Keywords….well are KEY words you want to be use to be FOUND. They can be used in blogs, in posts on Facebook, descriptions for pins on Pinterest, as hashtags and more so are quite important for your overall strategy!
Selecting keywords and keyword phrases sounds like a simple task but the reality is that choosing the right keywords can be a challenge. Excellent Keywords are 2- to 4- word phrases that accurately describe what you offer using everyday language that searchers often type in and those which are not at a bargain of having a chance on getting to the front page.
If your keywords are too general then they’ll likely be battling or competing with others using the same terms or words. Choosing keywords may help you convert traffic more effectively but you do have to use medium to low competition keywords to have success. This means, essentially, that you want to use words that are specific; words or terms that people will look for or type into Google to find what they are looking for. If you are too specific with your keywords you will get very little traffic because few people are searching for the terms you have used. SEE it is a fine line but one worth learning how to walk!
Keyword research involves 2 main things:
- Determining which keywords people frequently search for (popular keywords)
- Determining which keywords are relevant (relevant keywords).
If you select a keyword or phrase that is highly relevant but is never searched on, you will not be successful. The same applies to a keyword which is incredibly popular but not relevant to your offerings……you will not have a good conversion. Even with web traffic it is possible that none of that traffic will be targeted so it is important to strike a balance between your keywords relevance and popularity.
Remember that keywords vary based on the searchers culture, knowledge, age, education or region. That is to say that you need to characterize your target audience. Then select keywords that your target audience would likely use when searching for your product or service.
To determine preferred keywords, try Google Keyword Tool, WordTracker or any other keyword research tools. Proper keyword research will give you a good idea of how popular keywords are and which ones might be winnable for your content. If you think a keyword may be good but has zero searches, you can get rid of it and try other options instead.
Common word selection problems include targeting:
- Single-word terms
- Terms that are way too broad, and not focused to what you offer
- Terms that are too critical or uncommon, which nobody searches for
- Terms which are unpopular
- Highly aggressive or ambitious terms which you can’t expect to rank well for (high competition and no winnable key words)
Avoid Single-Word Terms
Single-word terms are usually a poor choice for optimizing because of their broadness and being too competitive. A lot of search engine’s don’t touch single-word terms for this reason. When doing searches, people know that one-word searches are not very useful in getting the results that they want. By adding another word or two the search results are refined and provide better results. Google actually auto-fills other keywords as search words are entered into its search tool.
To have a successful website — or a successful business for that matter – it is important to put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and think like they do. Most of them won’t be using single-word terms; what will they be searching or using to find your product or service? Think in those terms when creating your keyword list and then check to see how competitive those words are; don’t make it comlicated, but don’t ignore the power of keywords either! Write the keywords into articles, Facebook posts, Pin descriptions and re-purpose your content so your keywords, and you, are found everywhere! It makes you relevant!
Avoid terms that are too broad
Terms can be too broad even if they are two or more words. The more specialized your keywords are, the less competition you’ll have. In fact, adding the city name where your business is located to your web pages is one of the quickest ways to bring in more qualified traffic.
The key point is, its not how much traffic you get from your ranking or how good your site ranks for a given term.. ….a thousand random surfers aren’t worth as much as one qualified lead. Ignore the number of raw hits; you want visitors who are actually interested in what you have to offer. It’s not how many people visit your site; it’s how many buyers you get. It’s the number of qualified visitors you get that counts.
Avoid terms that are too specific
A more specific search gets less competition for the search term. Less competition makes it easier to rank well for the word/term but there is a catch: specific words get fewer searches and thus less traffic. One way to say it is …..as the competition goes down, so does the popularity of the search term.
“Terms must be specific, but terms that are TOO specific are useless because nobody searches for them.”
Avoid terms that are unpopular
If you pick unpopular keywords, your effort could be wasted. You can’t get the traffic if people aren’t using your search terms, even if you are ranking well. This does not mean that you should avoid optimizing for lesser-used keywords but to pick carefully. If rare keyword searches still bring in some competent traffic, you should still use them for your business.
There are many online tools that can tell you how many searches are being performed for specific keywords and suggest related keywords to optimize for:
- Keyword Discovery. (recommended) These services endorsed by amass of the biggest names in SEO use data from 180 engines including Google and Yahoo. $50/mo. or $400/yr.
- WordTracker. Similar with Keyword Discovery but it uses fewer search engines which doesn’t include Google. $50/mo. or $244/yr.
- Google Adwords. This is a Google’s pay-per-click advertising program. To set up an ad, you should type in a list of keywords that should cause your ad to be displayed when a user searches for those keywords.
- Google Trends. You can use this free tool in comparing traffic which two different search phrases get.
- Overture Keyword Selector. Its free, but for Yahoo data only.
“Make certain your search terms are popular, or at least as popular as possible given what your market is.”
Avoid highly competitive terms
You might have a term that’s both popular and highly relevant to what you offer but if there are a lot of other sites competing for that same term, it is possible that you might not be able to rank well, or you might rank lower than you’d like.
With medium and low competition words you may have first page search engine results. For highly competitive keywords your chance to get onto first page are reduced. The best strategy would be to use a less competitive term but add another, more competitive word or two to the search term.