By now, anyone with a website or blog understands how vital search engine optimization is. After all, creating high-value content that will resonate with your target audience is only part of what it takes to make your site a success. Those who are looking for it also need to be able to find it, and that’s where keywords come in.
Knowing you need a good keyword strategy in place is one thing, though. Figuring out which of your many options will help you reach your goals is another, which means effective research. The following keyword research tips can help you get started in the right direction.
1. Consider your audience’s needs
The best way to predict what your target audience members might be searching for is to put yourself in their shoes, so think like your customer. What problems might they be looking to solve that your product, service, or content can address? Are they looking to save money or time? Are they in the dark about a particular topic?
Great keywords provide the answers to questions like these and make a good foundation for a full-scale research campaign. Craft the content on your website and social media pages with these keywords in mind. Start a blog and fill it with content that expands upon topics your audience is interested in. You can also post an FAQ page that answers some of their questions outright.
2. Learn from your competition
Chances are you’re not the only one out there looking to sell a particular type of product or fill a specific niche. Who is your competition, and what keywords are they using to attract the attention of their ideal demographic? Who’s doing the best job of reaching their audience, and how does their strategy differ from competitors who could stand to improve?
Use what you learn to inform your own keyword research endeavors, but be careful of copying another company’s approach too closely. Consider ways your company could fill in the gaps left by your competitors’ content for the best results. What questions aren’t they answering that your target demographic might have? How can you expand upon what the other guys are doing and make it even more effective?
3. Refine your approach to keywords
When most people picture the keywords they’d love to rank for, they think of big, broad options that millions of people all over the country (if not the world) will be searching for, and they should be. However, the broader the keyword, the more competition there’s going to be. Definitely incorporate general keywords and key phrases into your content planning strategy, but don’t stop there.
Always refine your keyword usage with latent semantic indexing (LSI). LSI keywords address additional topics a searcher might be interested in or answer other questions they may also have. How well you fortify your content with keywords like these directly affects how well Google and the other search engines think you’re addressing the topic. The better you do, the more authority your content will be granted, and the better your chances of attracting the type of audience you’re after.
4. Don’t overlook local key terms
You don’t want to leave local search terms out of your keyword research strategy, either. This is especially the case if your website has any unique value for customers or information seekers in your area. What specific questions might someone from your city, state, or region be asking? Are there any unique ways your products, services, or content can serve those needs?
Local search terms may not cover as much ground as broader terms, but they’re often a lot less competitive. They also give you access to a lot of good quality traffic, so any well-rounded content strategy will include them. Make it a point to stay on top of search trends in your area for this reason.
Stellar keyword research and dynamic content creation aren’t impossible. However, they do take time, creativity, and consistency. If you’re willing and able to do it all yourself, that’s certainly an option, but don’t be afraid to outsource some of the work to professionals who can help. Great SEO strategies make good use of all the resources available.