Despite some issues keywords still have the ability to make or break your businesses online presence; they’re the reason Google’s bots are able to crawl your website and determine its rank amongst Google’s SERP’s. But, do you know how to get the most out of your keyword targeting? If the answer happens to be no, then by the end of this article you’ll be completely clued up on giving your business a cutting edge.
With Google processing at least a trillion searches every year, there are so many opportunities in terms of keywords for you to rank for and drive traffic to your website. Competition can be stiff though, with Google making 40 billion dollars a year and the majority of that money coming via keywords bidding, it can be hard if you don’t know what kind of keywords you should be looking for.
If you have no idea what you’re doing, you should start here and if you have an idea of what you’re doing then you’ll already be on your way to your chosen Keyword searching tool. There are plenty of tools out there for you to choose from to find out the competition for those keywords, here’s a list of free keyword tools you can use to find opportunities for your website:
This list isn’t even close to how many tools there are out there, but they can all tell you which pages are ranking for which keywords and from then on you can decide which you should try ranking for yourself.
Long-tail is king
If you’re a small business, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll rank for any general terms. Most of the large franchise type companies have those keywords on lock-down and have done for some time now, and more than likely will do for years to come.
But not all hope is lost.
Just because you can’t rank for general terms doesn’t mean that your company will never have a chance. You just have to be clever about it. For example, “Women’s hats” will be highly competitive because there are definitely going to be a lot of huge companies willing to pay fortunes to stay on that first results page. But, if you sculpt that keyword search to be much more specific then you’ve got a better chance. You would be far better off using something such as “Women’s red beanie hat Liverpool” see how much more specified this is? It’s much more likely it is to make your website rank highly, in short the more specified the keyword you’re trying to rank for is the better chance you have of ranking.
There is an added benefit to targeting long-tail keywords for your website. Let’s say I was looking for “Women’s hats” on Google, the likelihood would be that I’m just a browsing casually and have no real intention of actually making a purchase. This is the case with the mass majority of search enquires of this type. It may get your website lots and lots of traffic if you rank high for these keywords, however what percentage of that traffic has the intention of actually purchasing a hat. It’s very small.
On the other hand, let’s say someone searched for “Women’s red beanie hat Liverpool”. Well this person is clearly looking for something very specific, they know they want a ‘red beanie hat’ and they know they want to see where such hats are sold in Liverpool. This person wants to buy this hat, they have already made up their mind and they are looking for the best option in which to purchase from.
In other words, short-tail keywords may have high traffic but they have a low conversion rate (less people are likely to buy). However, long-tail keywords are generally lower in traffic but higher in conversions.
Content always matters
Content still is, and will remain to be the most important factor of ranking. Google works to understand its users query as best as possible and give it the best result it can from the search. If a user searches for an unspecified query then Google will more than likely figure out what they wanted and give them the best information on it possible. It’s something Google has focused on constantly and it’s the primary reason why they’re the most used search engine. They care for their users.
So, how much correlation is there between your content and the keywords on that particular page? This is a massive factor; you need to consider what users want to see when they search as well as what Bots want to see when they “crawl” your website. You need to mix great and unique content with an appropriate use of keywords in your text to appeal to both sides. By appealing to both, your rankings for your keywords should go up too because Google now sees you as a valuable source of information on that particular topic.
Scout the competition
OK, so you’ve chosen your keywords and optimized your site pretty well. But what if your competitors have done exactly the same as you? Chances are they’ve gone for long tail keywords too, and it’s your job to make sure they aren’t the same as yours. A great tool you can use for this is keyword spy which allows you to look at what your competitors are trying to rank for and how well they are doing with it.
If it turns out that you do have the same keywords as some of your competitors, then you need to make a decision on whether you can try to rival them for rankings or whether you should target something else entirely, make your decision based on how many results there are for certain keywords. You can see this just under the Google search bar, the higher the amount of results the less point there is in trying to compete with other people in your business sector.
So, is that it?
Keywords are something you should consistently keep an eye on because they’re forever changing. What works for you one week might not work the next, so it’s all about maintenance and spreading your budget over your whole campaign as best you can. If you take your eyes off it for a while, you could find yourself dropping in rank for all your keywords. The more attention you pay the more rewards you’ll receive.