How do you attract more traffic organically to your site?
By giving your audience what they’re searching for.
And choosing keywords for SEO to target is one half of the key to getting your website and it’s content in front of your target audience (the other half is creating awesome content).
So how do you decide which are the right keywords to improve your SEO efforts?
Follow our 9 simple tips for choosing keywords for SEO
#1. Put yourself in their shoes.
If you want to know what search terms your target audience will use to search for you, pretend you’re a customer looking for your business. How would you describe what you’re looking for?
Ask friends and family how they would describe your business, your product or service. This will help you narrow down an early list of keywords and phrases.
#2. Do your keyword homework.
Next, conduct keyword research. Knowing what words and phrases your target audience are using to search for you will make it easier for you to decide which are the right keywords for your business.
You can either employ a freelance SEO consultant to help you with this research – they’ll do keyword research on a daily basis and will have access to the more technical information that can be found via keyword tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs, for example.
Google keyword planner tool, in particular, will help you gather all the relevant data you need including keyword volume and trends, the competition for those keywords and it will also suggest similar keywords you might not have thought of.
Google keyword planner is technically for use with Google ad campaigns, but anyone can use it.
Speaking of Google, Google themselves are a great way to find long-tail keywords. Simply enter your keyword in the search bar and Google will suggest relevant things you might be looking for.
#3. Check out your competition.
Go to your competitors’ sites and check out the keywords and phrases that they’re targeting or that they rank for. You can use these to help guide you in identifying key areas within your industry, as well as highlighting any gaps that they’ve missed, that you can fill.
#4. Utilise long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are the phrases that people use to search for you, not just single words.
These might have lower search volumes, but they’re far more specific and you’re therefore more likely to rank for them and attract better, more relevant traffic when you use them, plus you’ll have less competition for them.
#5. Keyword difficulty scores.
Most keyword research tools will have a keyword difficulty score which shows you how tough a particular keyword might be to rank for. The downside of keyword difficulty scores is that they’re based on backlinks, and while backlinks are important for SEO, they aren’t the be-all and end-all for ranking.
#6. Search volume.
It’s all good and well finding awesomely unusual keywords or long-tail keywords, but you need to know how many people are actually searching for these keywords.
You can find this information inside Google Keyword Planner (they call it ‘Avg. Monthly Searches’.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the results you get are an estimated range, not an exact number, so use them to guide your decision and take them with a pinch of salt.
And remember, ultimately, it’s up to you what keywords you think are worth using, there’s no minimum search volume that can guide you, every industry is different.
#7. Trending keywords.
This one is a grower – you are picking keywords that will grow in popularity giving you more traffic for those words over time.
Check out Google Trends and set the date range to the last 5 years and check out the results for your preferred keywords.
If a keyword is on the up or stable, it’s a winner; if it’s decreasing in popularity, ditch it.
#8. Analyse your results.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, don’t rest on your laurels and presume your work is done. Far from it.
Make sure you’re analysing the results, using Google Analytics, and that your chosen keywords are working for you.
#9. Use your chosen keywords in your content.
Here’s where the hard work begins because now you have to use your keywords in your content.
You need to produce content, embedding these keywords, that your audience is going to find useful and click on.
Make sure you include your keywords and long-tail keywords throughout your website – on your landing pages, your home page, in your blog posts, your social media posts, in your titles, your meta descriptions, your alt descriptions.
The more ways that you use your keywords, the easier it is for searchers to find you.
If you need help with this or any SEO plans for your small business, Market Jar are the on-page SEO experts.