If you want higher Google Rankings and more traffic, you’ll love this quick guide. The backbone of your SEO strategy is keyword research. Investing time in the research phase will inevitably produce better results in the long term, making the success of your search engine optimisation dependant on your choice of keywords. Key strategies to improve keyword research and your SEO ranking; also helping you get found online more easily, are the implementation of keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.

Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.

Do Your Own Keyword Research

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of optimizing content around those terms.

Keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress. As a bonus, researching keywords help you figure out the thoughts, fears, and desires of your target market. That’s because keywords research gives you tremendous insight into what potential customers searching for and the exact words and phrases that they use. Keyword research impacts every other SEO task that you perform, including finding content topics, on-page SEO, and outreach and promotion. This process should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. This on-going process can take time and research, but the results will be worth it.

Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.

Using the Right Keywords

Picking the right keywords and keyword phrases is one of the most important steps in successful search engine optimization. These next five steps will allow you to do so:

Think like a customer – Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself, ‘If I wanted to find one of these products or services, what would I type into Google?’

Study the competition –  Looking at your competitor’s keywords will not only help you see what you could be forgetting but also help broaden your list of ideas.

Understand the short and long tail keywords – Short tail keywords are search phrases with only one word. Their length makes them less specific than searches with more words. On the contrary, long tail keywords are a combination of three or more words or phrases. While long tail keywords tend to boast lower search volumes, in most cases they attract more relevant traffic, are typically less competitive, and easier to rank well on. Choose long tail keywords that help to specify your product or service. ‘Egg’ is an example of a short tail keyword, whereas ‘make scrambled eggs fluffy’ is a long tail keyword. Additionally, location-based keywords are also useful. They are directly related to your business’s physical location. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location.

Use the keyword research tool – Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool to research your potential target keywords. With these tools, you can gather data on keyword volume and trends, keyword competition, similar keywords and more.

Analyse the results – After choosing your keywords don’t forget to monitor them and analyze the results. Don’t forget to utilize your keywords wherever possible! The more you use keywords within your content, the easier it will be for your target audience to find you.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way. However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content with keywords. Even if they’re good keywords, it’s still too much.

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