Within the marketing industry, keywords are imperative when it comes to promoting businesses, products and services. The right combination of keywords, inserted into the copy at the right time, can give a company a significant competitive edge. However, when the process of keyword research is over-complicated, it can have more of a negative impact overall rather than a positive one.
If you’re finding that your content isn’t ranking very high or if you’re having trouble making it into the answer box on Google, then you might need a bit of a helping hand when it comes to researching the keywords and phrases you need, so here are a few tips for carrying out effective keyword research.
You need to obtain several words or phrases that fit into either your own niche or that of the business you’re writing for. Conducting regular searches in this respect will help you to rank highly for what it is you’re targeting. Think about what the customers will be searching for in order to bring them to your clients’ website.
For example, let’s say you have a client who owns an auto dealership in Nottingham, you’d expect their target audience to be typing several words and phrases into the search engine, such as; “auto repairs in Nottingham”, “tyre replacements in Nottingham”, “MOTs in Nottingham”, “where to have my car serviced in Nottingham” and so on. You wouldn’t expect them to search for; “tyre replacements in London”, “where to have my hair cut in Nottingham” or “where to sell my car in Derby”, for example.
In order for you to target the exact keywords and phrases, it’s beneficial to speak to the business owner about their business or scour their website looking at the services they offer, their USPs and where they’re based in the country. It might be that they can serve several cities which is even better as you have more of a chance of ranking.
If you do not wish to, or simply cannot, get in touch with the company owner, then social media can be used in much the same way. Here, you’ll be able to understand their audience and their overall needs. For example, you could have a client who owns a blinds business and they have a Facebook or Instagram page.
You could scroll through the comments, reviews and even some case studies and photographs to get a grapes of the products they sell, where they operate and what their customers might be looking for. You could find that several people have commented on a post saying “I’m looking at having some Venetian blinds fitted, are these appropriate for bay windows?”.
You could then write an article for your client detailing the benefits of Venetian blinds for bay windows. If you manage their social media accounts, then you could link the customer directly to that blog post in order to have their question answered. It could even be posted as a separate entity on their page and customers will stumble across it.
The point is, you know that a good number of people want to know whether Venetian blinds are a good fit for bay windows so it’s likely that people will be searching for that on Google before making a decision about which type of blinds they’d like. As such, your article, all about the benefits of Venetian blinds for bay windows, is highly-likely to rank well in the search results.
Some keywords and phrases are a lot better than others. So what you want to do is collect a few and then pick two or three words and phrases to incorporate into your copy. This helps to avoid something called “keyword stuffing”.
This has a hugely negative effect on how well you rank in the search engine. Essentially, Google will view this as a red flag and push your content all the way to the bottom as it’ll believe you’re trying to push spam or that you’re, effectively, a robot. So it’s important that “keyword stuffing” is avoided completely and one of the best ways to mitigate that is to choose no more than three keywords and run with those.
However, keyword stuffing can still occur even if you have only chosen three, how? Because you could continue to use those three words or phrases over and over again, so be careful not to do this when writing your copy.
You need to be strategic with their placing. Often, keywords are placed once, no more than twice, under each subheading. However, you could mention it more than twice depending on how many paragraphs you have under each subheading.
If you have two paragraphs under a subheading, then mention the same keyword no more than twice (once per paragraph), but if you have five or six, then you could mention the same word up to three or four times, but no more than that and not too close together.
Anyway, back to evaluating your keywords, you need to sort through the ones you’ve found and prioritise them based on popularity and competition. Generally, the rule is to target keywords that have low competition but rank moderately or highly in the popularity department. Google Analytics and even Google AdWords could help you to do this, as can Google Search Console.
This is something you can do if you’ve used Google AdWords to help with your keyword research, simply because this particular tool will display a list of some of the most related terms that you should consider when looking for words to incorporate into your copy.
There’s a simple reason for this – search engines are clever because they’ve been designed with complex algorithms that will present you with relevant words and phrases by using semantic search principles.
You should take the suggestions that Google AdWords gives you extremely seriously, but make sure you do your own research and analysis into them as well, just to make doubly sure that you’re choosing the right words for your content and the overall purpose of that content.
Google is constantly updating its algorithms, although most of their updates aren’t too detrimental to those of us who work in the marketing industry, some are more significant than others, so you’ll need to keep an eye on some of the latest updates or whether there are any in the pipeline.
However, major updates can occur which can then have a negative effect on SEO strategies across the board, and this includes the keywords you have chosen for previous or existing projects. What you can do to try and protect your hard work in the future, just in case any considerable updates are made, is to simply stay informed about algorithm changes and when they’re set to come into effect.
By reading the latest technology or marketing news, you’ll be provided with key information that might help you to better prepare for any, potentially damaging, updates. This way, you can have backup strategies in place that you can implement as and when you need to, but without wasting any of your precious time.
Kumo are highly-experienced professionals in the digital marketing industry. With over two decades of knowledge and expertise to draw upon, you’ll always be able to count on us to provide you with sterling SEO, PPC and content creation services. Whether you’d like a new website or need to migrate an existing one, then we’ll be on hand to help. We can also produce all of the content you need as well as add a blog or news page to your existing site (and all of the articles to go with it). If you’re looking to increase leads and sales, or if you just wish to take your content to the next level, then get in touch with our marketing team – we’re always happy to hear from you.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.