Have you not come across people advising you to use the right keywords to get better results? It is certain you have because it is widely believed that search engine traffic can be significantly escalated with the use of proper keywords. You may have also seen that a huge chunk of the traffic you get comes from the viewership of only a handful of your blogs. This happens because you probably have used certain keywords in those blogs which are most searched by your viewers.
So, when you embark on the task of optimizing your website or blog, one of the first things you must teach yourself is using keywords. If you can master the art of conducting better keyword research depending on what your audience wants, you can create just the right kind of content to get higher ranks in search engine results. To understand how to do this, you need to first realize who ranks your content. It is, basically, a machine-run algorithm whose job is to detect specific signals for ranking the content in the right way. Ranking refers to the order by which pages are going to show in a SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
How do keywords help increase traffic to your blog?
A keyword is the phrase or word that’s responsible for driving traffic to any URL. A site which has been SEO-optimized is going to speak the same language like its visitors, using keywords which link these viewers to the site.
Target keywords are crucial elements in SEO. This also means that you have to understand how your buyers will be searching for the products you offer. Knowing this is going to help you make it easier for them to locate you.
What is keyword research?
Choosing the right keywords is an important task that involves trial and error. When you are new to the world of marketing you are likely to falter in finding the right keywords. You are may end up conducting keyword research only once and not even updating or expanding this keyword list thereon. Some marketers also make the mistake of using only the most popular keywords. The truth is that keyword research must be evolving and continuous. As a marketer, you will need to re-evaluate the earlier keywords from time to time.
[bctt tweet=”Competitive, high-volume keywords may be substituted with more specific phrases to attract just the right audience.” username=”relevance”]
This audience will be the one to look out for because they are the ones who are going to search for your products and services actively.
Here are some easy guidelines you can follow to ensure that you score ahead of your competitors:
Use Right Keywords
You need to search for the best SEO keywords. This means you will need to keep the SEO keyword list updated at all times; else you will miss out on your target customers. You have to steer clear of using keywords that are too popular because these will invariably be more competitive.
For instance, if you use the exact same keywords or content like your competitors you will be unable to make a strong impression on your audience.
You should start using keyword search tools that will help you track the results. SEMRush for instance, uses a unique method to do keyword research by assembling important keywords research tools all in one place called the Keyword Magic tool.
When you enter just one seed keyword in it, it can create an entire keyword empire for you around it. While keyword research may not be rocket science, you cannot just select any random keyword to get started. Big companies often have teams dedicated for doing keyword research, but smaller companies and startups cannot afford this luxury. This is why they must make use of the right tools, of which many are free of cost.
How can you use SEMRush to do keyword research?
SEMRush can help you find the right keywords. It helps you see which ones get your site higher rankings and it can also let you spy on competitors. You can choose your top blogs and add these to the tool to see which keywords are bringing in more viewership. Once you know this, you can use this tool to create unique high-quality content centering on those keywords.
It is useful to keep a good mixture of long-tail keywords and head terms to get desirable results. The long-tail keywords typically have three words or more while head terms will have very short or simple keywords.
For instance, an example of a head term may be “cooking tips”, while an example of a long-tail keyword may be “how to make the perfect roast chicken”.
While head terms are competitive, long-tail keywords are much less so. You will find hundreds of sites providing useful cooking tips and this is why it is hard for these sites to get a high ranking for a head term. When you understand your audience better, you can create more effective long-tail keywords. It is best not to keep all your eggs inside one basket; rather, you should maintain an optimum balance between long-tail keywords and head terms.
You need to filter the keywords by industry or country in order to focus on the right keywords. Keywords are typically short-tail or long-tail and, while the former have one or two, the latter have three or more words. Short-tail keywords may bring you more traffic but because they are very competitive you will find it challenging to rank an ecommerce site for them. Short-tail keywords are also less relevant and do not bring in high conversions. In comparison, long-tail keywords constitute nearly 70% of all searches.
Make Keywords Work
When you have identified the right keywords, you need to ensure that they can do their job well. You must group these keywords all through the high-visibility areas in the site or blog, from titles and body text to URLs and to meta-tags and image file names. You may also experiment with these keywords.
For instance, you could try to see which parties are using the same keywords and then figure how to make your content stand out. Your objective is to make your target keyword get on the first page of Google. “Volume” is going to tell you how many searchers are looking for a specific keyword in a month; this is vital as it shows you whether or not a specific term is popular. Earlier, it was necessary to specify meta-keywords but since 2017, search engine algorithms can automatically detect keywords.
It is important to maintain an optimum percentage of what is called keyword density. When the bots are crawling through your page, they decide which keywords that page must be ranked for from this keyword density.
While you need to focus on keyword targeting, you must avoid ‘keyword stuffing.’ This is the over usage of keywords which ends up harming your site ranking.
For instance, the main keyword should ideally not constitute more than 2% of your blog. You can always have more than just one keyword on your page or blog post.
It is, however, recommended that you keep this number less than three. When you over-use keywords, Google bots feel you are ‘spamming’ and trying to trick the algorithm, and so, it penalizes the site in the process.
Understand What Customers Want
You may end up losing sight of the bigger picture when you are too consumed with the nitty-gritty of SEO.
[bctt tweet=”You have to look at what your audience wants because this must be the center of any SEO strategy.” username=”relevance”]
You can then optimize the content centering on their needs or problems.
Narrow Down the Keyword List
Using tools like Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Planner you can successfully cut short the current list of keywords. These tools help you see the search volumes for specific terms. So, when any of the keywords has a lower volume as compared to others, you can eliminate it. This practice must be carried out routinely to get rid of words which have become outdated.
Value Individual Keywords
It would be a mistake to give too much importance to individual keywords. Google works hard to make sure there are no loopholes in its algorithm which content marketers can use to their advantage.
Individual keywords are usually part of unethical black-hat SEO strategies and that is why Google keeps moving them. The power of individual keywords is gradually waning and the power of topical words is increasing.
All these tips and tricks show that revisiting keyword research strategies from time to time is a healthy and profitable exercise. This is because once you re-evaluate, you will find that you may need to introduce new long-tail keywords, eliminate some keywords which have low search volumes, or focus on keywords that cater to what your buyers are looking for online.