Too often keyword research takes a passive approach when it actually is crucial to the success of your business. Aligning the correct keywords with your brand expands not only to your website layout, but future content and SEM (search engine marketing) strategies. These three facets of branding are not to be taken lightly. So, we’ve created a brief guide to help you tackle keyword research.
Let’s take it back a step, keyword research is essentially the basis of search engine optimization. That is, laying out the website in a way that it is relevant and makes sense to both search engines and humans. By doing keyword research, you are analytically thinking about all the pertinent search terms that potential customers / readers may use to find your website. Therefore, by structuring your website with highly relevant terminology contained in your content that receives adequate traffic, you can rank higher on search engines.
So why is this important? According to Shopify, the first page of the search results receives 90% of the traffic, with the first three spots receiving over 60%.
How to you begin? In itself, it is actually fairly easy but committing and implementing this tactic throughout the whole site become difficult.
1) Start with a spreadsheet and listing out all of the relevant and potential terms that immediately come to mind when you think of your site. Another best practice is asking a friend who isn’t directly involved in your business. They may offer insight from an unbiased and potential customer. Consider a number of long-tail keywords, or more detailed search terms, as they represent a search query that is likely further down the buying funnel. Also include brand names, questions and relevant locations to help add higher relevancy to a search query. Again, there are plenty of tools to help you expand this list of keywords.
2) Once you have your list, begin to categorize them on where you would place them on your website? Are these domain level terms or product level terms? Does this query represent a local search, if so where would this occur?
3) Once your list is categorized, begin looking at search traffic and competition. There are a number of tools that can help you ranging from Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner to MOZ open-site explorer. The key is to find a balance of good traffic and manageable competition. Part of SEO is that it doesn’t happen overnight and it is never a once and done tactic. If you have a new site you may have to opt for a lower traffic with less competition that is attainable to rank for and then update your terms once adequate domain and page authority has been attained to begin competition for higher traffic and more competitive keywords.
4) Once all is set and done, begin laying out your site’s content in a way that helps you rank for the relevant keywords.
5) As always, make sure to track everything.
Check out our other articles, including our SEO guide to eCommerce