Most people are aware of keywords. These are select words and phrases that signal to Google and other search engines what topics and information you’ve focused on in each piece of content. You can typically spot important keywords in an article title, intro paragraph, or scattered throughout a block of text.
But how do you choose which keywords to target in the first place? Picking terms that can convert high levels of searchers into website visitors is an essential part of a successful SEO strategy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look for converting keywords to boost your Google Analytics reports and send your organic search into the stratosphere.
1. Start With a Current Evaluation of Your Brand
Before you begin looking for organic keywords on Google Search Console or wrestling with search volume versus click-through rates, consider your company. What are the words that your brand should be ranking for in Google Search at the moment?
This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of activity. There may be certain keywords that remain relevant throughout the life of your business. But over time, the emphasis of your company may shift — and many of the search terms you want to rank for will adjust along with those pivots and adjustments.
What services do you provide right now? What terms are people searching for around your services?
Consider these terms and look for those that have higher traffic. You can use a tool like Google Search Console, or there are many third-party options, as well, like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs that provide this data, too. The ideal terms are those that have a high search volume and are hyper-relevant to what you do.
2. Consider Intent Along the Entire Sales Funnel
There are millions of search terms to consider when creating an SEO campaign. The goal of a marketer is to narrow these down to a select set of terms that are worth pursuing.
This is where considering search intent can help. Start by asking yourself what the intention is behind a consumer searching for each keyword or term that you’re considering. Now, ask if the answer aligns with the part of the sales funnel that you’re targeting.
For example, if you’re a SaaS company trying to rank for top-of-funnel content (i.e., initial contact and brand awareness), you want to aim for broader informational terms, like “what is SaaS” and “SaaS examples.”
However, if you’re hyper-focused on creating a conversion, aim for commercial intent keywords. These target the bottom of the funnel, where informed potential buyers are considering taking action, and could be something like “SaaS to reduce spend” or “SaaS with editable code.”
Ideally, you should aim for a mixture of terms across the entire funnel. That way, you’re ranking in all areas.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Long-Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords will always have higher organic search volume, which can make them the most appealing at first glance. However, long-tail keywords are also a powerful way to find keywords that will convert.
Long-tail keywords are sequences of keywords that are longer. This naturally makes them more specific and less common. For instance, ranking for “customer service” is a normal keyword phrase, while “customer service for auto shops” is a long-tail version. It is more niche and will have a lower search volume.
Longer-tail keywords are less flashy — but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. On the contrary, a less searched organic keyword will likely be easier to rank for (and are more result in a conversion for you). Things like PPC Google Ads will be less expensive per click, too.
In addition, people searching for long-tail keywords will likely have a better idea of what they’re looking for. That makes them a better target for middle and lower-funnel keywords that will convert.
4. Test as You Go Along
Conducting successful keyword research and finding relevant keywords for your brand’s marketing strategy is always a great feeling. But you don’t know if it really is a good find until you’ve tested it out.
The thing is, you won’t know that right away. Any honest SEO agency will tell you that it takes 3-6 months to begin seeing progress from an SEO investment, and that’s on the shorter end of things.
That means you have to be willing to watch keywords that you’re trying to rank for over time to see if your efforts are paying off. As you begin to see results (typically around the 9-12 month mark), you can check to see if you are getting organic search traffic from your targeted SEO keywords.
If you see traffic growing, kudos! If not, it may be time to tweak your strategy. Either way, don’t give up if you don’t see the results you’re hoping for after a month or two.
Finding Keywords That Convert
At the end of the day, you want to choose keywords that help you achieve not just your SEO but your overall marketing goals. Along with generating traffic (which helps with visibility), you want your keywords to help you build topical authority and visibility through your content showing up in select search results.
This means you can’t choose keywords without a strategy in mind. Consider hiring an SEO agency who can assist you in choosing the right keywords. They use the tips above, along with other tools, to consider what keywords are important within your larger SEO and marketing initiatives. Then, work those into your content.
And above all, remember to maintain good standards within that content as you go along. That way, when you do rank for a keyword, and someone clicks through to your site, they are greeted with high-quality content that encourages them to proceed down your sales funnel to find your solution to their problem.