How to Identify, Select & Target SEO Keywords

In this tip, I’m going to show you how to identify the keywords people are using to find your products or services and how to include those keywords on your site to help improve rankings. Everything in this video is super simple and the only tools we’ll be using are the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Search and the SEO SERP Preview tool, which you can find in the Google Chrome extensions.

Why is Keyword Research Important

Understanding how users are searching is important for determining if there’s demand for your product or service online and for optimizing your pages to rank for those searches. It’s also important to know how to use those keywords on your site in order to rank well for those terms. The Google AdWords Keyword planner allows us to identify which keywords users are searching for and in what locations. This is one of the first things we’ve establish in any campaign, as it gives direction to the whole ordered process.

How Do You Get Started With Keyword Research

You should start with a list of a few keywords you think people might be searching for and then head over to the keyword planner. There are a few options on which your pick depends on what stage you’re at in your research. If you don’t know what keywords you should be targeting, it’s useful to use, Search for new keyword and ad group ideas. There, you can enter your initial keywords or provide Google with the URL of the page you’re optimizing, which will look at the keywords you’re already targeting and provide suggestions based on those.

You should also set your location and any keywords you wish to exclude from suggestions. When you’re ready, click Get Ideas. Google will provide you with keywords broke into categories, which you can then browse through and add to your list. The important information to look for is the average monthly search volume, which tells you how many people in your specified location have searched for those keywords. It’s important to note that the competition referred to in this tool is based on competition for Google AdWords, not organic search. However, it could be used as an indication of the number of businesses who are pursuing those keywords.

When selecting keywords, it’s important to try and identify which are directly relevant to your business and which imply high user intent for performing an action, such as making a booking or a purchase. Sometimes, if you’re not sure, it can be useful to search for those keywords and see what’s already ranking for those terms. For example, the key phrase meeting organizer, might mean someone who organizes meetings. But a search for the same, shows a lot of results for meeting planning software. Research also shows that site’s ranking for the term are relatively high authorities such as Wikipedia and Microsoft. Whilst it might be possible to rank for this keyword, it may also be much harder than other more relevant keywords.

When you’ve found a keyword that has good search volume and is relevant, you can add it to your list to download later. Once you have a good idea of the keywords you’re going to use, you need to add them to your site. The first step in this process is to identify which pages should target which phrases. Each page should ideally target one broad category of keywords.

How Do You Optimise Your Website for Keywords

When optimizing your site, you’ll want to make sure you include your keywords in several places. The titles, the descriptions, in your headings and content and in image file names and all text. Titles are shown in the browser tab and in search results. These have a direct impact on user click through rates and rankings. When writing a title, you should try and keep it below around 70 characters. Include your target keywords for that page, and make it attractive for users in search. It’s also common to include your brand name as a suffix. You can use the SEO SERP Preview tool to help you see what your title should look like in search.

Descriptions are also shown in search results and can help increase click-through rate. However, they don’t have an impact on rankings. When writing descriptions, it’s important to try and make them attractive for users, and sell the benefits of your service. You might like to include the target keyword and a reason users might want to visit your site. For example, if you offer free shipping, you should try and include that in the description. Again, you can use the SEO SERP Preview tool to get a better idea of what these will look like in search results. It’s also important to include your keywords naturally in the headings and content of your pages. Firstly, this makes sense for users because studies are showing that people are more likely to stay on a page if they see the words they search for. But also, because this is used by Google as a ranking factor.

Whilst you should make sure that you include your keywords on the page, you should avoid including keywords just for the sake of SEO. If keywords are used too frequently, it can appear manipulative and result in your page being demoted in search results. You should also look at including your keywords in a natural way, in your image file names and all text. This can help Google pick up your images in image search. It also improves your site’s accessibility for people with poor vision who’re using Screen Readers. And finally, it’s also used as a search ranking factor. Again, It’s important that rather than adding keywords just for the sake of SEO, you should try and be as accurate and descriptive as possible.

There are a couple of things you should avoid when optimizing your site for keywords. First, you should never hide keywords, whether you’re using the same colors as the background for the text, behind the images or off to the side using CSS. This technique is not approved by search engines and will likely result in penalties, or simply won’t be effective. You should also avoid trying to stuff in as many keywords as possible into titles, descriptions or headings. This appears banned to users and is also disapproved off by search engines.

With any optimization of your site, it’s important to consider users first and search engines second. Follow this simple rule and you’re unlikely to have any problems.

Chris is Director of Organic Search for Reprise Melbourne.