Keywords are those words which are typed into search boxes by users to search for information on a specific topic, and when those words are included in articles and web pages, search engine spiders identify them as relevant to users. Thus, keyword research is one of the most vital activities in SEO services. Depending on the relevance/appropriateness of your keywords, your site could rank among the top or be near-invisible. When you research for the proper keywords, you also learn the kind of potential customers you are dealing with. It’s also vital that you get the right kind of visitors to your site; merely increasing traffic won’t work, if the people who land up there, are not interested in your products/services. Be sure to avoid these pitfalls made by many SEO agencies:
- Using relevant keywords with the highest search volumes – these are also going to be the most competed, and it will be very tough to follow especially if you’re a small or new player.
- Using single words only – targeting “Smartphones” may not bring in as many results as targeting a long tail keyword like “Best Prices on Android Kitkat Smartphones”, for example. The more specific your keyword, the higher your chances; again, a mix of long-tail and head keywords will bring in more results.
- Targeting only plural or singular words – some people may search “Smartphone” while some may type “Smartphones”. It would be prudent to target both to have a wider reach
- Ignoring conversion rates – you need to keep track of how much of the traffic directed to your site through your keywords is actually getting converted into sales, otherwise it’s a futile exercise
- Not updating/reviewing – on a regular basis you will need to review how relevant your keywords still are, and if need be, make appropriate changes.
So how will you ensure you have the appropriate keywords to get the right kind of visitors to your site? Here are a few pointers:
- Before you start deciding on keywords, you need to perform a crucial task: Understanding your own website; inside out, and thoroughly.
- Write down the topics you think are the most relevant to your website and products/services.
- Make a list of the words you think are most likely to be used by people searching for those products, services or topics. For example if your company is a digital media agency, some of the most relevant topics would be web design and web development. You could include keywords like web design tools, web development services, top web design companies, and so on.
- One of the simplest things to do would be to start typing your keyword into the Google search box. Google will immediately throw suggestions at you that are related to the topic at hand. For example, when you start typing social media, by the time you type “med..” Google may suggest social media marketing agencies or importance of social media marketing, social media relevance, etc.
After you have a list of keywords, you also need to find out the value of each KW – what it’s really worth to your website. Ask yourself: How worthwhile will it be to obtain traffic from specific KW searches? Are my visitors going to find what they want when they search on my site using those keywords? Are they going to like what they find? Will this kind of traffic actually generate revenue?
If you can answer an emphatic “YES!” to these questions, by all means, proceed.
Rather than have a keyword that have say 5000 searches a day, you would do well to have a keyword that has fewer searches but are performed by users who are more serious about buying. For example, rather than rank for a KW like “web design” it could be way more profitable to rank for a specific keyword like “top web design companies in XYZ city” or “web designers specializing in X platform” and so on.
To have an inkling of how likely you are to succeed, you need to be able to not only understand how much demand there is for a given term, but also how much effort you will have to put in to achieve such a high ranking. Keyword Analysis Tool is a KW research tool that collects the metrics as to which sites rank how well for a particular keyword/phrase, and even provides a comparative score for them.
Tools used for Keyword Research
SEO specialists make use of several tools to aid them in researching for the right keywords. These not only help them in identifying the right keywords, they also help them in shaping a KW strategy for both short and long term purposes. Let’s look at a few of them in some detail:
1. SEM Rush
SEM Rush: This tool helps to identify the keywords a specific webpage or site is ranking high for, and displays more details regarding the KW, including related keywords that will help your site rank higher. Knowing what keywords are driving your competition’s traffic can definitely help you as an SEO specialist to boost your site traffic too.
2. Google Trends
Google Trends: As the name suggests, this service lets you know the latest trends where keywords are concerned. It shows how often a particular KW is searched for regardless of geographical or language barriers. SEO agencies also use this tool to compare the volume of searching between two or more related terms. It additionally displays news related to the search terms, allowing you to see how recent happenings impact the popularity of search.
3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool is another useful tool used by many SEO services to conduct KW research and come up with the most relevant keywords for a specific industry.
4. Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence:
Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence: This powerful tool helps you to create and augment your KW list using the MS Excel interface, already familiar to most of us. It basically helps you to measure the performance of your chosen keywords on the Yahoo Bing Network, and then apply that knowledge to enhance your keyword selection process and boost the performance of your campaign.
Keep in mind that you need keywords to achieve both short term and long term goals. A savvy SEO specialist will ensure that the content is not stuffed with keywords; rather they are included in the content naturally so as to appear attractive to the search engine spiders without attracting penalties. Don’t lose sight of the importance of conversion and analysing the keywords periodically to check for efficacy; you can even keep adding new keywords as may be needed.