Keyword Research for SEO Begginers
Keyword Research is IMPORTANT!
Before you start writing content for your website, or commissioning someone else to do so; do your research. Many people will advise you to use Google’s own Keywords tool and certainly it is helpful. However, my advice would be to start with your competitors! Simply search on the broadest term you feel your customer would use, when they are in surfing mode. In other words, most people searching the net use broad phrases when they are simply having a look around. Once they are more ready to buy they tend to use longer keyword phrases, sometimes referred to as long tailed keywords.
So, you would start your search, using the previous articles example, with patio furniture. Now, Google is smart and it remembers your customers surfing history plus it prides itself on delivering local results. So, the first page is likely to be companies in your area, companies you have previously bought from, and in this case often a selection of images of products available for sale. Now this broad keyword is likely to be very difficult to rank for and will have a lot of competition. It is however useful to look at those sites, read their articles and note other related keywords they are using.
Narrow down the search
If you search on a longer keyword phrase you will find less competition and have a better idea of what keywords you can use in your own content. For example, if you searched on “balcony height patio furniture” it brings up a lot of the big names, but also some independent websites that use a lot of other keyword phrases, such as patio furniture designs and even a geographical reference to patio furniture, Denver Colorado. Adding a location to your website content is another way to see off the competition and Google likes to support local business by promoting them on page one.
Using Keyword tools
There are a number of keyword tools, software and programs on the market, some much better and pricier than others. The advantage is that they cut down the research time. The disadvantage is that they assume a certain level of knowledge and some are, frankly, very poor. Many of them are based on Google’s own keyword tool anyway, which is free to use if you have a Google account (which is also free). A more relevant approach would be to use Google’s tool to check on the keywords and phrases you have found your competition using.
Trends in keywords
The English language is forever evolving and people’s tastes change over time. To see a picture of this try using Google trends search to see whether the topic of your website is actually an in trend search item. Using our patio furniture example, over the last 18 months, searches peak in the USA between April and July. You can go into more detail and see that Washington is actively looking for patio furniture in May whereas Florida residents look for patio furniture pretty steadily all year round! Obviously this example shows seasonal and weather influences, which can help you with your marketing. You can also see where a search peaks because an influential news item is written or an article published, for example in the Huffington Post.
Research before you write
Essentially, you want to make sure that what you write is what people are looking for. Detailed and accurate keyword research is an investment in making your website search friendly. It can be time consuming, so you may want to employ an expert to do the heavy lifting for you! If you miss out this step when writing content for your site, you may well be ignored by those Google spiders. Here at Premier SEO we are keyword experts and can help you to analyse and decide upon the best keyword phrases to use for that all important ranking.