Keyword research – it may sound easy from an outsider’s perspective, but as anyone who’s had to research, and then incorporate keywords into their content will tell you, it can be one of the most complex aspects to online marketing.
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You see, the keywords that you choose to use are going to be the backbone of your entire content marketing strategy. So before you embark on DYI keyword research, get comfortable with a keyword search tool and be sure to take these four elements into account when assessing which keywords will work best for you and your business – and should be used in your website content:
1. Keep It Relevant
Let’s say you run a pet shop and you discover through your keyword tool that “dog walking” is a hot keyword that could be related to your business. Or perhaps you could justify choosing such a keyword because those who are interested in dog walking likely have a dog, and would then likely be interested in your pet store…right? Not so fast. There are a number of reasons why people would be searching for “dog walking”, and pet food or pet supplies aren’t one of them. Your goal is to choose keywords that will drive targeted leads directly to your cyber doorstep. Take a moment to delve inside of the mind of a potential lead and think about what words (including products and services you offer) they’d use to find you online (“dog leash”, “hamster cage”, “fish tank”, etc.), or focus on what their pain points may be and what problems you can solve (“dog barking solutions”, “bark collar”).
2. Understand Search Traffic
No one’s going to want to invest in a keyword that delivers little to no traffic to their site. That said, high traffic keywords can also be incredibly expensive and tend to have a whole lot more competition, which can have a negative affect on your ranking. For most businesses, choosing to utilize a blend of high traffic (shorter keywords) and low traffic (also known as “long tail keywords”) keywords is the best strategy. High traffic keywords will give you just that – a whole lot of traffic, though less targeted. Low traffic keywords, on the other hand, are more specific so you tend to get more qualified leads and will have high conversion rates, though likely fewer conversions.
3. Watch Those Conversion Rates
The right keywords may bring visitors to your site, but if those visitors aren’t converting into leads or full-fledged customers, then you’re missing the mark. But how can you be sure that the keywords you’re choosing are going to be “money makers” for your site? There’s no guarantee. It’s a matter of testing, measuring, and then testing again. Keep in mind that certain elements about your page may also be dissuading visitors from converting (i.e. having an unclear or no call-to-action, poor web layout, unhelpful content, etc.). TIP: Another way to help determine whether or not a keyword is profitable would be to look at Google Adwords’ “cost-per-click” (CPC) statistics. If an advertiser is willing to pay a higher CPC for one similar keyword compared to another, then that can be an indication that one keyword is more profitable than the other.
4. Check Out the Competition
This is another reason why low traffic keywords are a “must” when it comes to SEO. High traffic keywords tend to have a whole lot more competition than low traffic. So if you’re a small electronics company, for example, you won’t want to go up against many of the large national or international chains and choose to use competitive SEO keywords that this other big corporations are using. You’ll likely rank poorly for those terms, so instead refine them and focus on long-tail keywords instead. Of course, keyword research is an area of speciality, and one that should ideally be entrusted to professionals. Investing in one of our comprehensive keyword research reports (which includes these four elements in its analysis) will not just give you insights into keywords to use for paid search, but, importantly will give you focus for your website content. More about our Keyword Research Reports.