When it comes to today’s online consumers, they’re always looking for brands that relate to them the best and will help them solve the problems that they face. There are so many brands both big and small that they can choose fun which means that competition is on the rise to win over those potential customers. Many businesses, especially small businesses, always ask themselves questions on how to reach their ideal target audience. Well, it all starts with doing what is called Keyword Research.
Keyword Research is the process of targeting keywords that will help you reach out to your ideal target audience in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other major search engines. With competition at an all-time high, it’s crucial to research the intents of your target audience and come up with keywords to reach them and help grow your business in the long run.
With that being said, here are three essentials to a successful keyword research strategy that will help lay the foundation to your long-term SEO strategy.
Know What Your Target Audience Is Looking For
Before you can actually start researching keywords and adjusting your content to reach your ideal consumers, you must first know what their search intents are when it comes to their exact needs. This all depends on where they are in their customer journey whether they just want information or if they’re ready to make a purchase. When it comes to the search intent of your target audience, there are five major categories of intent they could fall under as listed below:
- Informational: This is where searchers need specific information such as the name of the highest point in Texas.
- Navigational: In this scenario, searchers want to go to a page of well-known brands such as Microsoft or to the Denver Broncos homepage.
- Transactional: Here, searchers want to do a specific action like downloading music or buying a ticket to a sports event.
- Commercial Investigation: In this case, searchers compare products and services to find the best one that fits their exact needs. This is common in the E-commerce industry.
- Local Queries: Here, searchers want to find a business that’s close to home or in their vicinity such as a nearby restaurant, movie theaters, etc. This is the category that we recommend small businesses strive to rank in as they’re most commonly concentrated in one local location.
- Language: This is where searchers may speak different languages and want information displayed in that language. One example of this is when Spanish-speaking customers are searching for Popsicle sticks, ice cream, and other frozen treats via search terms like “Paleteria Y Neveria De Aaron.”
Definitely, valuable information we just went over in defining the intents of your target audience and how to categorize them based on their exact kinds of needs. Knowing which categories your audience falls under will better prepare you as you seek out those keywords while adjusting your content to reach those consumers. Now that you know how to categorize the intents of your target audience, let’s dive into how frequently are they searching via specific search terms.
Know How Frequently Your Audience Uses Specific Search Terms
Always important to note that many are also seeking the same keywords that you are. With that said, look for ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors. What may work for them may not work for you. This is especially true if you’re a small business competing for a great position in the SERP so it’s crucial to come up with the right keywords that best describes what you have to offer to your ideal customers.
There are two keyword types commonly used to reach consumers in the SERP.
- Short-Tail Keywords: These are the keywords that consist of phrases of three words or less and tend to be broad. Keyword examples are “Women’s Soccer Gear”, “Men’s Shoes” and “Spatula”.
- Long-Tail Keywords: These are the keywords that consist of phrases of more than three words and tend to be specific. Keyword examples are “Short Sleeve Denver Broncos Shirt” and “Hydrodynamic Spatula With Port And Starboard Attachments”.
They definitely have key differences in terms of search traffic potential and conversion rate potential. Short-Tail Keywords tend to be highly competitive keywords which makes it harder and more costly for your website to be found in the SERP. Only well-established and authoritative companies like Amazon and Google would be found easily via these types of keywords. It’s probably better for newer companies and SMBs to be found via a different route.
Long-Tail Keywords tend to be less competitive and have less search volume but here’s the catch. It costs less and those who search via this route have high intentions of making a purchase which means that the chances of conversion are pretty high.
This is definitely a gold mine for new businesses and SMBs to take advantage of and lay the foundation towards not only getting found by your ideal customers but also getting them to become your customers. That is assuming that you have quality content that answers the exact needs of the customer. Focus your keyword research on long-tail keywords. It will definitely pay huge dividends as you work to build your brand via an excellent SEO strategy.
There are great keyword research tools that can help assist you with finding keywords that work best for your business as you work to build up your long-term online presence. Great tools include the following listed below.
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Answer The Public
- Bing Keyword Research
- SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool
- Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest
These are all valuable tools that can help you gain valuable insights about ranking potential, competition and suggestions on giving you the best insight on which keywords would work best for you when it comes to standing out in the SERP on both Google and Bing.
Know Where To Insert Your Keywords Into Your Content
Now that we covered the keyword search intent categories of what your target audience is a part of and how to research the frequency of those keywords, now we must figure out which areas of your content would we place them into.
