So what are these “keywords” everyone keeps talking about? A keyword is a word or phrase that you want your website to rank for in Google’s search results (I know I keep saying Google, its just habit. But I do mean all search engines). For example, if you’re a Melbourne hairdresser, when someone searches for “Melbourne hairdresser”, you’d like your website to appear in the top 10 search results. “Melbourne hairdresser” is the keyword.
True targeted traffic comes from effective keyword research and threading those keywords creatively through your content so it sounds natural.
PS – I want to keep this light but informative so you don’t fall asleep, because only die-hard SEO lovers live and breathe it – and that’s the way it should be. While it is critical to your writing success, it can come across in more of an “SEOh so boring” way.
On that note – the SEO tips contained in this section are going to rock your world!
Keywords are the key
So let’s start with the most important part and the key to your success – keywords. Keywords are the foundation of your on-page SEO. They tell both Google and your ideal customer what your website is about, which means Google can position it accurately in its search results, and your customer knows they’re in the right place.
But how do you choose them? To get started, think about what your potential customers want and need. Then
ask yourself some questions like:
- How would your ideal customer describe your business?
- How would they talk to their friends about your products or services?
- If they were looking for a business like yours based on what you’ve told them about it, what words would they use?
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- What words would they use to describe those problems and finding a solution that would help?
- Do you have a list of frequently asked questions you could draw inspiration from?
3 hot tips for you to try:
TIP 1: If you get back some really general keyword ideas, drill down a bit deeper and think about your location, your differences, your specialty areas, team and occupation.
TIP 2: Try searching for some of these keywords – what results come up? Are your competitors in the list? If not, keep searching – knowing which keywords your competitors are
using can be great inspiration for choosing your own.
TIP 3: Ask your customers what words they are using to find you. I do this all the time, just to test my keyword theories and make sure I stay on track. It’s quite funny what people type
in and what you think they’re searching for.
One of my best customers found me by typing in “content writer fashion website” – which is right up my alley. What’s interesting is that I hadn’t knowingly used these words as
keywords. I do now!
Now that you have your list, if you haven’t paid a keyword researcher to do it for you, you need to actually see how they perform. So run them through a keyword tool
like Adwords Keyword Planner.
TIP: Keywords will only work if you use the right ones. That’s why keyword research is critical. While you can do this yourself, I believe in paying someone to do your initial research
to get your primary keywords in place for your website. Others for new pages, blog posts and social status updates can be found easily enough.
Word Style Step
If you are doing your own keyword research, try brainstorming a heap of ideas that you think your customers are looking up (20 is good, but 50 is better!). If you don’t know, ask new customers or ask your best customers what they would look up. When it comes to choosing your keywords, you need to make sure you’re using words that your customers are actually searching for – not what you want them to search for. For example, a Melbournian looking for a used car on a budget is probably going to search for the phrase “cheap used car in Melbourne.” While you may not want to be seen as “cheap,” this is what they’re searching for, not “inexpensive used car in Melbourne” or “competitively priced used car in Melbourne” or “low cost used car in Melbourne.” If the majority of people are searching for “cheap” and you don’t incorporate that keyword into your website, you may not be found by the right people.
But don’t worry – there are plenty of ways you can get around this. For example, turn it into a positive: “We don’t sell cheap used cars at XYZ in Melbourne, even though our prices offer extremely great value. We offer far more than that. At our Carlton showroom, we sell high-quality secondhand cars at competitive prices so you can save your hard-earned money to spend on more important things like leading the life you deserve. After all, we all deserve a little more.”
Do you know your keywords? If not, start jotting them down now.