Any SEO expert will give you a lengthy speech on how crucial keywords are to marketing success. If you’re not incorporating them effectively in your online marketing strategy and content, you are more or less driving down some aimless road with no steering wheel. You’ll get somewhere, but is it where you want to go?
What Are Keywords?
A keyword can be described as a word or phrase which Internet users use to search online for information or product they need.
Businesses create their online content around relevant topics so that their name pops up on the search engine result page (SERP) and searchers can easily find what they’re looking for. This is the basis of a good keywords strategy.
For example, if I enter “veterinary services for cats Florida” on Google, it will give me a list of businesses providing veterinary services for cats in Florida. However, this is not the wisest keyword choice, because most people would be looking for vet services closer to them, and a state (Florida in this case) is not something most people would be interested in. So, the keyword will most probably be narrowed down to city, such as ‘veterinary services for cats Tampa’, and as a result the SERP will show businesses providing such services in Tampa, and not other cities. Sounds confusing? This guide will answer all questions.
Why Are Keywords so Important?
Google and other search engines are constantly in the process of organizing the entire World Wide Web to make it more search-friendly. There are about a billion websites on the Internet today which have several pages each. Search engines need to read content from these web pages and decide what every web page is about and which one of those pages should be displayed in the search results when people try to find them using specific keywords.
Therefore, keywords form the basis of your online content. Topics on every single one of your web pages should be tied back directly to specific keywords or keyword phrases. So you see, keywords are in a way topics, and they also come heavily into play when creating offers to attract people to your landing pages or sending promotional emails.
Keywords are the single most important thing that helps prospects and customers understand the purpose behind every page. When readers are scanning page contents, they will often look out for the same keywords they used to search the page.
And keywords are also vital to helping search engines understand the main purpose of your web pages. Each time a search engine scrapes or “crawls” your web pages in order to index them, they parse keywords on that page to understand what purpose each page serves.
However, keywords should always be relevant. For example, if a specific page talks about ‘fashion for women’ the keyword used should be related to fashion only for women. Using keywords like ‘fashion for men’ etc., will backfire because users landing on your page using such keyword would be expecting your page to talk about men’s fashion. On the other hand, if it cover women’s fashion, they will quit the page, increasing your bounce rate and also adversely affecting SEO.
Aren’t Keywords and Tags the Same?
Not quite. Tags are applied at the individual level. This is usually done when you wish to grab the attention of an individual person or business that might find your knowledge of some benefit. For instance, if I’m making a video about how beneficial milk is for the bones and want Nestle to know that I’m talking about it, I’ll tag them in my post which notifies them automatically.
Keywords, on the other hand, are words that let search engines know what a specific post is about and how to index it topic-wise. Again, using the same example, when I record a video clip, I’ll put a little transcript in the description for that video. I will do this because it designates all the relevant keywords in YouTube for instance, and when people want to find that video using specific keywords, there is a very high likelihood of them finding my video along with similar ones done by others.
Keywords are generally considered a much more universal way of getting your content discovered on the web.
How to Make Keywords Work for You Using the Right Tools
How do we choose the best keywords for our business? Keywords that help us get discovered and help users find us on the first page of Google? While guesswork based on popular search words in your industry might make sense, I would not recommend using those. There are far better ways of researching ideal keywords for your strategy, particularly long-tail ones which help put your business in the limelight.
Long-tail keywords generally convert better and catch people’s attention later down the conversion cycle. Before moving any further, it’s important to understand the underlying differences between broad keywords and long-tail keywords:
The former are short words or phrases which not only apply to your niche but every other business in your niche as well, in some cases, those outside your niche as well. As you can imagine, these are ultra-competitive as almost every business uses them to get discovered, so there’s no guarantee if you’ll even end up on the first three pages of search results.
The latter, as the name implies, are longer words or phrases more specific to what your business or industry offers. For example, if the general/broad keyword is “shoes”, a long-tail variant can be “Addidas running shoes”. If you’re in the loans businesses, one possible long-tail keyword can be personal property loans.
When you’re just starting out with keywords, you should definitely target audiences with long-tail keywords first, because they’re easier to rank for and bring in highly qualified and relevant traffic. So at a glance, even though broad keywords generate a lot of traffic, they are also competitive and difficult to rank for and may not always bring the most relevant and desired traffic to your web pages, just to reinforce the previous point. But visitors that end up on your pages as a result of long-tail keywords will most likely convert to leads.
However, you should be using a healthy mix of broad and long-tail keywords depending on what kind of audiences you want to attract to your page and what niche you’re in. Hiring a pioneer in the digital marketing industry to manage your keyword research and placement is an investment that will see you profiting for many years to come. Call us for a FREE consultation on 1.888.566.2577 to see how you can benefit from optimal keyword usage and management on your web pages.
To help you discover relevant keywords and phrases, here are some of the most popular keyword research tools:
The Keyword Planner tool is a good place to start. Keep in mind you’ll need to set up an AdWords account first in order to use this tool, though it doesn’t require you to create ads.