One big thing to remember is that you don’t want to get into keyword stuffing just for the sake of trying to trick the search engines into ranking you higher. That will be a huge turnoff towards your target audience and will hurt your chances of converting. Also, it would hurt you in the rankings and you’ll lose the trust of your target audience.
Always important to optimize your site for the user first before anything else. After all, the users are your potential customers so always strive to provide them an excellent user experience.
When it comes to the areas of where in your website you would strategically insert your keywords into. There are four types of areas we would place them into as listed below:
In Your URL
Definitely important to include keywords in your URL that are relevant to your cause and would help the users understand exactly what type of content they can expect on your site. A great example of a user and SEO-friendly URL would be something like this:
Definitely a quality URL as opposed to something not SEO-friendly and unclear to users like this:
People and search engines alike both prefer URLs that have descriptive keywords relevant to the site owner’s cause as opposed to boring old numbers that say nothing about you. Definitely keep this in mind when deciding on your URL.
In Your Heading And Meta Tags
These are one of the first places the search engine will be scanning so definitely incorporate your keywords here. The Title Tag will be of biggest importance as this will be what your audience will see as the link on the SERP. Definitely use keywords that are relevant to your cause and will help identify yourself to both the users and the search engines.
You also want to incorporate your keywords into both the META description tag and the META keywords tag. This is the area where only the search engine bots will be crawling your page. When it comes to the META description, you definitely want to include your keywords towards the very front of your description as search engines only scan through the first 150 characters.
When it comes to the META keywords, you definitely want to only include keywords that are relevant to the page on your site as well as the website as a whole. The key to be recognized and identified correctly by the search engines via the META tags is to aim for relevancy and accurate descriptions of what your cause is about. That will help rank you for exactly what you’re wanting to rank for.
Definitely work to use keywords that will help both your target audience as well as the search engines identify exactly what your cause is about so definitely refer to this when coming up with what to write as your heading along with the META tags. Also, do the same thing for your headers and sub-headers within your content as well.
In Your Alt Tags
This is important when it comes to increasing visibility towards the search engine, those who search for images only and those who are visually impaired. The key to success in increasing your visibility towards your target audience via keywords in your Alt Tags is to use keywords that are relevant to the image. Also, avoid using image numbers as your alt text. Numbers won’t tell the users and the search engines anything about what the image is about.
Here’s a great example of a good Alt Tag as listed below:
Here’s what not to use as an Alt Tag as listed below:
See how much better the first Alt Tag is. It contains a relevant keyword that actually tells you what the image is about. This will come in handy in the event your image fails to load. Keep this in mind as you’re prepping your content.
In Your Body Text
This is perhaps the most important aspect of SEO on a website. You know the saying about Content is King. Well, this definitely rings true here. When it comes to incorporating your target keywords into the body text of your content, you must work hard to balance out in satisfying both the search engines and your target audience.
Mentioning too little of your target keywords won’t allow your site to get found by either search engines or your target audience while overdoing it would result in keyword stuffing as we discussed at the beginning of this section. This is definitely a tall task for SEO Specialists to handle. At the same time, it can most certainly be done with some great strategic thinking. Strive for a keyword density of between 0.5% and 3%. This will help you strike the right balance of keyword usage.
In addition, these three tips in writing quality content that is SEO-friendly will help keep your target audience engaged.
- Keep it relevant to what that section of your particular content is about.
- Write as you normally would while explaining to them in everyday language they would understand. In other words, relate to the user.
- Center your content around what your audience wants to do and use specific language such as long-tail keywords as we discussed in the previous section. This will best relate to the exact needs of the customer and they would be more likely to look into you more.
These three tips will go a long way in balancing out in ensuring that your target audience is engaged while at the same time increasing your visibility with the search engines. Absolutely crucial to keep these things in mind when incorporating your keywords around the content that you write on your site. I promise that it will pay off in the end by following these tips.
Key Lessons Learned About Keyword Research
When it comes to finding keywords that will help attract your ideal target audience, there’s no doubt that research is key. On top of that, knowing exactly where to incorporate those target keywords within your content is even more important. Proper keyword research followed by proper keyword usage will not only help attract your ideal consumer but also will help keep them engaged while making it more likely that they’ll do business with you.
Quality keyword research is the first big step in building up your long-term presence via a quality SEO strategy. By making keyword research alongside developing quality content as your starting point for your SEO strategy, you will no doubt be on your way towards building trust with your target audience and lay the foundation towards long-lasting relationships.
What do you feel is essential when it comes to using keyword research as a way to build your online presence? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below