Whether you’re new to SEO or a seasoned professional, here are some keyword research tips to help you formulate your internet marketing strategies.
Keyword research is the foundation of your internet marketing strategies and helps you design your navigation structure, optimise your pages, devise your online content and target your link building activities. Here are a few fundamentals on how to formulate a balanced keyword portfolio to drive targeted traffic to your website; leading to an improved conversion rate and increased return on investment on your SEO activities.
More about keywords
Keywords are the search terms that a potential customer inputs into a Search Engine to find certain products, services or information. Once they submit their query, a Search Engine will return what they believe are the most relevant results for those search terms. These are called Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). The relevance and importance of results is determined by a website’s on and off page optimisation.
Money and broad keywords
There are two main types of keywords; broad and money keywords. ‘Broad keywords’ or short tail keywords such as ‘digital camera’ attracts browsers and ‘money keywords’ or long tail keywords such as ‘Canon digital SLR camera’ that attract buyers to your site. A healthy keyword portfolio will have a mixture of ‘broad’ and ‘money’ keywords that will attract buyers at every stage of the buying cycle from initial research to purchase.
Look at search volume when selecting keywords. Broad searches will give an indication of how often combinations of those keywords are used such as ‘Sydney plastic surgeon’, ‘best plastic surgeon in Sydney’ and exact searches will return results for the exact match of the search phrase. Don’t take search volume as absolute indicator of traffic that will be generated but as a relative measure when choosing targeted keywords.
It is essential to do keyword research instead of simply guessing at what keywords your customers may use to find your products. You may uncover different profit-driving keywords that you may not have necessarily thought of that in your initial brainstorming session. The internet is dynamic and this will be an ongoing activity for an SEO consultant. Common sources of keyword research for internet marketing strategies can include:
- Asking clients for a list of keywords relevant to their business
- Google Analytics and other web analytics tools
- Free tools such as Google Keyword Research Tool
- Premium tools such as WordTracker and Keyword Discovery
- Surveying customers and suppliers
- Focus groups and usability tests
- Social media activities
- Competitor analysis
- Thesaurus to find synonyms for keywords.
On page optimisation
Once you have done your keyword research, you need to know how to use the keywords effectively to maximise your Search Engine rankings. A common mistake people make is to over-optimise their website and spam a page with keywords. This can be perceived by the Search Engines as keyword stuffing. The idea is to insert the Search Engine Keywords (SEK) in a seamless and natural way within the copy. This includes placement within:
- the URL
- title tags
- meta description tags
- ALT tags
- image file names
- the body copy
Off page optimisation
When selecting keywords to target think about which existing pages on your site the Search Engines consider relevant for those keywords. How do you know this? Easy…ask them. Go to Google and enter “site:www.yoursite.com keywords” in the search box (without quotes). Google will then list all the indexed pages of your site in order of relevance for those keywords. Once you know this you can create internal links from relevant pages to the page you are targeting for those keywords.
Research should be done periodically to find more keyword opportunities. As customer search behaviour develops and evolves over time, so too should your keyword portfolio. An annual review is ideal for most markets. This will give existing keywords enough time to rank and not override any SEO efforts. The aim is to weed out poor performing keywords and identify new keywords to help expand your internet marketing strategies.
At Internet Intelligence Works we work with high profile companies every single day to help them increase their Search Engine visibility for relevant keywords and keyword phrases and improve conversion rates. Our business unit SEO Works can help you with not only finding the right search engine keywords but advise on the correct placement and frequency of keyword so you can finetune your internet marketing strategies.