When it comes to SEO, keywords have always been (and still are) the gold standard – and keyword research is one of the most valuable things you can do for your business. Ranking for the right keywords will help you draw in quality visitors and, in turn, increase conversions and sales.
So how can you be sure you’re using the right words? It’s pretty simple, actually. Here’s what you need to know:
Before we get into determining the value of a keyword, we’re going to go over the basics – like, what exactly is a keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase used to identify what people are searching for, or to describe the topic that you’re writing about. Ideally, the two align and the terms people enter into search engines lead them to your web page.
Why Do Keyword Research?
It isn’t enough to just make a list of words related to your business and assume that’s what people are searching for (although, that’s a great place to start). It’s important to research those words and phrases so you can find the topics your audience is actually searching for. Often, that means just a slight tweak to the word or phrase you were initially using – but even if it’s just a tiny change, it can make a world of difference when it comes to search results.
Why? Google uses keywords as a SEO ranking factor when deciding where to place your content in search results. Using the right keywords will help them understand what your content is about and ensure that they show it to the right people. On the other hand, if you don’t use keywords and Google can’t really tell what you do, they’re not going to show your content to anyone.
How To Do Keyword Research
The first step in keyword research is to think about your mission. Who are you? What is your website about? What makes you special? Who are you trying to reach?
From there, make a list of words you think your ideal client might be searching for. What are the terms you want to be found for? Many people choose to use Google Adwords Planner at this point to find related terms and phrases. While not really useful in actually telling you what your audience is searching for, it does help come up with additional ideas.
If you have a WordPress website, we like to recommend the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s easy-to-use and great for beginners, and it offers a slew of SEO benefits – including keyword optimization. Not only will it analyze your text for keyword usage, but it will also suggest synonyms and related phrases.
If you don’t use WordPress, you can always use the Yoast Suggest website (which is useful but doesn’t offer as many features as the plugin).
How To Determine the Value of a Keyword
During your brainstorming session and your subsequent research, you’re likely to come up with hundreds of related keywords and phrases. How do you know which ones to use and which to scrap? For example, if you create crafts for kids, are people more likely to search for “fun crafts for kids” or “easy crafts for kids?”
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. No tools exist which allow you to see directly how any given keyword relates to the traffic that arrives at your site.
To truly understand the value of a keyword, you first have to understand your own website and the audience you’re trying to attract.
In the above example, for instance, you’d have to consider your niche. Do you want to be thought of as someone who makes crafting easy for kids? Or someone who offers, fun, unique projects? If you use “easy crafts” as a keyword phrase, but your visitors can’t actually find anything “easy” on your website, do you think they’re going to stick around?
Estimating keyword value can make your SEO campaigns a lot more effective. And while there are no concrete ways to put a value on a keyword, using tools like the Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress website can make it a lot easier. If you have questions about how you can optimize the keywords on your website, call us today. We can recommend the appropriate tools or even help you design a whole new site if you’re ready for an upgrade.