Keywords are the foundation of your website content. They are a fundemantal part of your SEO strategy and help search engines understand the purpose of each of your pages. Good keywords mean more visitors and potential customers.
It's not only about getting visitors to your website, it's about attracting the right kind of visitors. Getting your keyword reasearch right is critical to ensuring a successful SEO campaign.
Here's 3 best practices to keep in mind when you're carrying out your keyword research.
Think of the language your buyer persona would use
There is no point in creating keywords without a target audience in mind. What would they search to find your services or products?
Does your service or product solve a problem? If so, what questions will your buyer persona's be asking to find a solution?
Does your location matter to your buyer persona? The search term 'cake shop' will bring up 1000s of results on search engines, but by simply adding your location on to the end of it 'cake shop Derby' you have got a much better chance of ranking and being found.
Identifying your buyer persona's needs and queries is the first step to creating targeted keywords that will drive more qualified traffic to your website.
Make sure you can rank for these keywords
I once heard that the best place to hide a dead body is page two of google. Statistically, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. This is why it is so important to optimise your keywords for search.
Let's say your business sells shoes, you instinctly set up the words 'shoe' boot' 'trainer' 'stiletto' 'sandals' as your keywords. Good job. You've successfully come up with 5 keywords that almost everyone in your industry will also have listed! Unless your brand is already very well known your chances of ranking on the first or second page for these search results are next to none.
When creating your list, having a mixture of short and long-tail keywords is your recipe for success. Keyword phrases such as 'size 7 green Converse' or 'purple cat high heels' are going to have a considerably lower difficulty score thus allowing you to rank higher in search engine results.
Analyse and review regularly
So you've created your key words with your buyer persona in mind, you've ensured that you have a variation of short and long-tail keywords.
Now you need to monitor these keywords to ensure that they're giving you the results you expected. One way of doing this is by seeing how your competitiors are ranking.
Understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a great way to help you evaluate your list of keywords, and a great motivator too.
You want to end up with a list of keywords that provides some quick gains, but also that will keep on driving good quality leads to your website.