While offering a great product or service is essential to a business’ success, their online presence is just as important. Since the majority of consumers are using search engines to find products or services, it’s very important for a business to appear above their competitors in search results. The importance of positioning on a search engine has given birth to a cottage industry called “SEO”. In a previous article, we explained what SEO was and today we’ll look at how to use it to improve your search engine rankings.
The primary question is this: what are the keywords that a business’ target audience is searching for? Using several research tools available online, you can find out which keywords are appropriate for your business. Then you can utilize these keywords using SEO tactics to elevate your business’ site in search results.
Think of Potential Keywords
Before you dig into any research tool, just think to yourself: What are people typing in on Google to reach businesses that are similar to mine? For example, if you run a shoe shop then some immediate options could include “best shoe shop”, “most popular shoe shops”, and “best shoes”. Alternating words with other words that mean something similar can help in your first step of organically brainstorming potential keywords.
Research these Keywords
Now that you have 3-5 keywords in mind, it’s time to use online tools to see how popular they are. The Search Term Suggestion Tool provides users with advanced information on specific keywords. If you type in “rehabs”, you’ll be treated to similar keywords, in addition to the market share of these keywords on each of the major search engines. Under the similar keywords, you can view more specific keywords and how many times they were searched for in the past 12 months.
Google’s Keyword Planner is another research tool to help you pick the best keywords for your company’s website. Here, you can simply enter in various keywords and you will be provided keyword suggestions, in addition to the average number of monthly searches, the competition, the suggested bid, and the ad group. This is a more elaborate tool that most SEO professionals use to gauge the potential success of a keyword.
Analyze the Keyword Data
Researching these keywords will lead you to all sorts of information regarding their popularity and value. Now it’s up to you to combine these results to figure out which keywords will be most effective for your business. There are various factors of importance, but your top priority should be to consider how relevant a keyword is to your business and your business’ niche. Go through the keywords and, on a scale from one to five, with five being the best, rank the relevancy of these keywords to your business. A keyword won’t have much use if the wrong type of user is searching for it, so keep consumer traits in mind.
By using the same ranking system, rank the popularity (number of searches) of these keywords. This is easily accessible with Google’s Keyword Planner. By this point you probably have dozens of potential keyword ideas, so sort these keywords into five tiers. Put a ‘5’ next to the tier with the most popularity, and evenly distribute this score among the tiers.
Now that every one of your potential keywords is scored in both relevancy and popularity, you can begin to decide which keywords to use. The best keyword possibilities are both highly relevant to your business and popular enough to see substantial daily search results. To see the final score of a specific keyword, add together the scores of a keyword’s relevancy and popularity. You should see several keywords with a score of 8, 9, or 10. Remember to not use a very common term like “shoes” or a very specific one like “dancing shoes for ballet”, but rather something in the middle.
Implement the Keywords
Now with your keyword ideas ready, you can begin implementing these keywords throughout your business’ website, and on any guest posts that you may publish on other sites to advance the SEO strength of your business’ website. Over time, you will notice a performance increase in your business’ website in search results.