Input just one word or a series of words, including your website address, and Google returns a list of relevant keywords along with certain metrics to help you understand how competitive they are and how many searches they are currently getting on a local as well as global search level.
You can also check out historical stats and information on how a particular list of keywords will perform; it multiplies several keyword lists to create a new keyword list to help you choose better.
The information you gather from the Google Keyword Planner tool can be put to good use in Google Trends, which lets you key-in several keywords and filter them according to category, location and search history. Enter this information and it shows you how much people prefer using a particular kind of keyword, why it is a popular choice among searchers and where web traffic is coming from based on those keywords, and other similar keywords.
Google Trends provides more dynamic information on how a search term gains relative popularity over time. It boasts colorful and interactive graphs which you can embed on your site, rather than just give you static keyword density numbers. If you want to decide how two different keyword variations might impact your new blog post, do a comparison search using Google Trends to determine which one is being used more often during searches.
This competitive research tool allows you to track your competitors’ keyword preference so that you can identify opportunities to overtake them and claim the top position in Google’s organic search results. Compare multiple domains to see how the competitive landscape is shaping up including their common keywords usage and what positions they currently have in Google’s paid, organic and shipping search rankings.
The position tracking works pretty much the same way as Google Trends, but in a much more sophisticated way; you can check out how keyword are performing in SERPs and look at how they’ve risen and dropped. The visual charts are extremely helpful when you want to understand trends fast and analyze results.
How Amazon Profits from Optimal Keyword Usage
Did you know Amazon makes nearly 60% sales through the use of long-tail keywords? Now that’s a good keywords strategy! The number one online shopping site in the word makes a lot of book sales largely through clever use of long-tail keywords.
It is important to understand that long-tail searches revolve around optimizing your keyword for highly motivated consumers who let you know what their purchase intentions are through longer search phrases. Therefore, long-tail keywords can be regarded as more targeted search phrases and should be used in combination with broad or head keywords, just to reiterate.
Another thing to note about long-tail keywords is that they also contain the more generic, broad keyword type and the extra words are there to make it relevant to specific audiences. For instance, “wallets” is an undefined broad keyword. It may be getting a lot of searches, but not targeted searches. And that makes all the difference, because if you’re running an online store dealing in men’s wallets, you’re going to have tough time competing with much larger and established authority sites.
Now, if you use a long-tail combination like “top men’s wallets leather”, it is a more defined term and caters to a specific audience. Going back to Amazon, have you ever paid attention to how their results almost always stand out in search pages when you key-in product specific keywords in Google?
You’re running an online store and going up against the likes of not just Amazon but probably several thousand online stores as well as affiliate sites that are using almost the exact same keywords to target consumers and trying to get high rankings on Google.
Well, there’s a way to stay on top if you’re not a big name like Amazon: target less known keyword phrases and still dominate in your niche. Amazon’s sales have long been the result of embracing long-tail keyword optimization and you can also cash in on this trend to join the ranks of niche leaders.
Get in touch with us today to see how we turn businesses around through optimal keyword usage so that they are the go-to choice of consumers around the world.
Successfully Integrating the Right Keywords in Your Pages
Every page of your business website should serve a specific purpose, which will help you decide how to use keywords and phrases that are relevant to the theme or topic of each page.
The general idea is to determine what someone would search for on Google to find you service page, for example. Let’s say a user in Manhattan who wants to find out about doctors or surgeons performing sinus surgery might use the keywords “sinus surgery Manhattan”, “choosing doctor for sinus surgery New York” or “help with sinus complications”. And, if you’re a medical practitioner who specializes in performing sinus surgeries in Manhattan, your landing page for that particular service should have similar keywords if not exactly the same. On your service page, you can write: “Having trouble choosing the right doctor for sinus surgery in New York?”
However, as mentioned above, there are tools that can help you uncover exact keywords people are using to find your business. Always think of variations that people might be using to search for you.
You are writing your pages primarily for people, not search engines. As the best SEO company Toronto has, our experience shows don’t stuff your pages with too many keywords, because you also have to keep Google’s SEO algorithms in mind. Just write them naturally and include keywords where they make sense. Here’s an interesting read on keyword density.
So where do you place these keywords on your web pages?
As we discussed earlier, Google “crawls” or in plain terms, analyzes the layout and structure of your web page including words and phrases; therefore, where those keywords and phrases appear determines its importance.
This is quite similar to how people read articles in the newspapers: the headline grabs your attention, and if it retains your attention, you follow down to the lead paragraph. If you’re hooked, you finish reading the rest of the article. Similarly, have your keyword appear in the title, followed by the lead paragraph and at least a few times in the middle and the least amount of times at the bottom. For the most impact, you want to place keywords at or closer to the headline, followed by a few times in the middle. Check out this link to have a more detailed look at how to place keywords in your web pages.
The AOK Solution
Did you know your web pages are your best salespeople? Integrate keywords optimally to see not only large amounts of traffic but the most relevant traffic flooding to your website. At AOK Marketing, we understand how crucial it is to stand out in the fiercely competitive online business landscape. Lean on our expertise to see how keyword optimization and other content marketing tools can help you leave your mark in the digital space.