product to push and decide what style of sales page works best. If you are marketing a kids game to kids, but they can’t purchase without an adult, you are cutting yourself off from the sale by not marketing to parents of kids who can pay for their kids to play the game. Keep in mind how tech savvy people need to be to use the page and get you the outcome you’re looking for as well.
All in all, these methods may seem time consuming and somewhat complicated, but in the long haul if they draw thousands of visitors to your site and move more product all the hours of effort will pay off. You invest a lot of time in providing the best products and services, so it only makes sense to maximize your chances of give yourself the best chance possible to get those products and services to market to as many people as possible.
Remember to begin with the outcome you’re looking for in mind before you research, and then decide what keywords are best. Your primary concerns are competition, positioning, promotion, and final outcome. Stick to these, and you will see your keywords start to work for you in powerful ways. If this seems like an overwhelming prospect to you, we are here to help. Contact us today and we will help you get started in the right direction.