Keywords are an essential part of any good SEO strategy. When used correctly, they can help businesses rank across the world’s most popular search engines and stay two steps ahead of their competition.
Why is ranking for pivotal keywords so important?
To put things in perspective, over 85,000 Google searches happen every second. That means every second, your brand has an opportunity to connect with a new customer and scale your business in a new direction.
However, your competitors have that same opportunity: to draft content that provides insight and value to customers who would otherwise purchase your products.
So how do you make sure you rank for the right keywords?
Let’s get some answers.
Why are keywords so important?
Keywords are tools you use to communicate with search engines. They’re an integral part of any full-scale SEO strategy and are a driving force in bringing new traffic to your web pages.
Keywords are important for several reasons. If you want to rank higher on search engines than your competitors, you’ll need to be more strategic about the words and phrases you use in your landing pages and content. To see your business grow, you’ll need to start expanding your keyword choices in ways that include new keywords with new potential.
How do I know which keywords to rank for?
Keywords are everywhere. As a marketing professional, you’ll need to find the ones that have the most potential for your business. Finding the right keywords is integral to your success on search engines. Studies show that 92.42% of keywords only get ten monthly searches or fewer. If you choose the wrong keywords, you may not be reaching your full potential.
The right approach to ranking your search terms often combines high-volume and low-volume keywords, to provide some easier opportunities for ranking while you work to rank for more competitive words.
Reference the three suggestions below for some quick tips on ranking the best keywords for your business.
1. Consider your searcher’s intent
As a first step in determining which keywords to use in your content, you’ll need to think like a potential consumer. What do you think a user might be searching to find your company, or to find the products or services your company offers? This question can help you develop a list of long-tail keywords you can choose from.
Let’s imagine that your company sells baseball jerseys. The more applicable keywords you can include in your website’s content, the better chance your company has to rank for any and all of them.
Instead of simply including “jersey” in your content, you might also consider some of the following keywords:
- Sports jersey;
- Baseball sports jersey;
- Baseball sports jersey for adults.
Over time, these and other keywords can help your website rank for several different searches consumers might make online. You can “stack” long-tail keywords based on words you already use.
2. Try Google Trends
Google Trends is a free tool that helps marketers search for main and supplementary keywords they can utilize to strategically develop content. This tool provides you with a suite of in-depth research and data tools that can help you learn more about particular keywords.
With the search volume trends feature, you can easily find popular keywords that fit your niche, use them in your content and discover similar keywords you can leverage. It’s also great for finding new topics, finding breakout keywords, and providing historical data about keywords you’re interested in using.
3. Competitor analysis
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the actions your competitors are taking to rank their chosen keywords. Competitors’ actions can provide insight into the keywords you should prioritize, and those you might want to avoid.
There are free SEO tools you can use, like MozBar, to help you see your top SERP competitors and keyword gaps to find new opportunities. SERP stands for search engine results page. It’s an SEO term for the result page an individual sees after they query a search with a search engine.
How do I rank for new keywords?
Once you know and understand the different resources you can use to find new keywords, it’s time to identify the keywords you want to rank for, and begin to employ strategies that see your chosen keywords rise in the ranks.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to ranking for your preferred keywords:
1. Maintain website SEO best practices
You can’t just assume that using the keywords on any ol’ website will help you rank. To give your keywords the best chance to rank online, you;ll want to make sure your website is otherwise optimized appropriately.
Here are a few ways that you can optimize your website, to give it the best chance to rank well for the keywords you choose:
- Fix duplicate and missing title tags;
- Improve your meta descriptions and meta titles;
- Fix and adjust all multiple H1 tags;
- Optimize your content images for SEO;
- Adopt an SEO-friendly URL structure;
- Take advantage of digital PR opportunities.
This is just to name a few technical, off-page, and on-page SEO opportunities outside of keywords. It’s always recommended to make a habit of optimizing and adjusting your SEO initiatives to get the most out of your webpage content.
2. Start your new keyword research
Too many organizations rush the keyword research step, so that they can begin creating content right away. Instead, you’ll want to take your time when researching the best SEO keywords, to ensure that you truly identify all of the keywords that your brand should rank for.
The ideal SEO keyword strategy combines low-volume and high-volume keywords, which usually means a combination of low-competition and high-competition terms. This approach should allow you to rank well for lower-volume terms, while you dedicate more time, more content and more resources toward ranking for more competitive keywords.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure your chosen keywords are relevant to your business. You don’t want to have to focus on terms that aren’t relevant to your business, even if they have significant volume. If a particular keyword won’t resonate well with your particular audience — or if you can’t picture your customers searching for a specific term — it’s generally not a keyword you’ll want to include in your plans.
3. Consider your content
Armed with the new keywords you’re aiming to rank for, it’s time to start looking for ways to integrate terms into your content. To rank for your keywords, you’ll want to utilize them in compelling content pieces on your website. These include:
- Landing page copy;
- Product pages;
- How-tos, articles and guides;
- Directory listings;
- Video content.
Get creative and have some fun with the content you create. The more compelling the content you create, the more likely potential customers are to click on your content, read your content, engage with your content, share your content and purchase your products or services as a result.
4. Keep things high-quality
When you’re integrating target keywords into your content, it’s important to keep your approach moderate. Don’t get too excited or go overboard. Fine-tuning an SEO strategy with new keywords is all about crafting high-quality content. Google thinks so, too! Google constantly crawls web pages in search of high-quality, compelling content that provides value to the searcher.
As you’re creating new content, you should also be optimizing your current content to complement the new keywords. You can do this by refreshing your old blogs, product pages and landing pages or adding more content where you don’t currently have any.
As you optimize and revise your content, ensure everything you do accommodates Google’s accessibility guidelines. You can add your new keywords to image files, metadata and directly into article content, all to provide a clear indication to both readers and search engines that your content provides long-term value.
6. Show off your new content
Once your content is published and ready to be explored by potential prospects, it’s time to share it on other networks! Social media channels are a great tool that helps increase traffic to your website and get your content noticed by others.
Besides social media, find other creative ways to introduce your new content to new eyes. Consider email marketing as an avenue to showcase new content, perhaps to new prospects or to purchasers who haven’t returned.
7. Analyze and revise your keyword strategy
SEO is a constantly changing game, and digital marketing professionals are always trying to accommodate evolving search engine algorithms. The best way to get the most out of your SEO strategy and keywords is to remain open to changing search engines, standards, best practices and reader preferences.
After identifying your target keywords and incorporating those keywords into your web content, it’s time to sit back and allow your content time to rank appropriately. Here are some factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking content:
- Backlinks to your website;
- Mobile optimization;
- Authority of your page and website in general;
- Quality of your content and usefulness;
- Organization of keywords.
These items represent only a few of the many ranking factors that Google considers when placing your content in context. The algorithm is updated regularly, which means your brand has regular opportunities to update your content in parallel to provide ongoing value for readers. To stay ahead of your competitors, you’ll want to always look at new ways to improve your SEO best practices and content.
Get more out of your SEO strategy today
If you’re serious about your digital marketing initiatives and learning how to rank your website, you’ll want to prioritize an SEO strategy and always keep an eye out for new keywords. The best way to sharpen your knowledge of keywords and SEO content is to enroll in a Digital Marketing Bootcamp with Workforce Institute, to accelerate your growth through next-level digital strategy.
Our Digital Marketing Bootcamp can accelerate your understanding of SEO, keyword research, and the strategies necessary to rank your website where it belongs.