By Bob Milliken
Let’s talk about keywords and why they are the window into what your target audience wants and needs. Make no mistake. Key words are the magic that makes SEO so valuable. To explain – keywords are the words your target audience types into their favorite search engine (think Google or Bing), to look for more information on topics you can help them with. One more thing about keywords; they are the cornerstone of any SEO strategy.
Keywords and Key Phrases
Before we go any further, I think it is important to note we’re not talking about single words here. You’re not going to rank for “butter” for example, even if you are a dairy farmer and that’s what your customers are looking for. Instead, what you want to go after are longer key phrases relatable to what your people are looking for. For example, let’s say you are a small dairy farmer who sells fresh milk at the farmers market and you’ve been hearing people say they are interested in figuring out how to make butter. A key phrase you may want to look at for a blog post or informative article could be “how to make butter at home with fresh milk” or something along those lines. If I’m blogging about SEO and trying to find people interested in a training program or a short guide to help them find out what their customers and readers are looking for, I may use a phrase like “best way to find targeted keywords” or even “how to discover what people are searching for online.”
How To Find These Keywords
The next question is of course where you find your keywords. How can you find out what your target audience is typing into their favorite search engine? It starts with a guess. I hope you know enough about your topic and niche of choice to come up with a list of several words and phrases you think your readers may be using. Start with ten and as you become familiar with the process, expand your list to 50, 75, or even 100. Now the fun begins. Use these keyword ideas to hone in on the best ones to use for your business, and to discover what keywords your competition may be using.
Let’s keep it simple at this stage by using Google to help. It’s a great place to start from and its free!. Simply enter one of your keyword ideas and observe what the autofill options are. Keep a record of which ones seem best for your business because you’ll need this later. Repeat this until you have gone through all of your initial keywords. Once you have built your list of autofill words and phrases go back to Google and search each of them one at a time. For each one scroll down to the bottom of the first search results page. Here you will see a list of related searches. Add those to your list of keywords and key phrases. Now choose several that make sense for you and the type of content you want to create.
Another option is to use a keyword tool. If you use Google AdWords, or have at least an AdWords account, you can use Google’s planner tool which gives you quite a bit of information on how often the keyword is used and to help build a strategy by identifying the specific terms your audience is using to find businesses like yours. Of course, there are other free and paid keyword planning tools, but I recommend you start with the google tool. Either way, finding keyword ideas is easy and simple
What To Do With Keywords
Use your keywords and key phrases where it makes sense in the title and content of your blog posts, articles, video descriptions, and the likes. Don’t force it. Always write for your reader first, search engine second.
If you can, use them in the title, and definitely use them within your content, multiple times or several variations of your main keyword within the content depending on length. Don’t overdo it because the search engines frown on this and could penalize your site rankings). Smart use of them wall always help both your readers and the search engines to “see” what your content is about.
While Keywords are the cornerstone of your SEO strategy, there are many other considerations influencing the search engines. One of them is Website trustworthiness which I am going to talk about in the next blog.