by Juan Robin II
There are countless ways to drive traffic to your website. You can start a blog, invest in paid ads, or use social media. There’s also organic search.
More businesses are turning to search and invest in SEO because the conversion rates are higher, people stay on your site longer, and it brings a return on investment.
Is SEO a way you plan to drive traffic to your website? Keywords are a big part to truly fulfill your SEO potential.
Would you like to know more about how to find the keywords that will have the most impact on your SEO? Read on to find out.
Why Are Keywords Important in SEO?
The premise behind SEO is very simple. The higher you appear in search results, the more clicks you’ll get to your website. SEO is a web of algorithms and tweaks to your website to make sure that you rank highly in search results.
How do you know what to focus on when you’re optimizing your website? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the history of SEO. Over the last 20 or so years, search engines were developed to categorize web pages and determine what the pages were about.
They had robots that would crawl web pages to find out what a web page was about and match that with a search term that the user entered. Let’s say you had a page that was about getting a mortgage in Allentown, PA. Your page would be matched up exactly with someone who searched “getting a mortgage in Allentown, PA.”
You’d put exact match keywords in your site as often as possible to match your site’s content with user queries.
SEO has changed to the point where there are more than 200 other factors that are used to determine search results. Keywords are still very important, but you have to have a deep understanding as to how they really work.
Read this to learn about SEO and the other key factors that go into search results.
Know Your Audience Very Well
Your website’s success and failure largely depends on your audience. You want to make sure that you have a deep understanding of the needs of your audience and create the content and SEO strategy from there.
Your first step is to get out a notebook and a pen and take some notes. Brainstorm ways you think your audience searches for your product or service. If you are launching a blog, write down potential challenges and common questions that are related to your topic. A food blogger might write down things like “How to use an Instant Pot” or “Instant Pot vs. Crock Pot Express.”
There are many reasons why people perform searches, and we’ll get to their intent later in the article. Right now, you want to brainstorm as many different ways as you can to think of how and why someone would want to search for your site.
In SEO, there’s a sweet spot that you want to hit with your keywords. That sweet spot is the key to unlocking your site’s SEO potential. You want search terms that have enough search volume AND are relevant to your product.
If you sell a product or service related to fitness, you might be tempted to rank for the word fitness. After all, that gets a ton of search volume.
The problem is that they can be searching for anything related to fitness. They could be looking for fitness supplements, where to buy fitness equipment, fitness magazine articles, fitness books, how to stay in shape past 50, etc.
What’s the bottom line? Very broad search terms can do more harm than good. Sure, you can get a lot of search volume and traffic, but will that traffic convert once they click through to your website? That’s highly unlikely.
That’s why you want to work with long-tail keywords. There are more specific search terms that people will use to answer a question to find a product. Long-tail keywords hit that sweet spot between search volume and relevancy. They’re search terms that are around 5 words long.
Where to Find Keywords
How do you even begin to search for the right keywords? Fortunately, there’s a tool for that. There are plenty of keyword research tools out there.
You can use this Keyword Research Tool that will give you the search volumes for search terms and give you related search terms. This will give you an idea as to what’s a good search term for you or not.
Go back to your brainstorming list and enter them in the keyword tool. You’ll be able to tell if they’re strong keywords to use or if there are better ones out there.
SEO is Shifting to the Buyer’s Intent
The thing to remember about SEO is that it is always changing. Google updates its algorithm regularly and you need to know where SEO is heading.
Where it’s heading right now is incorporating search terms with the buyer’s journey. Google recognizes that people use different search terms at different stages of the buying process.
Let’s say you were shopping for a house. Early in the process, you want to learn about the steps you need to take to buy a house. You might look up “how to buy a house with a small down payment,” or “steps to buy a house.”
As you learn about what you need to do to buy a home, you’ll be ready to take the next step in the journey and look for “homes for sale in my area.” Next, you’ll look for a real estate agent or a mortgage broker to work with. When you’re applying keywords to your website, you want to make sure that you have each stage of your buyer’s journey covered.
Unleash Your Site’s SEO Potential
Keywords were and will continue to be a major part of SEO.
You need to know how to select the right keywords at each step of the buyer’s journey to be successful. It’s no longer about stuffing as many awkward keywords into your site as possible. Only when you keep your audience in mind will you unleash your SEO potential.
Want more SEO tips? Check out this article about writing great website content.