Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of practices you perform to make your website more appealing to search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, and Yahoo). This is done to increase your chances of showing up in search results.
At the foundation of SEO are keywords—which act as the bridge connecting your content with users searching for information. In this article, we’ll explain why keywords matter and how they can be a game-changer for your online presence.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and analyzing the words and phrases people type into search engines. These keywords are the bridge connecting your content to potential readers. It helps you discover what your audience is looking for, tailor your content to meet their needs, and improve your website’s ranking in search results.
Long-tail vs. short-tail keywords
There are two kinds of keywords: long-tail and short-tail. Short-tail keywords are shorter and more generic, while long-tail keywords are longer and more specific.
Choosing between them is important for targeting your audience effectively. Long-tail keywords are often more precise and can capture users with a clear intent, while short-tail keywords cast a broader net.
The significance of user intent
It’s not just about the keywords; it’s also about why people are searching. Users might use the same keyword for different reasons: are they looking for information? Are they trying to purchase something? Or are they simply seeking an answer to their problem? You must understand their intent so that you know how to position your content in a way that appears on the search results when they enter a prompt. When you simply incorporate keywords for SEO for the sake of it, your efforts are as good as nothing.
Understanding a buyer’s journey
A buyer’s journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Knowing where your audience is on this journey is crucial because it allows you to tailor your content to meet them halfway.
In the awareness stage, users are identifying a problem. In the next stage, they’re exploring solutions. And in the final stage, they’re ready to make a purchase. Tailoring your content to these stages can boost your chances of conversion.
6 tips on how to find the best keywords for SEO
Below we’ve compiled workable tips to help you find the suitable keywords for your website’s content. Check them out below.
Start with keyword research
Keyword research is a fundamental step toward any successful SEO strategy. Consider these when you start your keyword research journey:
Use Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free and valuable keyword research tool. It helps you identify relevant keywords, their search volume, and competition. The data you get here will be crucial in selecting keywords that match your content and business goals. Start by entering a broad keyword related to your industry or niche, and the tool will provide related keyword suggestions.
Explore other popular keyword research tools
While Google’s Keyword Planner is a great starting point, several other tools can enhance your keyword research:
- SEMRush. Offers comprehensive keyword data and competitor analysis.
- Moz. Provides a wide range of SEO tools, including keyword research.
- Ubersuggest. Offers keyword ideas, content ideas, and backlink data.
- KWFinder. Focuses on long-tail keywords and localized keyword research.
- Similar Web. Helps you understand your competitor’s keyword strategy by showing what keywords are driving traffic to their websites.
Check out related searches and People Also Ask
When you perform a search on Google, scroll down to the bottom of the results page. You’ll find Related Searches and People Also Ask sections. These can be a goldmine of keyword ideas. They show you what related queries people are typing into Google, and these phrases are often less competitive and can help you tap into niche markets.
Learn from successful websites
Analyzing your competitors can reveal valuable keywords. Identify your top competitors, especially those ranking well in search results. Tools like SEMRush and Moz can help you see which keywords are driving traffic to their websites. While you don’t want to copy your competitors, understanding their keyword strategies can provide insights into what works in your industry.
Analyze search volume and trends
Search volume tells how often people search for a specific keyword on search engines. High search volume keywords are often more competitive, but they can also bring more traffic. On the other hand, low search volume keywords are less competitive and can be a goldmine for niche markets. Your keyword strategy should strike a balance between these two to reach a wider audience while still attracting highly targeted visitors.
Keywords can be categorized into seasonal and evergreen. Seasonal keywords are highly relevant during specific times of the year, like Christmas gifts. On the other hand, evergreen keywords, such as how to tie a tie, are consistently relevant.
Google Trends is a fantastic free tool for gauging the seasonality of keywords. It provides historical data on a keyword’s popularity over time, which helps you identify trends and patterns. This insight is crucial for planning content and marketing campaigns that are aligned with your audience’s interests.
Tools for analyzing search trends
Several tools can help you delve deeper into search trends:
- Google Trends. Besides providing seasonality data, Google Trends lets you explore related keywords, geographic data, and trending searches.
- Ubersuggest. Neil Patel’s tool offers a Keyword Ideas section that shows keyword suggestions and search volume.
- AnswerThePublic. This tool generates content ideas based on questions people ask online.
Consider user-intent and content strategy
User intent refers to the reason behind a specific search query. It falls into three primary categories: informational, navigational, and transactional.
