When you want to find a product or a service, most people search a word or term on Google. Then, Google organizes all of the most relevant websites for that particular search onto the search engine results page (SERP). Understanding how this whole process works – from generating keywords, incorporating them into your website, and understanding how the SERPs are organized – is essential to any digital marketing campaign. In today’s environment, with the digital marketplace bustling with business and opportunity, you simply cannot afford not to understand how keywords work and how you can leverage them for your business’s benefit. So, for this week, that is exactly what we will learn more about – what keyword research is, why it is crucial, and how you can conduct your own keyword research.
What are Keywords and Why are They Important?
The concept of keywords is pretty simple. When you search a term into Google, or whatever other search engine you use, that is the keyword. So, for example, you might search ‘mold remediation near me’ – and boom, there you have a keyword (a keyword does not need to be a single word; it can be a phrase, too).
Keywords are important because they will allow the algorithm that organizes the SERPs to know which websites best fit the user’s query or search. Algorithms will ‘crawl’ a website, meaning that they search and look through your website and, using a list of criteria, will assess the relevance and quality of your website, which will then determine where it ranks, organically, on the SERPs. Incorporating keywords that are relevant to your target audience is essential to getting your website ranked high on the SERPs. If your website ranks high on the SERPs, then you increase the chances of your website getting clicked on and thus a purchase of your product or service. So keywords are important, as you can see, but you might be wondering, how do you find which keywords are the most relevant?
How Can I Conduct Keyword Research?
Before we get into how you can conduct keyword research, a brief word on what keyword research is. Keyword research is the process of finding which keyword(s) are the most relevant to your target audience.
Step One: Coming up with Keywords
This first step will require some brainstorming and creativity from you, because you will need to generate a list of relevant keywords. If you are struggling with finding relevant keywords, look at your website, see what products or services you offer and see what keywords are related to them. Or, see if there are any general themes that run through your website, and see if a keyword can summarize it. You want to have a good mix of general keywords and specific ones. You might have ‘pool covers’, which is quite general. To get more specific, you could have ‘pool cover installation in Suffolk County’, which is much more specific. Once you have this list – which could run anywhere from ten to a hundred different keywords – you should write them down on a spreadsheet.
Step Two: Keyword Analysis
By now, we should have a list of different keywords that you might want to use. The process of selecting which keywords to use can take some time. To help you select the most high-leverage keywords, there are software tools out there that can help you understand which keywords your target audience uses the most in their searches; Ella Interactive’s keyword research tool can help a lot with this step.
Ella Interactive’s keyword research tool can provide insight into how frequently that keyword is searched, how many backlinks it has, and how often it might be shared on social media. Understanding these key data points is essential in deciding which keywords to include into the content on your website. Once you have all of this data, add it to your spreadsheet.
Step Three: Which Keywords Make the Cut?
Now, you will have to decide which keywords will make the final cut. Because, after all, not all of the keywords can be included in the content on your website. Though creating the spreadsheet is time consuming, having a clear and effective spreadsheet will make this third step much easier. When deciding which keywords will make the cut, there are a few considerations that you should make:
- If you are selling a product or a service, your keywords should be product or service heavy. If your website includes a lot of blogs and written content, your keywords should be information-heavy.
- Some keywords are very competitive – meaning, that a lot of websites already include that keyword in their content. So, you will want to find the Goldilocks zone of keyword volume (how often it is searched for) and how competitive the keyword is.
- If you are a new website and looking to crack the top rankings, try using niche, particular keywords – as they are not competitive, but could potentially have a high conversion rate.
Step Four: Implement the Keywords
The final step of keyword research is to implement those keywords into your digital marketing campaign. Now, this fourth step may look differently depending on the type of business you run, who your target audience is, and what your current digital marketing campaign looks like. Including those keywords on new landing pages, blog pieces, meta descriptions, and social media posts are all great spots to start. The idea is that you want to get the whole variety of those keywords to appear as frequently as you can manage. However, there is a word of caution with regards to keywords and content production: you do not want to overuse a particular keyword on a specific page or piece of content. The algorithm will pick up on this as ‘keyword stuffing’, and it will negatively impact how your site is ranked. A good rule of thumb to follow is to simply re-read the piece of content, and as long as it does not read like you are forcing the keywords into place, then you should be okay; incorporate the keywords in a natural, organic way.