When looking at designing or writing a new website – or even if you have one already but not checked it for a while, or maybe you are adding new pages, there’s a really simple yet VITAL way of ensuring you and your business will be found.
You should always plan and make time for keyword research when adding new content to the page so that you can correctly optimise for the right search terms.
Keyword research is used to help you find the actual search terms people enter, rather than the exact name of your product or service. Search terms can often differ from what you actually offer, and you should make sure you optimising for the correct terms to maximise the traffic to your website. But if you don’t know how to research keywords for your SEO strategy, we have put together a helpful guide that should give you some pointers.
Make A List of Your Services
Start with a pen and paper and make a list of all your key services and products. This will give you a great starting point as you will know exactly which keywords you are optimising for. Your business will of course rank for brand name related searches, but if you haven’t optimised your content fully, you might not be ranking for service related searches. For example, “Johns Chip Shop” might not be the search term someone s using, but Fish/Chips/Restaurant/Take Away/Town/Late Night/Food might be more realistic.
Useful Keyword Research Tools
Once you have your list of the products and services you want to optimise for, you will need to start researching search terms to find out what to optimise for. In other words – what words are people searching by? But in order to do this effectively, you will need to use keyword research tools to get and idea of keyword traffic volumes – how many people are searching for your services. There are loads of different keyword research tools that you can use but here are some of the most useful:
Google AdWords Keyword Planner – if you have an AdWords account setup, this is one of the best tools when thinking about keyword research, as it provides you with similar search terms and search volume for each keyword.
Google Trends – another useful tool when planning keywords as this gives you an idea of search volume over time. This way you can see if the popularity of a certain keyword is improving or decreasing and whether you should optimise for it.
Semrush – for digital professionals who want a complete work flow tool.
Answer the Public – this is a great tool if you are looking for long tail keywords (more than one word or a phrase) as it provides a whole list of the most popular questions in relation to your keyword. This means you can plan content based on what people are asking for.
Compare with Competitor Ranking
Another element to keyword research includes looking at where your competitors rank for keywords. Take a look at your closest competitors and see what they are using. For the big players you will never outrank them but you can come a close 2nd!
How to Optimise Keywords for SEO
If you haven’t optimised content before then you might not know where to start or which parts of the page should be optimised.
You should make sure that you are optimising all the content on the page, which includes the meta details, H1 headings and the image alt text where possible. We have supplied a brief guide of each piece of page content that should be optimised to give you a better idea;
|Content||Description||Optimisation||Where to Find|
|Body Text||This is the actual bulk of content that is included on the page.||You should make sure that this content includes several mentions of the keyword you are optimising for.||This content can be found in your Content Management System (ie WordPress) and should usually be in a content box.|
|Meta Title||This is the title of the page as it appears to Google in the Search Engine Results Pages.||You should make sure that there is a mention of your keyword in the title and that it is no longer than 65 characters.||Many websites have a SEO plugin that handles this and you should find it under a “meta details” or “SEO” tab.|
|Meta Description||This is the description that appears to people searching for your website on Google.||Again, you should make sure that your keyword is included once and aim for no longer than 155 characters. If you dont add specific content, Google will automatically take the first line of text from your home page with ….after it which looks lazy and unprofessional.||This should be found in the same place as the meta title. However, if you don’t have an SEO plugin you might not be able to optimise for this.|
|H1 Heading||This is the main heading on the webpage and one of the most important ranking factors.||This should include your desired keyword and can also introduce the page with up to 70 characters.||This can be more difficult to find in the CMS but is often included in the body text. Make sure that the correct H1 tag has been used and not a H2 tag.|
|Image Alt Text||This is the text added to an image so that Google can identify it and rank it for image searches.||It is good practice to add keyword focused image alt to the page as it can help to give an extra rankings boost.||It can be difficult to update the alt text as this is often found in different places in the CMS. When uploading an image, you should usually have an option to add alt text.|
|URL||The actual website address and URL in the search bar.||You could give yourself a boost in the SERPs by making sure that your keyword is included in the URL.||This is probably the most difficult to optimise for. If your URL is not optimised then you will need to put redirects in place to a new URL.|
Here’s a quick example to make it clear:
We hope this helps understand this a bit more for you, but as always, call us for a chat and we can help by talking you through it.