Finding Keywords for your SEO Strategy
Updated: Feb 24
So, you start a business, offer or sell a product and set up a website to get some publicity: good start! I firmly believe that if a business owner does not place their business online then they are dead in the water. It’s too easy to get left behind online as everyone is fighting for the top spots on search engines.
That said, there are plenty of ways that we can ‘fine tune’ a website to help attract the right sort of customer. I mean, having a beautiful looking website is great but without some flashing lights and signposts posting at it, it is unlikely to get noticed much. One way to build online roads that lead to your site is to make sure that you have conducted some research into keywords and content that should be on your site.
Moz defines keywords as ‘ideas and topics that define what your content is about’. So it may not be one single word that is classes as a keyword but rather several words grouped together (long tailed keywords). Think of a keyword as something subjective that someone will put into the Google search bar to find something out.
For example, if someone has a leaking tap, lives in Edgware, London and is searching for a Plumber, it would not necessarily be very beneficial to consider ‘plumber’ as a keyword. ‘plumber in London’ adds another dimension to the keyword. This could then be broken down even more by location or service by considering ‘plumber in Edgware’ or ‘fix my tap’. We can see, then, how keywords should cover a variety of subjective search terms to appeal to the right market.
Therefore, it is not just the simple inclusion of the right words in the web page content that are important but rather what the website or article is hoping to solve for the viewer. If we go back to our example: if someone puts the word plumber into Google and hits the search bar, we do not know whether they need a plumber to fix a leaking tap, want to find out how to study to become a plumber or whether they are just looking up a definition for the word plumber.
We don’t know the viewers’ intent.
When we write content for the page of a website or for an article, we need to make sure that we give the right viewer the right answer.
One way to check how search engines use a specific keyword is to type into Google and hit search. You will then be shown the type of websites that Google thinks are the best fit and also some example ‘People also ask’ questions that relate to the keyword just underneath the Google Business map and Top Stories.
FINDING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
Let’s look at a simple process to find relevant keywords to add to your website.
The first thing I want you to do is grab an old-fashioned pen and paper and write down 5 broad topics that your online viewers will search for. For me, as the owner of Full Circle Website Design, I might choose:
1. Digital Marketing
2. Social Media Marketing
4. Website Design
5. Email Marketing
This list can be longer but let’s start with 5 to get used to the process. It is valuable to know how popular these search terms are. I used a website called searchvolume.io to find out how many monthly searches are conducted on Google (because let’s face it, Google own the internet) using those respective words in the UK. These are shown below in red:
1. Digital Marketing 6,600
2. Social Media Marketing 4,400
3. SEO 33,100
4. Website Design 4,400
5. Email Marketing 14,800
We can see from the above that SEO is by far the most popular search term out of the list and would therefore be seen by more people. It would make sense to write some content based around SEO for my website.
Remember though- we need to know the intention of the viewer: do they want a definition of SEO? Do they want to find an SEO expert? Do they want to learn about how to do their own SEO?
ADDING A SECOND LEVEL TO OUR TOPICS
So now I would take this topic of SEO and drill down further into why people might search for SEO. One way that I could do this is to simply type SEO into the Google search bar and see what comes up:
We can see here that, with reference to SEO, people are searching for services the most, then the meaning of the term and then tools. This helps us to consider what to include in our content to reach the right market and use the most popular search terms.
We could also then consider some areas of our topic to find out their monthly searches. For SEO I might consider:
· Writing content for websites
· Writing blog articles
· How to optimise images for your website
· Link Building
You will now be starting to build a list of topics to work on that focus your attention on more specific topics. You can also get insights into what keywords already bring traffic to your website using tools like Google Analytics or by using a paid service like SE Ranking, Serpstat or SEMRush. You will then be able to capitalise on what is already popular from your established website.
This process of finding out about what topics your customers are searching for should be a constant process. It is beneficial to ask all customer’s not just how they found you but (if they found you online) what did they type into the search bar to find you- that’s useful and powerful free data!
Now that I have a list of topics that I know are being searched for I can research related topics and further information online so that I can cover all relevant search terms and keywords that might be used. There is a very simple way to do this for free which simply involves scrolling to the bottom of a Google search page.
From my example above, I type in writing blog articles into Google, hit search and scroll to the bottom to find this:
There are 8 long tailed keywords right there that Google are giving me. I know that they are viable, subjective search terms because Google supplied them. I know they are relevant to my own search for the same reason and therefore will be beneficial to me on an SEO level. So I will use them.
COMBINING SHORT AND LONG TAILED KEYWORDS
Let’s say you are going to use the data from this article and write a post about ‘how to write a blog and make money’ (from the related searches given above). It is good practice to ensure that you consider both short tailed and long tailed keywords. An example short tailed keyword would be blogging. The long-tailed keyword could be how to write a blog.
It is wise to consider a cross selection of both long and short keywords as the shorter ones are hard to rank in but are good for long term benefits in SERPs (search engine results pages) and the longer ones are easier to rank in and good for shorter term benefits in SERPs.
That said, the person using the search term of how to write a blog is going to be a more targeted viewer than the one who simply types blogging into Google. We are not simply looking for a large volume of traffic. We want a relevant audience who is interested in the topics on your website or blog.
FIND OUT HOW YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING FOR CERTAIN KEYWORDS
It’s a cut-throat word online…
There’s nothing wrong with spying on the competition. Indeed, it is a standard practice for me. When a company hires me to help them with their digital marketing, I always investigate their competition and find out how they rank against my client
I want to mention about link building in this article as it is relevant to the content or articles that we create for our online platforms.
Link building is the process of attracting other websites to link back to your website citing your work. Why blow your own trumpet when you can get others to do it for you?! These are called backlinks and are a powerful tool in getting ranking points from search engines. Some ways that you can get backlinks:
1. Create a blog site on WordPress and use it to write articles. You can then link this back to your own website through these articles accordingly.
2. Think about approaching other businesses who you know (or would like to collaborate with) who would work with you to share backlinks.
3. Share your own blog posts from your website to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Google My Business. The more chance you have of being noticed the better. Others can share these for you and become powerful advocates for your brand.
4. Keep an eye on current events and trends and write blogs about them. This gives you a chance of being cited by an industry leader or influencer.
5. Use free tools like Google Trends to keep an eye on what topics are trending right now so that you can write about them.
It is worth mentioning that you will also benefit by linking to other websites through your articles so feel free to do that too.
ANALYSE AND TWEAK
Once you have fine tuned the content on your website pages and formulated a blog writing strategy, don’t stop there! Make sure you are keeping constant tabs on your online portfolio and making changes where necessary. If Google Analytics and Search Console are telling you that some keywords are outperforming others, then concentrate on those that are helping to drive traffic your way and leave the low performing ones out. Try adding some new keywords instead and seeing if they help.
As your website grows with more articles and blogs, remember to maintain a high standard of quality with your keywords, topics and what information you are giving to the viewer. A well-written, long article that solves a viewer’s pain point is well worth the time taken to research and complete.
I run Full Circle Website Design to prove digital marketing solutions to a variety of sizes of business. If you would like to speak with me about helping your company to improve its online marketing strategy, then get in touch. I can visit your business for a single day to provide digital marketing workshops or I may even be able to work with you directly on an ongoing basis.
Contact me on 07825559642 or email firstname.lastname@example.org