The 5 Best Places to Find the Right Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
While you can no longer rank a site with keyword stuffing alone, keywords can help the search engines understand what your content — and thus your business — is about.
CodyTextbroker Marketing and Communications
As search engine algorithms get smarter and smarter, an increasing number of people believe that keywords no longer matter. Content is king, the saying goes, and they assume that as long as you are producing high-quality, relevant content, the customers will come.
At Textbroker, we’re firm believers that all businesses should start with well-written content that meets their customers’ needs. Providing that content is the focus of our business.
However, experience shows us that keywords should still play an important role in your content marketing plan. While you can no longer rank a site with keyword stuffing alone, keywords can help the search engines understand what your content — and thus your business — is about. Keyword analysis can also help you understand what your customers are searching for.
A full-time paid search analyst might cost you around $46,000 a year, but you can do much of this research on your own. We’ve put together this helpful list of some of the best places to find the right keywords for your SEO strategy.
Rack Your Brain for the Right Keywords
It might sound silly, but using your own brain is often one of the best places to start. You know what your business is about. You know what types of things your customers need. Ask any staff members that interact with customers to provide input as well.
Remember, though, that not all customers are coming directly to your page with an intent to buy. Some are looking for solutions to their problems, and others are looking for information. These different stages are called the customer journey, and it’s a good idea to have content that reaches potential buyers at each of these stages. For instance, if you own a furniture store, you’d use product-related keywords like “living room set,” but you’d also want to have content that people might search for during their decision-making process like, “best sofa fabrics for families with young children” or “how to choose a bed frame.”
Use Site Analytics to Find Keyword Trends
Google’s Analytics tool shows you a lot of valuable data. You can see which search terms are currently bringing people to your website and then track where they go once they’re ready to leave that page.
How can you use this data to your benefit?
First, you can look at the bounce rate. If customers are landing on your website after searching for a particular term, then leaving right away, this may indicate that your site doesn’t have the information they need. They look elsewhere. Take this as a sign that you should modify the focus of that page to be a better fit or change the keyword of the page to something more relevant.
You might also notice that once people finish reading the page they landed on, they often check out a different page on your site. These pages may not be doing well in the search engines, but they clearly offer something that your customers need. You should consider looking for ways that you could better optimize those pages.
Google’s Free Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular tools for keyword research. It’s intended for use with the AdWords program, but many marketers use the data here to generate more ideas.
Once you enter a potential keyword, the tool will show you the search volume for that keyword, along with many other keywords that relate to the one chosen originally. It’s a robust tool that can really take your site to the next level, but it does have a few pitfalls, as explained in this piece on Moz.
Paid Keyword Research Tools
If you’d like access to more thorough data, consider paying for your research tools. Paid tools give you more keyword suggestions and average searches per month as well as a more complete picture of how you can use the keywords and what the competition looks like. Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool, for instance, assigns a difficulty score to each keyword. This lets you know how difficult it will be to have your site rank for that keyword.
Competitors’ Sites for Applicable Keywords
It’s also smart to pay attention to how your competitors are using keywords to rank in the search engine results pages, especially if their site is ranking higher than yours. You can easily glean some information by simply looking at their sites. Repeated phrases and phrases in the headlines are likely to be the keywords that they’re using. Many websites also include meta keywords in the HTML code if you’re able to read that.
You can also pay for tools that will help you research your competition. SEMrush and Ahrefs both have a strong focus on keeping tabs on the competition while still offering keyword suggestions and insight into other data trends.
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