Keywords are one of the building blocks of search engine optimization (SEO), but how do you decide what keywords you should use for your brand? With keyword research.
Keyword research is how you find the keywords your target audience is using when they look for products or services like the ones you offer. Once you find these keywords, you can begin implementing them into your SEO strategy. While it is possible to make a good website without keyword research, most of the time, brands will end up getting lost in their own jargon and overlook popular keywords that your audience is already using, or you could end up selecting keywords that are already being used by large brands, which can be challenging to compete against in the search engine rankings.
Your keyword strategy is not something you want to leave to chance, so here we will discuss some of the important aspects of keyword research.
Find Meaningful Keywords
It can be challenging to find meaningful keywords sometimes, especially if you are not an SEO professional. To find meaningful keywords for your brand, think about what makes it unique. If need be, you can take a step back from your business and look at the company as a whole. Then, ask yourself these questions:
- What does your company offer?
- What is the mission of your brand?
- What are the core strengths and values?
- What is your niche? Think about what sets your brand apart from competitors in the industry.
Once you answer these questions, you should have a better idea of what your meaningful keywords are for your brand. Come up with a list of these keywords, and then you can begin to conduct research on these keywords to determine if they are worthwhile to try to rank for.
Seed keywords are part of your meaningful keywords, but they are essentially the beginnings of your keywords. Let’s say you have a coffee shop, and you are trying to get your website found to boost your business. Some of your seed keywords might include coffee, espresso, and tea. While trying to rank for “coffee” on its own may not get you any results, combining “coffee” with another piece of a keyword can help you rank. That is why these are seed keywords; they give you some basic building blocks to get started on your keyword strategy and what to look up when conducting keyword research.
An easy way to help you research what to connect to your seed keywords is to go to Google and type in that keyword, then let Google autofill common search terms from there for you. For your coffee seed keyword, you may get coffee basics, coffee near me, coffee beans, and coffee roasting. These keywords probably have a high search volume, but from them, you have some terms to look up in an SEO keyword research system that will show you the volume and the list of the competitors that are the top in those keywords. All of this makes your research and strategy planning much easier in the long run.
Keyword Research and Your Audience
Now that you know exactly what your brand has to offer, it is now time to think about your audience. Consider how your products or services meet the needs of your customers. While SEO is complex, it really boils down to helping your customers find you. However, you need to know more than just what you offer when selecting keywords and forming a strategy. You need to take a user-centric approach to your SEO, which means you understand what your audience needs.
Most companies have internal terms that often do not make it to the customers, which can be problematic if you focus on those terms for your keywords. This is why the customer-centric approach is imperative; you need to know what they are thinking in order to select the keywords to help them find you.
Keywords and Competition
Another important part of your keyword research and strategy is considering your competition. Often, people will optimize their websites with keywords that they do not have a chance of ranking high for. You might optimize for keywords that have such a high search volume that you will have a difficult time ranking for them since you are likely competing against industry giants in those cases. While you want that high traffic, it is a good idea to go for similar terms that have a lower volume, which is often referred to as the low-hanging fruit. In addition to similar search terms, you can also include more long-tail keywords; these are becoming important because of the popularity of voice searching.
You can conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors, which can be beneficial, or you can conduct more basic research. To conduct basic research, you can go to Google and search for some of the keywords you want to rank for to see who shows up; then, you compare that to where your site ranks. If there are a lot of large corporations on that list, it might be more difficult to rank for that keyword.
One thing to keep in mind when you conduct research in this way is that Google always tailors your results based on your search history, so your site may come up at a higher rank than it usually does. The workaround for this is simple: use incognito mode.
Keyword research is an overall complex but vital part of your SEO strategy. Since it is so important, it is always a good idea to consult an expert on the matter to ensure you are optimizing your site for the best keywords possible. Seattle Advertising has a team of SEO experts who can conduct keyword research for you and devise a strategy to help your brand rise in the search engine rankings. Contact us today to get started!