SEO Keywords – which keywords should you target and why?
Keyword research is the bread and butter of any SEO agency. Understanding the many factors that determine what keywords to target are a huge part of any SEO strategy and it’s arguably the biggest factor affecting how much money you can generate from organic search. If you’re blindly aiming for keywords that you haven’t analysed, there’s a big chance you’re throwing away precious time and resource.
The keywords that you choose to target will determine what type of traffic you get. SEO is important for almost all websites, but for it to be truly worth the investment, you need to distinguish what words and phrases that your target audience will be looking for. By using keywords to your advantage, you can rank higher on search engines and beat the competition.
Longtail keywords vs. Short tail Keywords
Keywords are differentiated as either short-tail and long-tail. As the name implies, short-tail keywords are short and are usually made up of three words or less such as “Nike trainers”. Short-tail keywords are the most effective at generating visitors to your website, but they are also highly competitive.
Long-tail keywords are more descriptive and allow you to target your audience more accurately, such as “used blue Nike trainers for sale”. As long-tail keywords are more specific, they have a lower number of searches but are often easier to compete for. As well as this, these keywords usually attract visitors who are further down the sales funnel, looking for a more specific product or service that they’ve researched, and this often means they’re more likely to buy.
Keyword research should be the basis of your content plans and ongoing practice to keep up to date with the everchanging algorithms Google uses to rank sites. Doing this regularly will keep you updated with the most popular topics, phrases, and content that your audience is searching for. From this research, you will be able to identify what content and keywords you can use for the future to be able to outrank your competitors.
Keyword Research Considerations
So, you understand that keyword research is important – but how do you go about it? There are tons of things to take into consideration, but we’ve highlighted some of the most important…
Discovering if a keyword receives any searches is important in knowing how many people are using that keyword to find something online. You might think it’d be profitable to rank for a certain keyword, but upon researching it, you might find there are fewer people typing that query into Google than you’d thought.
Understanding what users are intending to find on a results page is important, as words can mean different things in different contexts. Particularly with short-tail keywords, this can be confusing. For example, if someone searches for ‘wedding flowers’, they might be looking for advice, inspiration, or to buy wedding flowers, and each of these intentions would be served differently by different results.
Using relevant keywords will bring you more of the right type of visitors. There will undoubtedly be keywords you could benefit from using, that you’d never have even thought to include in your website copy. Using keyword research tools is a great way to see which terms people are searching for in your industry area. There are some useful free tools to start out with keyword research like Wordstream or Ubersuggest. Our SEO’s are big fans of ahrefs, which is on the pricier side, but worth every penny to get great results for our clients. A really quick fix though is to try searching for keywords you’re aware of and take a look at the ‘people also ask’ suggestions that come up at the bottom of the results page!
Sometimes, even the best SEO in the world can’t get you to rank for certain terms. Some results pages will naturally be dominated by super high authority pages like government websites, for example, and these rankings can’t be replaced with optimisation wizardry. Understanding the competition for a certain keyword is a huge part of an SEO strategy because otherwise, you might find yourself investing a lot into a keyword that’s simply out of reach. A great SEO knows when to push and when to re-think the keywords their targeting to maximise a client’s budget.
How to do keyword research
Start with your dream keywords and then think about where they stand against the considerations outlined above. Ask yourself:
- Is the search volume for this term high enough to be worth targeting?
- Do you understand what the average searcher wants to see when they type that query into Google?
- Will your business benefit from ranking for this keyword?
- Do you think you can reasonably compete with the websites that are currently ranking for this keyword?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, congratulations! You’ve got a great keyword.
Using keywords to create a content strategy
Now that you’re armed with keywords worth shouting about, what’s next? How can you utilise these SEO gems to generate revenue for your business?
You have to create the best result for that query!
As Google’s crawlers become more and more sophisticated, they get ever closer to identifying the very best content to answer a particular query. They understand how users are interacting with your content and whether they’re finding what they’re looking for, so the only way to win the SEO game is to give the people what they want.
You need to produce engaging pages and blog posts, with interesting, well-researched information and rich media. You need to put user experience at the heart of what you write and you need to optimise your content to make it as easy as possible for crawlers to interpret it. Above all, you need to have search intent at the heart of everything you do.
Sounds like a lot, right?
SEO and content production is no walk in the park. Sure, there are still some sneaky tactics and low hanging fruit to be exploited, but for the most part, it’s all about providing the best of the best.
Castle’s SEO Services
Castle’s SEO Agency Team are experts in keyword research and SEO content strategy. We can walk you through the best options for your business and ensure that you generate the most income through organic search that you can for your budget. We do in-depth keyword research, taking all the technical nuances into account, to find which keywords and phrases you should target. If you’d like to save yourself the headache of doing keyword research yourself, you can find out more about the SEO services we offer or, alternatively, contact us to arrange a free consultation.