You want people to find your website, right?
Optimize your website for SEO – how to. Well, that means making sure that when someone searches Google or another search engine for what you’ve got on your site, they’ll find it. This will only happen if the text content on your website contains the words and phrases that your target audience is searching for.
Sounds pretty straightforward, but there is a lot you can do (and should do!) on your site to get search engines to prioritize your site above others that contain similar keywords and optimize your website for SEO.
This guide presents a comprehensive overview of the steps you need to take and the “best practices” involved in each step to optimize your site for best search engine results. Having the right seo keywords research on your site, and using them effectively, is one of the cornerstones of SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
In fact, many online marketing experts will tell you that keyword research is one of the most critical, valuable and high-ROI activities in the online marketing field. In many cases, it’s not an exaggeration to say that ranking well for the right keywords can make or break your business.
There are two main challenges to optimize your website for SEO
- Identifying the words and phrases that people are using to find the products, services or information you’re offering.
- Properly implementing the keywords in your site’s content and code so that your site will rank above your competitors in search engines.
- You want to start by focusing on terms that have the potential to bring the most visitors.
- You want to take into consideration which terms involve intense competition, because it might be dificult for you to rank well at first (or ever!) for those terms. On the flip side, look for keywords which may be able to grab higher rankings quickly because fewer websites are using them.
A technical deep dive into each one
Keywords are the foundation of SEO
How to build a keyword list for your website
Your first and most important step is to compile a list of the most important keywords to target. Your goal is to find the most relevant words and phrases that will lead your desired audience to your site. Here are some tips to get started: Optimize your website for SEO
Start with high-level categories and drill down
Make a list of the general topics that describe your business, industry or ofering. Brainstorm on all the specific words and phrases that make sense within each one. Include synonyms and alternative terms that searchers might be using.
Some ideas to get your creative juices flowing: consider including specific brand names, product categories/names, product functions/features, complementary industry terms (names of items connected to your ofering even if you don’t sell them yourself) and terms describing common users/purchasers of your products/services.
Think like your customers
Sometimes, business owners see their ofering somewhat diferently than their customers might. It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and try to imagine what they might be typing into search engines to find what you’ve got. Ask some of your customers to tell you how they searched for you initially!
Keep in mind that there will be extensive variety among the people searching for your ofering some are looking for initial information, some already know what they want, some are shopping around for alternatives and so forth. Make sure that you are covering all the types of customers, at all stages of the buying cycle.
Look at the data you already have
If you use website analytics sofware, you should be able to generate a report of which keywords customers used in search engines to reach your site (Google used to be more generous with this information in the past, but you might still get some of it, especially if you are using AdWords).
Even better, if you track conversions (which you should absolutely be doing!), your conversion reports can include those search terms that most ofen delivered the customers who converted. Also, if your site has a search box, you’ll find plenty of ideas for keywords in the terms your visitors have already searched for.
Research your competitors’ websites
Visit the sites of your online competitors to see what keywords they use in their content (pay special attention to keywords used in page and section headings) and in their site code (e.g., title and meta tags, meta keywords more about this later in a different article).
Include local terms, if relevant for your business
If you are trying to attract customers who live in one or more particular geographic areas (e.g., state, city, neighborhood), make sure to include all relevant names describing those areas in your keyword list. When applicable, localized search terms are a fast and powerful way to get visibility alongside other competitors in search engine results.
Select specific keywords to target specific customers
In addition to the general topics and terms that describe your ofering, dive down into very specific sub-categories that may be of interest to certain types of customers, or specific products/services that you ofer.
Use tools to find similar keywords you may not have thought of being good for your website
There are many online tools that can be a big help in coming up with sets of similar yet diferent keywords (sometimes called “keyword clusters”), and even in sparking ideas for entirely new keyword categories. This is really not optional / you need to do it! Find one or two tools that you’re comfortable with and take the time to learn how to get the most out of them.
Some widely-used keyword tools you might want to check out include:
• Google Analytics Site Search (free, requires a Google Analytics account)
• Google Keyword Planner (free, requires a Google AdWords account)
• Google Keyword Suggestion tool (free, requires a Google AdWords account)
• Google Trends (free)
• Jaaxy (free trial, then monthly subscription)
• Keyword Eye (free trial, then monthly subscription)
• Keyword Revealer (free trial, then monthly subscription)
• KeywordTool.io (limited free version or monthly subscription)
• KWFinder.com (limited free version or monthly subscription)
• Microsof Bing Ads Intelligence tool (free, requires a Bing Ads account)
• Moz Pro Keyword Explorer (monthly subscription)
• SE Ranking (free trial, then monthly subscription)
• SEMRush (requires monthly subscription)
• SimilarWeb PRO (free trial available, then monthly subscription)
• SpyFu (requires monthly subscription)
• Trellian Keyword Discovery (limited free version or monthly subscription)
• Übersuggest (free)
• Wordtracker (monthly subscription)
Refine and prioritize your keyword list
Once you’ve got your initial set of keywords, you need to select the ones that will likely have the greatest impact, at least as a first step. The limit on how many words you can reasonably optimize your website for depends on the size of your site, but you’ll always need to try to zero in on the best keywords to use.
There are two primary considerations while doing this:
Monthly search volume
Of course, there is usually more competition for terms with greater search volume (because that’s where the money is!), so there’s not always a lot you can do about it. However, keeping this in mind may help you find niches that your competitors aren’t focusing on as much.