Keywords are a crucial part of any form of marketing your business online. It is through keywords that people searching for your service can find you. It is also through keywords that you get your business on the first page of Google. Search engine optimization, or SEO, takes careful thought and is a long-term process, but the impact of this investment on your business growth makes it well worth your time. Here are some keyword tips to help and motivate you as you work to improve your rank on Google.
Use Keyword Tools
While it is a good idea to brainstorm keywords for your business to rank for, this should not be your only approach. What you think your target audience is searching for online may not be what they are actually searching for. Keyword research tools provide real user data to help you confirm whether the keywords you have thought of will improve your rank on Google, as well as to identify additional keywords that you may not have thought of on your own. Google has recently placed restriction on its free keyword tool, but there are many keyword tool alternatives that you can try.
Identify Keywords that Drive Traffic to Your Website
Keyword tools can be very helpful for finding and suggesting keywords, but keep in mind that the data they provide is generalized for all websites and users. If you want your website to rank on Google, one of the best resources for this is none other than your website! With an analytics tool such as Google Analytics or ThriveHive, you can identify the actual terms people searched for that led them to your website. You can also see which keywords you are already ranking for, and build more keyword clusters from there.
Related: Local SEO Pocket Guide
Be Realistic When Choosing Keywords
The key to improving your rank on Google is in being realistic. Yes, you want keywords with a high search volume, but keep in mind that these tend to be general. It is not realistic to think that everyone searching for a general term is looking for your specific service or information.
In addition, if the competition is also high for a particular keyword, it may not be realistic to think that you have a chance at ranking for that keyword. You may have a great blog post, with keywords in the title tags, meta content, URL link, and alt tags, but if your expectations for ranking are not realistic, you may end up disappointing yourself.
Use Long Tail Keywords
Being realistic about keywords brings us to one of the most commonly overlooked ways to improve your business’s website ranking on Google—long tail keywords. What are long tail keywords? They are longer keyword phrases and the remedy for high volume and high competition keywords!
These longer phrases that incorporate keywords are less competitive because fewer people or companies are able to provide such specific information; and they are more targeted because the people searching those phrases have more intent to engage or buy. You can improve your rank on Google by finding long tail keywords for your business most relevant to your target audience, and creating content from those.
Google Keywords Before Deciding
Whether you’re using specific keywords or long tail keyword phrases to get your business on Google, one very important keyword tip is always search your keywords before using them. This is a way to check to make sure that the content associated with your keyword is aligned with the content Google associates with that keyword.
Perform a Google search for your keyword and see what other content it pulls up. If the search results don’t reflect the content that you’re writing about, you will either need to change your content or change the keyword you are using.
Scope Out the Competition
While you’re looking at the keyword search results, take an even closer look at your competitors who are already on that first page. Are they large businesses, news sites, or government sites? If these competitors are wildly different from you, or if they have been around for several years, it may be hard to improve your ranking for this keyword. Another observation to make is the form of the content in the results. For example, if the search results are mainly product pages, and you have a blog post, your content may be seen by Google as less relevant. Make sure that what you’re trying to rank for reflects what people are actually searching for online.
Check Your Results
Improving your rank doesn’t do your business any good if it doesn’t help you reach your business goals and ultimately help you to get more clients for your business. Make sure that you are not just improving your rank in Google, but also improving along with your rank in Google. If your improved ranking is bringing in more website traffic or generating more leads, then your ranking is working for you. If you aren’t benefiting from the improved ranking, you are better off putting your time and energy into a different keyword strategy.
Appeal to People
It goes without saying that local search engine optimization involves catering content for search engines. However, with the rise of machine learning, search engines today are catering their activities around human behavior. When coming up with keywords for your website, website pages, and blog posts, think about what people are searching for and what they’re typing into Google, rather than trying to stuff your content with keywords (that just makes you sound like a robot!).
People are looking for content that speaks to and resonates with them. They are looking for businesses run by real people that they can trust. If you sound like a robot, people will not favor your content, and neither will Google. To improve your rank on Google using keywords, be sure to use variations of your keyword phrase and insert it into your post in a way that sounds like a human wrote it.
Promote Your Content
The more people who view your page, the higher it will rank on Google. Therefore, if you want to improve your rank, look to increase the amount of exposure your page gets. Share your content through social media, email, or your local news site. Put social buttons on your content for viewers to share to their accounts. Post a link to the page from your own personal account if you can, and have your employees do so as well. You may also want to reach out to a social media influencer and see if they will promote your content.
Effective SEO requires more than just keywords. It takes careful selection, diligent testing, and proper placement of those keywords in order to improve your rank on Google. Put time into following these tips, and you will get to see how SEO helps your business to grow!