You want to climb to the top, the top of the search rankings.
Why? Because you that know being high on search means potentially more clicks and more eyes on your products and services, providing you with more chances to promote and drive business from your website.
Your keyword strategy is a critical starting point.
Search Engine Optimisation is a multifaceted beast. Knowing where to start is critical. That's why I recommend starting with a keyword strategy.
When planning your website content, drafting a blog post or crafting your social media messages a good keyword strategy can make a massive difference. It can guide you on what to write and how to target your content so it reaches a wider audience. Helping you to discover new ideas for content that you haven't created yet and ideas to fine-tune existing content. Keyword research is the foundation of a great search strategy.
In this article we're going to focus on the following 3 actions to get you started with building your keyword strategy;
- What's happening on your website right now
- What your customers are actually searching for
- Creating your keyword strategy
Get inside the head of your audience –
keyword research is market research
It's time for a mind shift. Away from what you think to what your audience is thinking.
It's important that the awesome content you create can be found by your audience, importantly found by the right people, at the right time (at whatever buying stage they are at) and in the right place.
So how do you get inside the head of your audience and know what they are searching for?
You know you should be including keywords and topics when creating content, but what keywords should you use? Which could be the best traffic drivers? What phrases have the most volume and are the highest converting?
This is where a good keyword strategy comes into place. Do your keyword research.
It will help you discover and target what keywords should you be targeting.
It will help you discover and target the words and phrases your audience is using.
A good strategy will help you identify which content is currently working, what is missing and what you need to create to reach your audience and be seen in the search results for the right thing.
It's going to take time, and that's a good thing
SEO and good content creation takes time, lots of time. Which means your competitors probably aren't putting in that time, so here's where you can have an advantage.
If you're after short cuts or a quick return then SEO and Content Marketing isn't for you. There are no hacks, short cuts or quick fixes with being found on Google. Your main focus should always be on delivering value to your audience. Having a good keyword strategy helps your awesome content be found more easily.
You need to focus on the long game as it’s impossible to get it all right first time. Your techniques and writing will need to evolve and improve over time, adapting based on what you audience is looking for, which can and will change over time.
Keyword research isn't a one-time exercise. Doing this regularly will help you to keep up-to-date with what your audience is looking for. Once you have this all in place it will deliver business value time and time again.
Do keywords still matter?
With Googles Hummingbird update that focusses on searchers intent rather than exact match keywords, do they still matter? In my opinion if you're aiming for search volume and conversions then currently (at time of writing) keywords are still important to maximise your impact and get found.
Here's a great post about keywords from Sam at Moz - Are keywords really dead?
Plus more from Rand at Moz - Can SEO's stop worrying about keywords and just focus on topics?
Both well worth reading.
Don't forget, keywords aren't just about Google
Your keyword strategy can work no matter where you are posting content online. It can be used on your website or blog; YouTube descriptions and titles; updates or notes on Facebook; Twitter hashtags or LinkedIn articles
Keep your strategy as a ready reference and remember to include your target keywords when working on your social media content. Keep your social media profile descriptions and bios' keyword rich and consistent.
Need help developing your Keyword Strategy?
Look no further, contact us to discuss your SEO project.
Content Marketing - The Next Level, with Dolezal Consulting
Dolezal Consulting deliver regular business workshops specialising in taking your Social Media and Content Marketing to the Next Level.
I help deliver a part of the workshop that covers Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). For 'The Next Level' workshop I deliver an in-depth presentation on Keyword Research as part of SEO. This post covers a little of what is presented at these workshops.
"Seriously useful Search Engine Optimisation presentation by Belinda [Arttia Creative, Content Marketing Conquered Workshop]".
Gerry King / I-nectco
Let's get started
Here are the current 3 actions you need to follow to make a start with your keyword strategy.
1. What's happening on your website right now
2. What are your customers actually searching for
3. Starting your strategy
1. What's happening on your website right now
To create a strategy, you need to find out what is happening on your website right now.
Is your current website content reaching the right audience?
Which words is it currently ranking for?
Here are three things simple things you can do now to find out what is happening,
Step 1 - Look at your Google Analytics
Step 2 - Look at your Google Search Console
Step 3 - Run a Screaming Frog report
There are a variety of other tools and online SaaS services that will give you greater insight and data, however these are a good starting point.
Step 1. Google Analytics
You website should have this installed; if not, install it now.
Here's a great guide on Google Analytics from Moz.
Google Analytics will give you lots of data about activity on your website, such as most visited pages, bounce rates and time on site to name a few. I'm not going into the detail of Google Analytics in this article, I'll do that in another post. As a minimum you need this installed so you can track activity and changes over time and highlight what is working and what isn't working for you.
