We know putting fabulous fresh Content online is the secret to attracting new website visitors and helping Google rank you higher in its search results. But what how do you maximise your visibility?
Tactic 2 – Know Your Keywords
Keywords are the words and phrases that your customers type into Search Engines when looking for an answer to their question. It is crucial you have the right keywords to rank well so:
1. Review what keywords and phrases you are using now
Inspect your website headings (visible to the public), titles (visible to search engines, see https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag), URLs, meta-descriptions, sub-headings, images alt-text, product descriptions, content and blogs.
Check which keywords and phrases you already rank highly for, using Google Search Console https://search.google.com/search-console/about, or a keyword analytics tool such as SEMrush https://www.semrush.com/enterprise/ to see what keywords already bring searchers to your site.
Also check which pages you are indexed for, as if you are not indexed by Google, you won’t come up in its search results – find out more at https://www.woorank.com/en/blog/your-site-indexed-in-google.
Identify what’s working, what needs to be improved, and where creating new content could improve important keyword gaps.
2. Generate keyword ideas
Brainstorm keywords that buyers might be using to search for your service online. Use your audience personas (https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/11/25/audience-personas/) – their demographics, motivators and pain points – to generate niche topics and therefore phrases that will be of interest to them.
Example 1: For a Health & Safety Training Provider to be found by:
- Emily – HR Manager, graduate, career-focused, wants to use a professional, credible company
Keyword ideas: IOTB, NEBOSH & CITB accreditated training, How to win staff buy-in to a safety culture
- Mark – Supervisor, results-focused, has to manage site safety and employees’ time off-site
Keyword ideas: How to motivate staff to report near-misses, how to train different personalities to pass tests first time
Example 2: For a Home Cleaning Company to be found by:
- Kirsty – doctor, relationship-focused, no time to keep a clean house and needs reliable service
Keyword ideas: top tips for a clean-looking house in 10 minutes, checklist for your ideal cleaning company
- Jo – age 34, Finance Executive, environment-focused, wants a clean but green, ethical home
Keyword ideas: most effective green cleaning products 2018, how to encourage more recycling in your workplace
Short keywords describe the product or service, such as ‘training, cleaners’, but are very broad terms that have a huge amount of competition from other sellers to rank on Page 1 of Search Results, and may not have Commercial Intent – the searcher may not be your serious buyer.
Longer-Term Keywords or phrases, such as ‘CITB Health & Safety Awareness Training in Cardiff Bay ‘, ‘reliable home cleaners in Cardiff, Wales’, are likely to produce much lower search volumes, but ideally have lower competition to rank highly from other sellers, and high Commercial Intent – the searcher is likely to visit and purchase from quality website results. They are worthwhile if you know exactly what you need to rank for.
Medium Keywords, such as Health & Safety Training, home cleaners, narrow down the concept, and are somewhere in between the above 2 descriptions. For detailed explanations see https://backlinko.com/commercial-intent.
Short keywords are very high volume and competitive, a mix of medium and long-time keywords gives you a good balance between volume of searches and conversion likelihood.
3. Analyse competitors’ keywords
Investigate what keywords and phrases successful online and local competitors use in their website content, landing pages and product descriptions, and which keywords are their top rankers and traffic earners.
Note what topics are used, top performing posts, where and how often keywords appear.
4. Research your most profitable keywords
Use keyword research tools such as Buzzsumo https://buzzsumo.com and KWFunder https://kwfinder.com to try out different variations of keyword ideas and phrases, to discover which are most searched for, which are considered most valuable (cpc) and most difficult to rank for.
Review Google Keyword Planner to find search volumes, keyword difficulty and cost-per-click (CPC), but bear in mind that whilst very helpful, this data is being accessed and used by everyone, and it’s purpose is to drive the Google Ads platform sales – see https://www.quicksprout.com/university/how-to-use-google-keyword-planning-tool/.
If you have low website visitors currently, try the lower competition keywords. If you already have high website visibility, go for higher competition keywords to up your ranking further.
Consider adding the ‘related keywords’ and ‘phrase match keywords’ suggested, for improved rankings, and prefix or suffix localities to relevant pages, after again checking volume, cpc and competition.
Remember to sprinkle not stuff your keywords, having some near the beginning of your articles is important, and match key pages with their most effective keywords.
Long content is helpful for Google to consider you an authority on your subject, and a great website user experience, perhaps with a mix of multimedia, means viewers stay longer on your site, which also informs Google you are a pleasing resource to direct searchers towards.
5. Monitor Improvements and Make Amendments
Set up tools such as Google Analytics (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/), Google Search Console (https://search.google.com/search-console/about), your own website metrics and plug-ins, to measure the number and source of current website visitors and monitor changes resulting from different keyword use.
Measure performance against various goals such as more visitors, time spent on site, pages visited, subscribers, conversions to sales.
Revisit your keyword strategy every 6 months, to check how your rankings respond to this optimisation, and check words and phrases used are still the most suitable.
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