Writing by Brick Marketing in Keyword Research
At the foundation of an SEO campaign are the keywords that are selected. Selected keywords are incorporated into every piece of content that is produced on behalf of an SEO campaign and an overall online marketing campaign. It starts with the content on the actual business website, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to build relevant inbound links and generate website traffic it’s necessary to create content such as guest blog posts, articles, press releases, blog comments, online profiles, and social media posts. In order to attain ranking in the search engines for specific keywords, it’s necessary to use these keywords naturally throughout each piece of content that is created. If the chosen keywords aren’t completely relevant or are too broad and competitive, you’ll find that you are getting the wrong traffic to your website or are getting very little traffic at all.
The SEO process begins with keyword research. Many website owners that choose to do some SEO on their own skip over this step. They think that they know their business so well that they know what keywords to target. The thing is, knowing the business so well can get in the way. Someone that is just starting their research probably won’t be using the keywords or phrases that the website owner had in mind, which is why research is essential.
For each page of the website, create a list of potential keywords or keywords that you’d like to target. Then, using a keyword tool (like the one that Google provides), plug these keywords in and see what kind of related keywords show up. This is where it’s important to be realistic. The list of keywords generated isn’t always 100% relevant and it’s up to you to pick the ones that are appropriate to your content.
The next thing to consider is the competitiveness of the keyword. For example, we are an SEO company. While it makes sense to target SEO company, SEO firm, and SEO agency, it doesn’t make sense to target the broad term “SEO”. People that search for “SEO” could be looking for lots of things other than a service provider. Maybe they just want to know what SEO means. In many industries, these broad keywords will be extremely difficult to rank for, especially if there are any big guys in your industry. For instance, if you operate an e-commerce site you will have difficulty competing with the likes of Amazon, Ebay, etc. They have such a giant trust factor that you’ll want to stay away from the keywords that they are ranking for.
Instead, focus on the long tail keywords that have less competition. If a broad keyword has more than 20 competitors (including the big guys), maybe a long tail keyword only has 6 or so competitors. If you operate a local business, remember that the localization of the keyword automatically makes it a long tail keyword. For example, if your law practice only serves a particular city, it doesn’t make sense to target “law firm”. Instead you will be targeting something much more specific like, “Boston MA personal injury law firm”.
Even with the best SEO campaign in place, unless you are a huge trusted website it can be difficult to rank for the broad keywords. Instead, go after niche (long tail) keywords to start. As your site becomes more trusted and your brand becomes more recognized, you may be able to add some broad keywords into the mix very gradually.