Before you had your own website, you may have thought web design and development would be your most challenging caveat. This was before you heard of two words that would change your life forever: Search Rankings.
Ranking high in Google is like having a gold egg-laying goose. In order to be discovered by anyone who doesn’t have your direct URL, a.k.a. almost everyone, you can’t be on the last page of search results. With every website scrambling to rank before the competition, how do you outrank them?
The secret is to target the right keywords
Long Tail Keywords
For starters, what are long tail keywords? They are a group of keywords that are more specific than standard keywords used in a search engine.
Long tail keyword: 2012 Toyota Corolla in NY
Long tail keywords are great for SEO for two main reasons:
- Cuts out competition. A search for ‘Toyota’ can display results from virtually any location, for any year, make, and model. With the above long tail keyword example, you would only be competing with other 2012 Toyota Corollas in NY.
- Brings in more qualified leads. In other words, the users who are searching these more specific keywords, are more likely to actually want your services. They’ve already done their initial research, and are certain of what they want right down to the car year. Instead of a flood of random users who may not even be able to make purchases because of location etc., you have less, but more promising visitors.
Have you already defined your business’s unique buyer personas? A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your business’s ideal client. If you haven’t yet, learn how in this easy guide.
The SEO benefit of buyer personas is to determine the problems and goals of your target audience. For example, you own a swimming pool company. What could a potential problem be for this target audience? Based on the problem, here are some keyword options.
- Problem 1: They have kids that will be home from school in the summer and would like to find a way to keep them busy.
Keywords: summer kid activities, children outside things to do
- Problem 2: They frequently entertain guests and would like to have more activities available for friends and family.
Keywords: patio entertainment, outdoor party activities
- Problem 3: They have a disability and are looking for different physical therapy options.
Keywords: physical therapy activities, physical therapy swimming
With an SEO service, your web marketer will run a keyword audit. This audit will produce a list of keywords that relate to your industry, how many times each one is searched, and the amount of competition there is for them.
While it may be tempting to simply target keywords with the highest searches, if the competition is too great your website may never show up until some of the last search results. It’s important to be strategic with this and make selections based on both searches and competition combined.
How to Use Keywords
Don’t… Place them on your website in one long list just to rank higher. Yes, it’s already been thought of and Google is on top of it.
Some exceptionally sneaky webmasters have gone as far as to hide keywords by matching the font color to the website background. If Google detects that you are using either one of these methods, your website can be penalized or even banned.
Do… Use keywords naturally through content. It’s not a bad thing to use keywords in blog titles and other places as long as they sound smooth.
If you begin ranking, but your content sounds awkward, users will dismiss your website as spam. Providing quality content should always be at the center of every marketing strategy and the rest will fall in line.
Having a solid SEO strategy sets you apart from the competition. Believe it or not, there are still businesses that know little to none about the importance of keywords and ranking.