SEO (or search engine optimization) is the magic formula that Google and other sites use to determine which results get listed first in searches. Naturally any business with a website wants to see themselves in the results. Specifically at the top of the list because that's where potential customers are searching. However, there's a lot of confusion when it comes to how to actually achieve this. So we're going to share some hacks to help you. This way you can really hit hard when it comes to your SEO - and getting the right keywords. The easiest way to create and optimize keywords can be found in the following 10 strategies. Let's get started!
Below you'll find the 10 best keywords for your business. You can view this as the secret formula for SEO keywords.
1. First, the Bad News
Yeah, there's some bad news, but don't worry. The most common search words and terms are called 'Head Terms'. The reality with this is that the majority of small businesses will never be able to capture all of the top search spots. Why? Well, basically because large companies have the capacity, volume and capital to consistently dominate the search results. However, the good news is that the smaller companies have a chance.
This is where long-tail keywords come into play. Long-tail keywords are the phrases that customers type in whenever they search for a product or service they're looking for. This type of keyword is usually 3-5 words long and more specific in nature. For example, phrases like, 'mid-century modern dressers' or 'mid-century decor items' will give you a better chance in showing up in search results. This is because when a phrase becomes super specific, you start to compete with fewer sites. As a result you show up higher in the search results!
2. Be the Customer
One of the mistakes that small businesses often make is that they tend to get caught up in everything that they have to offer. Which can be extremely daunting. I'm here to tell you that there's no need for it. Because what it comes down to is this: it doesn't matter how amazing your business is if your customers can't find you.
So, for a moment, be the customer. If you were to look for your product or service where would you start? What would you search for? What variations would you search for? A simple search for "mid-century furniture' is a lot different from 'where can I find mid-century furniture'. Take some time to critically analyze who your customer is and what they will actually search for.
Another strategy is to study your competition. The best way to do this is to find other companies that offer the same product and services that you do. Then see which search phrases lead to the sites. Make sure to include those keywords in your site as well. Don't forget to place these keywords in your body copy, heading and images. If you haven't already, check out our post on SEO Tips & Tricks post for more information.
3. Change Your Perspective
While it might be an ego boost to look at your search results and see thousands of views on your site if they aren't buying anything - it doesn't matter. It would be a lot better to see hundreds of views from customers who have actually purchased something. Your profit is determined by the conversion of views that turned into purchases.
It only makes sense that your success is contingent on how well you define YOUR customers... i.e. the people who want exactly what you have. This is why it's important to take some time and clearly define what your customer's specific unmet problem or need is. Which is essentially what your business can solve and offer. Then use this information to create keyword-rich content to show how your audience's problems can be solved with YOUR product or service.
4. Google's Suggestions
If you refer to the image above you can see that whenever you search for something in Google, a little pop up appears and suggests various solutions for you. Now perform those searches as if you were your customer. This way you can see what Google is thinking. Go ahead and type all of the variations you can think of, from a customer's perspective, and see what Google actually suggests. When you find phrases that apply to your product or service, take note. Once you have a list make sure that your website uses those long-tail keywords exactly as they appear on the suggestions.
5. Google's Related Searches
Another similar tool is found at the bottom of Google's search page. Take this opportunity to see what Google classifies as 'related searches'. Again, the main goal here is to not think in terms of what you have to offer. Instead think in terms of what the customer is looking for and how Google gets them to you. Again, make sure you use these suggestions verbatim in your website copy.
6. Use a Variety of Keyword Search Tools
There are resources that can actually help you analyze searches and give you ideas. Awesome, right? Consider this your thesaurus of search phrases. This is a great time to add to your list of keywords. You might even find some that you didn't know existed but are perfect for your niche. You can use various keywords and see all of the paths they lead you to in the links below:
- Google's Trends
- WordStream's Free Keyword Tool
- WordStream's Keyword Niche Finder
- YouTube's Keyword Tool
- Twitter Search
7. Analyze Your Analytics
Alright, here's where you need to pay very close attention to your website analytics. This will help you see what is working so far and what isn't. If you discover search terms that are currently being used, you might want to consider having pages dedicated to each of them. Are you starting to see a trend here? See the customer, be the customer and then respond to the customer. It's something that you need to pay attention to. These analytics will create the path that your long-tail keywords will take. It even affect the ones you are currently using and therefore might need to change.
In Google Analytics, you can view these search queries by going to: Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Organic. Another place to look could be question keywords. These are simply searches that begin with what, why, how, etc..
8. Search Query Reports
If you run a PPC campaign (aka AdWords) you need to make sure that you are analyzing your Search Query Reports. It's the same thing you would do in Google Analytics. Essentially you have the ability to see the searches that brought customers to your site. But what is truly valuable here is that you can actually see conversions. Because, yes - it's nice to have visits, but the real profit occurs when customers purchase your products or services. That's the true maker of success. If you have long-tail keywords that convert visits to purchases capitalize on that.
9. Search Other Search Sites
Other search providers can help you find other keywords that you can also use. You can see where searches lead to and what phrases are common. Even if the search results have a page that matches your product/service, chances are they have mass produced it and the quality is low. If they are targeting a certain phrase, it's because there is a high search volume for it. Another easy thing to do is to search for synonyms of the words that you currently use.
10. The Secret Formula
The key is to find a way to make your customer feel like you're talking directly to them. Long tail keywords are one way to do that. It makes the customer feel like you know exactly what they're looking for. So look at everything that you offer and see if you can change it from a generic, mass-produced approach and customize it. Make it feel as though it is a personal invitation.
But keep in mind that the world of search is a fluid one. Yes, it takes time and lots of trial and error. Especially when you're finding out what works for your specific niche and website. But the goal is to figure out quality and relevant keywords for your site. This is one of the best steps that you can take towards getting your SEO in tip-top shape and make it work for you. Not the other way around. Focus on your content, think like your customer and adjust as needed.
We hope this has helped you construct a list of keywords for your site. Are you new to keywords? Did you know that they could help your website? What are some keywords that work best for your business's website and why? Which keywords have you changed along the way? Let us know in the comments below so we can discuss.