Your keywords are the lifeblood of your business. However else you advertise you won’t beat search engine algorithms for pure convenience and top-of-mind presence. So, the key to directing traffic through this already wide-open door is to figure out which search terms will give you the best results.
Following keyword research is advertising 101 at its best because your audience is already searching for your product or service. The trick after mastering your keywords is to keep your audience on the hook long enough to decide they don’t need to look further or to return to your site after clicking a few other links.
First off, what are keywords?
Keywords are the terms and phrases that potential customers search for when trying to find a product, service, piece of content, or the answer to a question. Everything you search for online will have keywords associated with it. Your webpage, blogs, or anything else you write and publish online will have some keywords which SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) uses to help pair users with the best search term.
So the more you can optimise your keywords, the better.
How can I compete with the big names?
People spend a lot of money generating content and buying specific keywords to raise their profile online. You’re unlikely to beat big-name brands for their share of the search engine pie, but you can generate a list of keywords or change your targeting to be seen by other people searching for your niche.
You can also leverage other types of SEO by being selective about who you attract. Aside from paid Google ads which will rank at the top or bottom of a search page, you have three (or four) search ‘types’ that govern who you attract. These are organic, national, local and organic local.
Organic is unpaid and doesn’t rely on clicks, being based solely on the searches of internet users. So, with the right keyword traffic, you could potentially crush it in organic — although it takes time to build if you’re going after a popular search term.
Local SEO is where the money is if you’re a face-to-face first aid trainer or any other physically bound service. Local SEO helps pair users with nearby businesses with an accuracy of 100m! So fine-tuning your search terms accordingly to fit in location will help maximise your potential of being seen. Google rankings drive local SEO, so make sure to ask for lots of feedback through a Google-linked survey template. You can learn more about building surveys and reviews here with the online tool Ailem.
National SEO targets a broader audience in the same way local search engines do, while local organic works by optimising and showing local searches to nearby users.
There are two types of keywords to be very familiar with; focus and long-tail keywords. A focus keyword describes the content on your page and is the primary phrase you want people to be searching for when they search for you.
Long-tail keywords contain three or more words and phrases that people are likely to be searching for and are based on searching behaviours rather than the keywords you want to popularise.
Finding your keyword niche
So now you’re a little more familiar with the types of keyword searches available, how do you start finding your own keywords?
1.) Make a list of topics relevant to your business
Begin by creating a spreadsheet that lists everything that relates to your business. Keep it specific to what you can offer. So, if you provide youth-based mental health courses, you might use;
- Youth mental health
- Youth Mental Health First Aid
- Youth mental health course
2.) Now add phrases your customers might use
The next step is to get a little more specific about your phrases, including things like the products, information, location, and anything else relating to your business. Add these in an adjacent column on your spreadsheet. You might include;
- Blended online and face-to-face
- Group training exercises
- Mental health awareness
You might want to use existing data that you’ve taken from Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report to identify those key phrases. You can also use a keyword planner to access your current content and suggest keywords for ads and search terms. You only have to pay for these terms once you start running ads.
3.) Find related search terms
Start searching for the keyword phrases you’ve discovered, scrolling to the bottom to find the relevant search terms. Check out related terms and suggested content on other search pages.
You might also try sites like Answerthepublic to find out what others are searching for. Make sure to add in these searches to complete your spreadsheet.
4.) Determining the strength of those keywords
Once you have completed your research and revisited your keywords, it’s time to check the strength of the search term. Your business won’t answer exactly what people are searching for, but it’s important to stick close to the main search highway. Wordtracker and Ubersuggest offer free keyword strength trackers. Look at the
- Exact search term
- Related categories
- Search volume (how many people look it up)
- Location of searches
- Amount of competition
5.) Check for competition
If other brand names have taken up your keywords, you might need to find some other search terms. The same goes for the questions people ask online. Remember that people who are searching for you often come with a question in mind, so your goal should be to rank for some of those questions you feel you’re most qualified to answer.
Also, be prepared to alter your strategy. If someone is searching for an answer and gets an ad, they’ll likely shut it out. If they’re in the mood to book a course, they don’t want to read a lot. So base the content your audience finds on the type of keyword search they enter.
We covered a lot in this blog. That’s because finding the right keywords and running them takes a considerable amount of work and an ongoing maintenance cost. If you haven’t got the time to complete your own keywords and generate the number of ads, content, creatives and web pages to draw in an audience, you can always reach out to a digital agency to manage this part for you.
Are we selling something here? Totally — but we want you to be fully on board and informed about what you’re getting by doing so. We’re also totally happy for you to take notes from this blog and do it yourself. We know the power of keyword research and of continuing to adapt to the market by staying relevant.
If you want to know more about how to optimise your keywords, send us a private message on the group or get in touch with us through Ailem.