Whether you are ‘writing content’, ‘designing a marketing strategy’, or ‘building links’, you want to ensure that your reach is maximized.
Including keywords in your writing is essential to attracting consumer engagement. And one of the best ways to do this is through “keyword optimization.”
What is keyword optimization?
Keyword optimization is effectively the process by which the best words are chosen to help increase traffic to your website. Many bloggers, website owners, and marketers don’t spend enough time optimizing keywords as it is seen as a difficult task to undertake. However, this is the key component of “SEO” and “PPC”, so is well worth the effort, as it will save you time and make you money.
Why is keyword optimization important?
Through keyword optimization, you anticipate the words your target audience will enter into the search engine so that your content includes these keywords and helps to place your website high up in the results on a search engine. As these sites use automated web crawlers, you don’t even have to contact anybody to let them know what you are doing, it will be picked up automatically.
If you really want to see your market access grow, then you don’t want to treat keyword optimization as a static process. Instead, you should see it as an ongoing and evolving process whereby you continually enhance keyword reach by uncovering new keyword opportunities.
By continually increasing your website’s keyword database, you can ensure more traffic is directed to your website via search engines, increasing leads and sales and by converting clicks to customers.
How do you identify keywords?
The first step is to list essential topics you know to be relevant to your business area, keeping in mind what a buyer might be looking for. As a second step, you can take these topic headings and build keywords around them, thinking about what questions or phrases your buyer might search for (this list can be narrowed down later).
Step three involves thinking outside of the box and using useful tools provided by search engines themselves. You will notice when scrolling through the results of a search on Google that at the bottom of the page there is a list of ‘searches related’ to your topic. This list is based on previous searches that have occurred by potential customers in your market area and so can be a helpful trigger for additional keywords. This activity can also be taken one step further by entering these search terms into Google and finding out what their related searches are to find more keywords.
Step four is the tricky part, and this is where you need to make sure that your list of Keywords contains both short and long phrases. For example, if you are writing content about types of sunscreen you want to have some phrases that are one to three words long, such as ‘best sunscreen’ but you also want to have longer phrases that cover questions a person might ask, such as ‘Which sunscreen has the most protection?’.
Step five is where you can bring in some external tools to help narrow down your list to ensure that the keywords you use will attract the most traffic. Google AdWords Keyword Planner allows you to search each of your keywords or phrases to check how often these terms are searched for.
However, it isn’t as straight-forward as getting rid of the keywords with low-volume traffic and keeping those with high-volume traffic as it may be the case that sticking with a low-volume keyword now will be beneficial in the future (low-volume can also mean low-competition). You can check whether or not to keep low-volume keywords via Google Trends, which will tell you if the trending for that term is on the up.
How should I use Keywords?
Now you have your list of Keywords; the next important step is how you use them most effectively. By this stage, you have already gone through the critical process of conducting in-depth analysis as to what your potential customers search for. This would have given you an understanding of the mindset and needs of your target audience and thereby will assist you in framing your content appropriately.
In addition to ensuring your content is informed and useful, it is also important to think about where you place your keywords on each page to help with SEO. Mostly, web crawlers for search engines like to see the keywords in all of the following places:
- At the top of the page.
- Once, towards the beginning of the title tag.
- 2 or 3 times throughout the page’s content ( to improve keyword density).
- Within the HTML meta description tag.
It is also useful to include the keyword in the HTML ‘alt attribute’ tab, which specifies alternate text for an image if it cannot be displayed since this will link people to your website through image searches for keywords.
Useful tools for Keyword Optimization
A key issue faced at the start of the process of searching for keywords can be knowing what potential buyers might be searching for. The good news is, that even if you are starting with zero knowledge about a topic area, or building a website from scratch, there are a host of useful tools available to bring you up to speed and provide you with the keywords you will need.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner helps you to search for keywords based on phrases, websites or, categories, as well as providing search volume data and trends. You can even use the generated lists to multiple keyword lists through the use of a rinse, cycle, repeat technique. Keyword Tool offers a free alternative to Google’s tool which also adds the ability to search keywords from different sources such as Amazon, YouTube, and Bing.
If sentence generation is what you’re struggling with, Long Tail Pro helps you find and produce long-tail keyword phrases using seed keywords, as well as analyze your competitors. Similarly, SpyFu and KeywordSpy help you stay ahead of competitors. However, perhaps the best tool out there that combines the functionality of all of these tools is provided by SemRush.
Identifying keywords and putting them to optimum use should be a priority for anyone writing content or developing a marketing strategy. Keyword optimization enables you to ensure you have selected the correct topics for your audience and, by using these words, bring your audience to you. If you want to see your market access grow, make sure you re-evaluate your keywords every few months to ensure that the words you are using are still the most relevant to your audience.