Whenever you search for something on google, you begin by thinking of words that represent what you want to find. Not many of us write complete questions in the google search bar. Instead, we write a shortcut version.
For example, instead of just typing ‘How old is Elon Musk?’ we might also write ‘Elon Musk age.’ This different combinations of words are what Google uses to figure out the most accurate answer possible. (He’s 47, btw.)
Similarly, it is likely that your customers have specific words (called keywords) that they use to find you or similar brands to yours. Once you know what these keywords are, you should ensure that they are being used on your website.
To go a little deeper, there are two types of ‘value’ that a keyword can have: relevance and volume.
Let’s explore each in a bit more detail.
1) Keyword Relevance
According to Google: keywords should directly relate to the content on your website, especially the landing page. People should be able to understand what kind of product, service, or other content they’ll find on your site.
There are thousands of blogs and videos explaining this in depth, so for the sake of simplicity: the better your webpage answers a question, the better it will rank for a specific keyword.
If a particular page doesn’t answer a question, then it will not be relevant, and won’t rank as well. So when it comes to relevance, the two questions to ask yourself are:
– What are the typical keywords my customers use to find me?
– How can I make my pages relevant to those keywords?
2) Keyword Search Volume
The second important factor in choosing keywords is average monthly search volume. This is how many people are searching for a specific term in the past month. The higher the volume, the more people are asking and the more results there will be online.
This is where competition comes into play. If you want to stand out from your competition, it can be tricky if there are thousands of people vying for the top spot on Google.
Any keyword that has a volume of over say 10,000 is not as easy to rank for. You might want to go for longer tail keywords rather than simpler ones. This means adding more descriptive detail to your keywords that your web pages will be relevant for.
How do I figure out the keywords for my business?
The first step is to choose a keyword planner tool. Many of the tools are free online, and can really help you to narrow down the relevant keywords for your business.
The top three tools we like to use for keyword research are:
Formerly Google Adwords, the newly renamed Google Ads is a great way to plan out your keywords because it is designed for advertisers. Google makes its money from ads, and hence the keyword tools are very useful to use. Note that you will need an active ad campaign running in order to see exact monthly search volume.
A great tool that can be used with both Firefox and Chrome, the Keywords Everywhere tool gives you a list of relevant keywords directly on the google results page. Although it doesn’t show full results of the Google page, it’s a great way to get a quick feel for what keywords are a match for your business website pages.
This approach is essentially the reverse of the other two, and shows which keywords are helping your website to be found. It takes a little tweaking to set up, but once it’s running, you can go to Performance and then look under queries to see which search terms are leading people to visit your website. This is important because there might be search terms you didn’t expect that is proving useful to you.
These are some of the basics of keyword research and ensuring that you are meeting the search needs of your customers. The better you can make your site the go-to source for your product or service the better chance you have of ranking higher on Google.
Brandastic is an Orange County SEO agency based in Costa Mesa. We can help your business to target your customers effectively, and to grow your Google rankings. We can help you to understand search intent, improve keywords, and grow organic traffic to your site with content creation. Learn more about our SEO agency services today.