The two most popular activities people engage with online are search and email. In fact, 68% of online activities start with a search engine. Consumers search for products, services, and businesses every day.
With search engine optimization (SEO), you can boost your website to the top of a search engine results page. A higher ranking will help more people find your business online.
Before you can improve your rankings, however, you’ll need the right SEO keywords.
What are SEO keywords, exactly, and how can you gather the research you need? Keep reading to find out! After reading this guide, you can develop a strong, effective search engine optimization strategy.
Then, you can generate more website traffic, leads, and sales, to set your business up for success.
Get started with this helpful guide today.
What Are SEO Keywords?
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First, let’s answer the question that likely brought you to this guide. What are SEO keywords, exactly?
Keywords are words and phrases consumers use during an online search. Keywords are either short-tail or long-tail. Short-tail keywords are usually made up of one or two words.
Unfortunately, short-tail keywords are usually broad. For example, someone might search “flowers” hoping to find bouquet ideas. Perhaps they’re interested in finding a nearby flower shop instead.
With short-tail keywords, it’s difficult to determine what exactly the consumer is searching for. A long-tail keyword, on the other hand, is more precise. Long-tail keywords are made up of four or more words.
For example, someone might search “best flower shop in New York.”
Once you’ve gathered your keyword research, you can develop a more informed search engine optimization strategy. You can use your keyword research to determine what blog content you’ll create. Adding a high-traffic keyword to a post could help you generate more traffic.
When someone searches for that keyword, your blog post could appear as a search result.
Using SEO keywords can also help boost your credibility. Reaching the top of a search results page will position you ahead of competitors. Consumers might begin to view you as a thought leader within your industry.
You can establish your credibility to gain brand trust, which could help you generate more leads and sales. Consumers will learn more about your product or service, too. They might feel confident enough in you to make a purchase.
As you generate more leads, conversions, and sales, your ROI will continue to improve.
Search engine optimization is a cost-effective marketing strategy. You won’t pay when someone clicks on your website from a search. You can generate leads without blowing through your entire budget.
Reaching the top of a search page will boost your online visibility, too. Consumers will continue seeing your site, allowing brand awareness and recognition to grow. You might have an easier time remaining top-of-mind as a result.
How to Gather Keyword Research
Now that we’ve answered the question “what are SEO keywords,” let’s talk about gathering keyword research.
It’s important to gather your research before you start writing blog content. Stuffing keywords into an already-written post can make the content sound awkward. Instead, you can use a high-traffic keyword to inform what content you’ll create.
Here are a few steps you can follow to gather the keyword research you’ll need.
1. Research Your Audience
Before rushing to create a list of target keywords, take the time to understand your audience. Researching your audience will help you choose the right keywords. Otherwise, your keywords and content might not appeal to their interests.
Determine who your customers are based on demographics and psychographics. If necessary, group your customers into buyer personas. Then, gather research with each audience group in mind.
Segmenting your audience into smaller groups will help you personalize your content. You might have an easier time understanding the user’s search intent, too.
2. Consider Search Intent
The user’s search intent can help you understand what they expect to find from a search. Search intent is often:
For example, consumers might want to find a product available for purchase in their area. Maybe they want to learn more about your products first. Perhaps they want to find a video tutorial instead.
Understanding the user’s search intent will help you use your keywords effectively within your content.
About 8% of search queries are phrased as questions. You can answer these questions within your content to show consumers you can help.
3. Use the Right Tools
Once you understand your customers and their search intent, you can start gathering keyword research. Use tools like SEMRush, Google Trends, Ahrefs, and Keyword Planner. Use this tool to discover your top-ranking keywords as well.
Remember to focus on long-tail or high-traffic keywords. Try to find keywords with a high search volume and low competition. Otherwise, you might struggle to rank ahead of competitors for broad or overly popular keywords.
Gather secondary keywords for each head keyword you choose as well.
Using Keywords in SEO Content
Once you’ve gathered your keyword research, you can start writing. Pick a high-traffic, long-tail keyword to start. Then, create a blog post that aligns with the user’s search intent.
As you write your content, make sure the head keyword appears in the:
- Page title
- An H1 header
- Opening and closing paragraphs
- Body text
- Image alt text
- Image file name
- Meta description
Avoid stuffing your content with the same head keyword too many times. Otherwise, Google might penalize you for keyword stuffing.
Make sure the head keyword reads naturally within the content as well. Remember, you’re writing for humans, not search engines.
Once you start using your keyword research to create content, review your website analytics. Determine which keywords are attracting the most traffic. Determine which posts fail to attract attention, too.
You can use your analytics to make more informed decisions in the future.
What Are SEO Keywords?: Your Path to Higher Search Engine Rankings
To recap, what are SEO keywords? They’re words and phrases you can use to create blog content. With search engine optimization, your content could appear during a consumer’s online search.
Then, you can generate more website traffic, leads, and sales to grow your business.
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