- Informational intent. Users with informational intent are seeking knowledge. They want answers, solutions, or explanations. Tailoring your content around informational keywords can include blog posts, how-to guides, or informative articles.
- Navigational intent. Navigational users are looking for a specific website or webpage. These searches often involve brand names or particular online destinations. Align navigational keywords with your site’s structure, so that it’s easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
- Transactional intent. Transactional intent signals users who are ready to make a purchase or take a specific action. Product keywords, service terms, and phrases related to buying indicate transactional intent. Your content strategy should revolve around guiding these users toward conversion.
To create a robust content strategy, align keywords with content types. For example, if you’re targeting informational keywords, create engaging and informative blog posts or guides. Navigational keywords should guide users seamlessly to the desired page on your site. Further, when targeting transactional keywords, ensure your content encourages action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.
Your keywords should be put to good use by crafting high-quality content around them. High-quality content not only satisfies user intent but also keeps visitors engaged, decreases bounce rates, and fosters trust with your audience. This results in content that truly resonates with your users.
Implement on-page SEO and keyword optimization
When it comes to on-page SEO and keyword optimization, your goal is to make your website as search-engine-friendly as possible while providing a great experience for your visitors. Follow these key steps:
Optimize title tags and meta descriptions
Your title tags should perfectly reflect the content of your page and must include your target keywords. This is what search engines like Google will display as the clickable headline for your page. Similarly, the meta description should be a concise and compelling summary of your content that encourages users to click through.
Using keywords in the content naturally
Incorporate your keywords naturally within the content. It’s essential that your content reads well and offers value to your audience. Keyword stuffing, or excessive use of keywords, can harm your rankings and deter users.
Focus on adding value to the user who is searching
Your content should meet the user’s needs and answer their questions. Google gives priority to pages that provide valuable and relevant information. By providing valuable content, you’ll be a source of reliable information to users and cement yourself as a trusted thought leader in your industry.
The role of headers and alt text
Headers (H1, H2, etc.) provide structure for your content and make it more scannable for readers and search engines. Ensure they contain keywords that reflect the content of the section. For images, use descriptive alt text that includes keywords to improve accessibility and SEO.
The role of internal linking
Linking to other relevant pages on your website not only helps in user navigation but aids helps search engines understand your content’s structure and relevance. Include internal links whenever appropriate for your content.
Include local SEO keywords
Local SEO is all about increasing your website’s visibility to people in your local area. It ensures that your business appears in local search results whenever a user is looking for a particular product or service near them. This can significantly boost your online presence and foot traffic to your store.
When finding local keywords, start by brainstorming keywords related to your business and location. Consider what your potential customers might type into search engines. You can also use keyword research tools (like the ones previously mentioned) to find relevant terms and phrases with decent search volumes.
Once you’ve identified local keywords, it’s time to put them to good use. Insert these keywords naturally into your website’s content. This includes your service pages, blog posts, and even your homepage. Don’t forget to create high-quality and relevant content that aligns with these keywords. Lastly, remember to update your Google My Business listing with these keywords too.
Measure keyword performance
Tracking your keywords’ performance gives you insights into what’s working and what needs improvement. It also helps you adapt and optimize your current strategy to stay competitive.
Tools for monitoring keyword rankings
To track your keywords effectively, you’ll need the right tools. There’s a range of options available:
- Free tools like Google Search Console. This is an excellent starting point because it offers insights into your website’s organic search performance. It shows you how often your site appears in search results, which keywords trigger these impressions, and what your average position is.
- Paid tools like SEMRush, SEOMonitor, AWR Cloud, WooRank, and SimilarWeb. Paid tools offer more comprehensive data and tracking capabilities. They provide in-depth keyword analysis, competitor insights, and historical data to help you make informed decisions.
After monitoring your keyword rankings, analyze the data and adjust your strategy accordingly. You also need to look for trends and patterns. If certain keywords consistently perform well, consider optimizing your content further around those terms. If some keywords underperform, investigate why and make necessary adjustments.
Get discovered online today
With a lot of competition online, it’s hard to get your audience’s attention. That’s why you have to put your best foot forward with this guide to get the best SEO results for your brand.
On top of the strategies outlined in this guide, get an extra boost with Web.com’s SEO Services. With the help of our SEO experts, you’ll get more website traffic and improve your ranking on search engine results. Head on to our website now and find out more!