Step 2. Google Search Console
You need this hooked up as well as Google Analytics. What is it?
"Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google's search results, but doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results." - as described by Google itself.
It used to be called Google Webmaster Tools, it now has a more appropriate title. Find it here.
You'll need to sign up and verify your site. Once data starts to be gathered, the Search Console will give you information regarding Search Analytics, showing you the queries that your site has been presented for on the search results pages. This includes Clicks, Impressions, Click Through Rate and Position data. This can highlight anomalies that you might be ranking for that aren't appropriate or may surprise you. Keep in mind data here is likely to be up to three days out of date.
Step 3. Screaming Frog
This is an impressive yet strangely named app which can 'Spider' your site like a search engine does. This 'SEO Spider' is a small desktop program you can install locally on your computer; it spiders' websites' links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. It's a great way to get an overview of your sites SEO data. You can download it here. Their free option should give you enough information to get started on your strategy. For greater depth upgrade to the paid option.
Launch the app, write in your website address and click 'start'. Then filter by 'html'; this will then list your pages, their status, title meta, description meta and lengths, giving you an overview of what the search engines see. If it's full of duplicates or the wrong information per page, you can now make the appropriate changes and revisions.
2. What are your customers actually searching for
It's time to try to get inside the head of your audience. Time to do some keyword research. This will help you build a greater understanding about what your audience has in mind when they are searching.
What your customers are looking for should be the focus for your website. They are your number one priority when promoting your business, not the search engines. If you focus on your audiences needs then long term this should also work for Google. The search engines want to provide the best results for their searchers. If your content provides the best answers then you'll work your way to the top via clicks, shares, likes and approvals.
Tools to find out what they could be searching for.
There are many keyword research tools online. The best are paid for services, but if you're serious about your strategy they may be worth the investment.
One of the most used is Googles Keyword Planner. It's going through some recent changes, currently free (at time of writing), though soon you may need to be running an Adwords account to get the most accurate data. It gives you stats and insight into search terms, volume and trends for keywords.
Another free option is Google Trends, showing trending topics across the world.
Moz has a new Keyword Explorer tool and you can try it for free. The paid for version will give you deeper insight. Moz Keyword Explorer Tool
The Keyword Tool can give you a list of keyword suggestions around your chosen search term together with data on volumes, cost per click and level of competition.
SEM Rush is another favourite of mine, providing lots of data for free, with in depth information on its' paid for service.
3. Creating your keyword strategy
Now you have a breakdown of what is happening on your site now, plus insight into what your audience is really searching for, you can aim to bridge the gap between your current content and creating the new content that can reach a wider audience.
To create your strategy, open a spread sheet document (Excel or Numbers or Google Sheets) so you can create a strategy plan for ongoing reference. You are going to write/copy/store all of the information you've gathered in steps 1 and 2. on this document. providing you a ready reference when assessing and creating your content. This should be a living document that you can evolve over time.
If you want to target the right keywords over a long period of time it's worth spending time creating this plan.
From your plan you can now start to 'map-out' your content to fit with these keywords. You can use it to provide new ideas for your content and out-rank your competitors with better, more targeted content.
- List 5 of your most important keywords, then 10 high traffic keywords, then 10 long-tail keywords
- Next to them list their search volumes and level of competition
- Map out your main website pages to your important keywords and your high traffic keywords
- Create new content and blog posts around your long-tail keywords (creating content silos)
Try to focus on one keyword per page and make sure the whole focus of that content is around the keyword and the topic. Include internal links on pages' content, back to your other relevant pages or other blog posts.
"We could not have been happier with the service from Arttia Creative. Throughout every step of our Search Engine Optimisation campaign Arttia Creative helped with hints, tips, advice and her presentations to us were brilliant"
Matt and Gayle / Children's Clothing Boutique
Search Engine Optimisation is a blend of getting 'the technical', 'the content' and 'the research' all working together on your website. SEO isn't a quick win; you need to work on it over a really long period of time. Then the benefits will be awesome.
Performing keyword discovery and building a keyword strategy can give your business the unique insight that you might otherwise not have been aware of. Your awesome content can now potentially catch the attention of a wider audience. When you understand what people are looking for you can make sure your content is really engaging with them, showing you care, building trust, driving traffic and encouraging sales.
Make sure you're not missing out and start driving awesome traffic to your website.
Need help implementing your keyword research?
We will work with you to develop and deliver SEO that drives traffic and converts visitors into customers.
What's happening on your pages - Screaming Frog
Keyword Research Software - SEM Rush
Learn more about SEO - MOZ
Content Marketing Strategy - Dolezal Consulting
Search Marketing Services - Arttia Creative SEO services
Keyword Research - Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Research - Google Trends
Keyword Research - Serps.com
Keyword Research - Ubersuggest