Keywords are the words and phrases that describe the core of your business/content. Keywords are important for everyone because they help Google match search queries to relevant content, bringing you customers.
By appropriately using keywords in your content or ads, you can increase the chances of your website being shown when someone searches one of your “keywords”.
Keyword Example- For a brick and mortar bakery that sells gluten-free donuts, you’d want your website to show up for search query keywords like:
- local bakery
- gluten free
- bakery near me
- gluten free food near me
- donut shop
…… and probably many more!
The process of finding your keywords is called Keyword Research.
After finding your keywords, you need to know how to use them. Here are the key places, to insert your keywords:
- H1 & H2 Headings
- Meta Descriptions
- Image alt Text
- All written content (use organically)
Using keywords in these areas of your website, in addition to utilizing basic SEO best practices, will give you a good shot at ranking on Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
Keyword Research 101
Resource: Keyword Research Basics
The first step of keyword research is opening a fresh excel sheet and collect as many keywords as possible. Write down keywords and phrases you think may be applicable to your business, try to aim for 50 keywords/phrases to start. A good way to start this process is by looking through your website and your competitors’ websites to see what words/phrases are organically being used. Remember, your ad landing page needs to be very relevant to whatever keywords you choose. Next, put the list into Google Keyword Planner .
After uploading your keywords, filter them by search volume. This will signify how often your keywords are searched and opportunities to bring Google users to your landing page.
So, what are some ways to come up with keywords to review?
1. Look Inward
Think about what terms and phrases obviously make sense for your product or industry. Think about who your customer is and use your buyer personas. What kinds of things might they be searching to get a result like your website? Knowing how your customers talk about your product/industry is important for marketing to them.
If you want to get an in-depth look on how people are talking about your product check posts in Reddit or Quora where people speak freely and in long form. Also check reviews of your product or products similar to yours.
Search these same words in Google. See what terms and phrases Google tries to auto correct your search with. Check the “Searches related to…” section at the bottom of the SERP page. These are the terms people are searching for the most. If your product makes sense as a result for any of these keywords or phrases, add them to your list.
Use a Free Tool
For those doing keyword research for the first time there is some good news. There are multiple high quality keyword planning tools that are free for a trial period. Using these tools will give you a good base when implementing keyword planning.
Type in your website’s URL to see what keywords the tool suggests you use. Only add relevant keywords to your Excel. Type in your competitor’s URLs to see what keywords they are ranking for. These tools have other keyword discovery features so of course explore those options as well.
I also highly recommend installing the Ubersuggest Chrome plug-in which will allow you to see a ton of information about the results on your SERP. To see what keywords the top rankings are using, click the “Est. Visits” above the results.
Google Trends is another cool tool where you can type in a keyword to see how its searches are trending. But this tool is not as much of a keyword planner per se as the tools listed above
Now it is time to dump all your keywords into Google Keyword Planner and see which keywords Google thinks will perform best.
If using Google Ads you can pull keywords this stage right into ad groups. You can then start bidding for search queries based on your keywords.
If you are not using digital ads, just make sure you’re efficiently using highly searched keywords on your website, and occasionally check keywords to see how people are talking about your product and products similar to yours.
If you are using these keywords for Google Ads, I highly recommend finding a guide on keyword match types, bidding, and keyword grouping in ads. But as you are doing your initial keyword discovery note that a higher Cost per Click (CPC) means that keyword often results in a conversion or a sale. It is good to have a strategy for how to use your ad budgets in Google Ads depending on your advertising goals.
Refining Your Keywords
Keywords are important for ranking on the SERP and getting digital ad conversions so you don’t want them to become outdated. If you’re just using keywords for focusing your SEO I suggest re-evaluating your keywords every few months.
If you are using keywords for digital ads the more you optimize the more you’ll get out of your budget. You can use the “Search Terms” section of Google Ads to see what search queries your ads are showing up for. For all search terms not actually relevant to your product, add to the Negative Keywords list.