It all starts with the search. Keyword research, is the art form of figuring out what your potential customers are typing into the search engines. Once you have a good list of keywords, you can then start writing interesting and informative content, to catch their attention.
The main target of keyword research, is to find targeted keywords that are frequently searched for, relevant keywords that are associated with your products and services, along with conversation starters to draw people in to your website and brand from the search results.
Once you have a good list of keywords, they can be applied to the website (See right image), keywords can also be used for link building, site structure and various other onsite techniques that help your website to rank higher organically.
For example, keyword research is useful when it comes to the structure of your website. You may want to include a category called “leather sofas.” You may then find that a lot of people search for “corner leather sofas,” so you may want to make this a sub-category of leather sofas.
When a user types in a search, Google can read the HTML elements on your page to match the content of your site to that specific query. Without optimising key HTML elements (title, body content, headers etc..), you won’t be able to rank, it’s as simple as that. The diagram of the optimised web page should help explain the basics of which elements need be optimised and how.
Once you have completed the keyword research, you want to apply to the website, in such a format to bring in customers related to your core business. Unrelated traffic is something you don’t want, random traffic that will not convert is pointless, don’t target. User intention should be a priority when you are choosing and filtering your keywords. You want to be targeting keywords that intended the searcher to lead to a conversion.
Google sees more than a billion searches per day and that number is steadily growing. What’s even more impressive, is that Google actually discloses estimated data to the public. Check out http://www.google.com/trends
Keyword research is great for helping show what products you should start selling, what products you might want to forget about selling, what keywords could attract the most sales, leads and identify seasonal issues. Compare keywords against each other to see what keywords to focus on your efforts on more.
Different types of keywords.
There are three main types of keywords. These are Informational, Transactional and Navigational.
Informational keywords, are questions, asked to the search engine, looking for answers. How long do I boil an egg for? How many days until Christmas and such.
Transactional keywords, are action keywords, they can sometimes look like informational keywords, however, the main difference is for the searcher to complete a task, buy a product or download a programme to fix a solution. Cheap PS4, Download Chrome, buy iPhone 4 Manchester and such.
Navigational Keywords, are jumping off spots. Perhaps the searcher wants to know more about the market, or perhaps they are looking for a brand. These would normally include your primary targeted keywords and brand names.
Here you need to not focus on selling, however make sure your business catches the eye of the searcher and gives them interesting, exciting information. You need them to buy into your brand not force a sale on them.
When they come to type in their transactional keyword, and see your website address in the rankings, you want the searcher to say, I know them, I have seen their brand, trust them and want to go back to use you.
Short, Mid and Long Tail keywords
Keywords, can also be broken down into three more traffic and competition based sizes.
Short Tail Keywords, are keywords that are searched for many times a day, however the keywords are very competitive. Apple, Cats, Life Insurance are examples of short keywords. These are difficult to break, however once there you would see lots of traffic.
Mid Tailed Keywords, are keywords with a combination of words that have less competition, however, at the same time see good levels of traffic, Apple iPod Mini, Ginger Cats, Cheap Life insurance, for example.
Long Tailed Keywords, see less traffic, however have much less competition.
Cheap Apple iPod Mini Manchester, buy ginger cat eBay, Cheap life Insurance for my wife.
As follows is a SEOMoz image of the Search Demand Curve.
Film on the Search Demand Curve
The chap in the film is called Rand Fishkin. It’s a great idea to follow him on social networks. Twitter, Google+, Facebook. We shall talk more about SEOMoz and other great sources alike a little later on.
Finding your keywords.
Nobody likes spending money on Google Adwords, unless it’s proven to generate a return.
If you are doing a small amount of keyword research, around your keyword market, you can always buy £100’s worth of vouchers from eBay for £10 or so. It will help in generating leads, and also you shall be able to see the levels of traffic, keywords will bring in.
DO Google Keyword Tool.
Google Keyword tool, is a fantastic tool that shows you what keywords are being searched for, and in what markets. Google Keyword Tool, can break the data down to local, national, or world view. https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
Take traffic numbers with a pinch of salt, as this is average traffic for PPC, not organic searches. Once you enter a keyword, Google will bring back traffic figures for it.
