What are keywords?
Keywords are trade-specific terms that are widely searched by consumers looking for products or services in your industry. They are the building blocks of your search engine optimization (SEO) and are therefore a necessary marketing tool.
Why are keywords important?
These words and phrases are how people find you on the internet. For example, if you were looking for a new scarf you might search “winter scarf” or “black scarf” or “soft blanket scarf” depending on the type of product you would like. If a company selling scarves has those keywords in their content, they are more likely to be listed in your search results.
How do I know what keywords to use?
This is the tricky part. There are a lot of words (so many words!) out there and it can be a bit of a puzzle to determine what phrases will be most beneficial to your company’s SEO.
Balancing search volume and relevancy
Keywords vary in popularity so we often look at search volume as a starting point. Added to this is relevancy – it doesn’t do you any good to rank for a popular term if it doesn’t relate to what you are selling. Balancing search volume and relevancy is the first step.
Search intent and long-tail keywords and phrases
The next thing to consider is the intent of the search. The problem with keywords is that they can often be somewhat vague. For example, if you sell space sprockets like George Jetson, you would hope to rank when someone searches for “sprockets.” But does that mean that a high percentage of those people are looking to buy your sprockets? Or are they looking for other information? And since everyone who sells sprockets wants to rank for that word, it can be a difficult one to hold on to.
This is where subtopics or what we refer to as “long-tail keywords” can come into play. These are more specific phrases that people might search when they are further along in the buying process. They may have a lower search volume overall, but the conversion rate is higher because they are looking more specifically for what you are selling. You might search for “mid-size space ship sprockets” – this would be a better lead for Mr. Jetson because he manufactures what you are looking for.
What is your process? How do you deliver keywords to a client?
After learning about the goals that a company has for its website, we spend some time researching a variety of possible terms. Once we have assessed each term, we present a spreadsheet detailing potential keywords based on volume and relevancy (example shown in the image below). The spreadsheet shows the term, along with minimum, maximum, and specific monthly search volumes. The minimum and maximum are average volumes for the term for any given month. The specific volume is the previous month’s search volume nationally for that term.
The numbers that you would see are based on the number of search queries. It could be one person searching the term ten times, or ten people searching once – either way it would be a volume of ten. Annatto also highlights the keywords that we believe would have the most impact to help narrow your company’s focus.
In addition to the broad view, we can also give key term suggestions for each particular page of your website or even work with our copywriter to produce content for your company, if needed.
Okay, I have a list of keywords, now what?
Now that you have some words to work from, you need to use them!
Here are some places that you should be utilizing keywords:
- Page Content. Make sure that the strongest choices are used throughout the content on your site. This is the main copy that is visible to the viewer.
- Content Headers. In addition to using keywords throughout your body content, it can also be beneficial to include them in your headers (those tagged with an H1 or H2 style, for example).
- Page Titles and Descriptions. This information is set in the back end of your site. When a search engine like Google displays results, this is what is shown to the viewer to give them an idea of what they will see if they click through to that page.
- URL. Each page on your site has its own specific URL. It’s helpful to include keywords in this address if it makes sense within the structure of the site.
Keep in mind that, above all, the content on a website needs to make sense and provide value to the viewer. Keywords are important, but if your information doesn’t make sense to the reader, then it’s not helping anyone (your company OR your potential customer).
I have no idea where to start!
That’s okay! No one expects you to become an expert on SEO overnight (or ever). A good digital strategist will be able to discuss your company goals and do some research into key terms to give you guidance and an action plan.
Whether you are looking for a new website or revamping a current one to better serve you, keywords are a must. Contact us today to get started.