How to Choose Keywords for Your Content Strategy
When it comes to SEO, content is the key to success. Having a few high-quality pieces of content on your site can drastically boost your page views and sales leads. With this in mind, it’s important to have a content strategy in place that utilises high-ranking keywords for your industry. So, how do we do this? To rank in search and allow people to find your content, you’ll need to choose the right keywords. In this article, we explain exactly how to choose the keywords for your content strategy, so you’re not left in the dark. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep reading.
Think Like a Customer
To create an initial list of keywords, you need to think like a customer. If you wanted to find one of the products or services that you offer, what would you search for? If you’re struggling, try consulting your family, friends or current customers to get their opinion on phrases they would type in. This will allow you to come up with an initial list of keywords that are relevant to your product or service.
Research the Competition
Before choosing your keywords, it’s important to research the competition. Make a list of your main competitors and visit their site to see what keywords they are using. Read their content to discover what keywords they are targeting and take note. This will not only broaden your list of ideas, but it will also help you to see what you could be missing.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
Once you’ve got a list of ideas, it’s time to narrow it down and choose a few to target. To do this, you’ll need to find out what people are searching for. With the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you can view data on keyword popularity and trends, competition and similar keywords. This can help you to broaden your list of initial ideas. At this stage, you’ll probably have a few keywords in mind that you want to rank for. In most cases, these will be your most popular products or services, or any other topics that your site addresses. The next step is to enter those keywords into a keyword research tool to view their average monthly search volume. This will help you to determine which variations of your keywords are most popular amongst users.
You’ll notice that the search volume of those keywords varies drastically. While you want to target keywords that people are searching for, it can sometimes work best to target phrases with a lower search volume as they’re less competitive. Essentially, you need to find a balance between the search volume and competitiveness of the word. We’ll explain this further in the next point.
Research the Search Volume
The higher the search volume for a keyword, the more work is required to achieve a higher ranking. This is referred to as keyword difficulty and sometimes incorporates SERP features; for instance, if several SERP features such as carousels and featured snippets are taking up space on a keyword’s result page, it will be harder to rank highly. As major brands often take up the top results for high-volume words and phrases, it can be almost impossible to rank for the same keywords if you’re just starting out on the internet.
In most cases, the higher the search volume, the higher the competition. This means that more effort is required to achieve organic high-ranking. If you go for a low-volume keyword, however, you risk not drawing any users to your website. With this in mind, going for medium competition but highly specific keywords can often work best. In SEO, these are known as long-tail keywords.
Avoid Keywords with Ambiguous Intent
While it may be tempting to choose keywords that have 50,000+ searches a month, this generally isn’t the best strategy. In some cases, terms with high search volumes may indicate ambiguous intent; if you target these keywords, you could put yourself at risk for drawing searchers to your site who aren’t interested in your products or services.
Include Longtail Keywords
Longtail keywords are a combination of three or more words. Although longtail keywords often have lower search volumes, they attract more relevant traffic to your site. Additionally, they are generally less competitive and therefore easier to rank well on. Choosing longtail keywords that specify your product or service can be the key to success with content SEO.
Ensure Your Keywords Match Your Topic
In some cases, people are so desperate to use a high-ranking keyword that they forget that the content needs to be relevant to your audience and read well. Instead of trying to cram high-ranking keywords into your content, choose words and phrases that fit naturally. If a keyword doesn’t suit your content, try altering the word slightly or choose a different topic to write about. To be relevant to your audience, the content and keywords need to work well together.
Track the Results
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, don’t forget to track them and analyse the results. Keep up to date with trending keywords or terms and try to include them in your content. It’s also worth monitoring any new keywords your competitors are using; if they suit your product or service, include them in your content and analyse the results.
Once you’ve found keywords that work, utilise them wherever possible. Include them in the page title or tag, the meta description, the keywords meta tag, the body content and even the graphics. The more you use effective keywords in your content, the easier it will be for consumers to find you.