Google Keyword tool Key.
Broad keyword match, these are keywords based around the idea, synonyms and related keywords.
Phrase, is the sum of all searches that include that keyword.
Exact, is the search volume for that keyword only.
Building your first set of keywords
Remember, you want to bring people in from Short, Mid and Long Tail Keywords, however at the same time you want to bring people in on Informational, Transactional and Navigational keywords.
Ask yourself questions, that you think that your customers would want to know the answer to. What makes your more attractive, in your market, compared to your competition.
What headaches do your potential customers have, can you fix them? Remember, SEO is not an overnight process, this list is the list that you will most likely stick with for the next 3,4,5 months, maybe a year or more.
1) In one sentence, what is the core business of your website?
2) How does your business make money?
3) What products or services do you offer?
4) Describe your ideal customer, or target market?
5) Are your services location specific?
6) Are there any specific terms, for your product/services?
Expand on your keywords
By now, you should have a good list of keywords. Now comes the brainstorming and section of keyword research that can develop so much more traffic and conversions to your website.
Using Google instants, type into Google your keyword. Your keyword should be wrote by Google as you type it in. As you type, Google should come up with different keywords, around these search terms, to bring back popular search terms.
Also notice at the bottom of the page, the search engine gives you suggested searches. These are also popular searches that other people have searched for, within your keyword market.
Google Insights - http://www.google.com/trends/ will have data based around your keywords.
Merge Words is a nice tool for figuring our more keywords - http://www.mergewords.com/
Google Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
In a short period of time, you should be able to have expanded your handful of keywords to a huge keyword base. If you can get to over 800+ great! True, we will not be using all 800 words, however its good to have options!
Tip. Keep your keywords grouped. If you can, use a spreadsheet and group your keywords. Grouped keywords tend to be easier to optimise for and down the line, you can see what keywords, from what groups, are seeing higher levels of conversions.
Using Google keyword tool to figure out the levels of traffic
Once we have a super list of keywords, we need to copy them from notepad, if this is what you are using, and drop them into Google keyword tool. Remember to take a pinch of salt with the expected traffic numbers.
Select, Exact on the left hand side & remember to limit the search to the UK. Export all keywords into a excel file.
If you have grouped keywords, here you can separate the keywords, into groups on your excel’s page.
The numbers should start to paint the picture of our Long, Short and Mid tailed keywords. Remember 20%, or one out of ever 5 searches, are only ever be repeated once. (See search demand curve above). At the same time, Google doesn’t track each and every keyword in your market. So if you see small numbers attached to your keywords, don’t be disheartened! Its most likely you are apart of a small market, that has less than 1,000 searches a month. Remember, 10 keywords, with small traffic numbers still add up & you will find, targeted right, will have a better conversion rate then the bog boy keywords!
Google, true does have a huge data centres all over the world and its keyword tools are useful, however they do not track everything.
How do we decided your keyword relevancy
Chargers, to us folks in the UK, are the wire’s that sits next to your bed, charging your phone at night. To the USA, its an american football team.
I optimised a website years ago for a lady in London that sold yoga clothing. One of the keywords that she asked about, was why were were optimising for the keyword, Yoga Pants, Pants in the north are your trousers not your boxers.
Try not to mix apples and pears. There might be good levels of traffic, for a keyword that could be based around what you are targeting, however, do you really want to spend so much time, and effort, optimism for a keyword that will ultimately see very low traffic and an even lower conversion rates?
Give the customer what they want, If they have asked for details from the keyword, give them details, if they want to see a picture of a product, give them the picture. Customers are far more likely to stop and have a look around, if you given them what they want, rather than forcing them to change their mind with your content.
Here are some fantastic tools, most SEO’s, just simply can not live without!
Google Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Wordtracker keyword Tool - https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
Google Insights - http://www.google.com/insights/search/
Google Trends - http://www.google.com/trends/
SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool - http://pro.seomoz.org/tools/keyword-difficulty
Mergewords - http://mergewords.com/