Keywords are phrases search users type into the Google search box. These keywords are how search users find the information they want in search engines.
Google value keywords too.
Google uses keywords to organize pages they find on the web.
For example, when the Google web crawler finds a page about motorcycles, keywords help Google know that the content on the page is about bikes.
It helps Google rank the content for keywords related to motorcycles, not bicycles.
Of course, Google uses a lot of other factors when ranking web pages in its search results. But, the whole thing begins with keywords.
That is why you should understand keywords if you want to get a lot of traffic from the Google’s organic search results.
Keep in mind that Google’s organic search is different from Google’s paid search.
Appearing in Google’s organic search results is free. However, you’ll have to pay to appear in Google paid search results.
Google’s paid search is expensive. You pay each time a search user clicks on your ads. Your competitors want to appear in those paid search results too.
Google displays the company that’s willing to pay the highest amount per click.
But you can also compete and gain a lot of valuable customers through organic search results. You’ll have to understand keywords if you want to achieve that.
How do you choose keywords that will drive prospects to your website?
There are trillions of phrases a search user could type into the search engine. You want to ensure that your company’s site appears for those keywords that are related to your business.
To find these keywords, you have to do keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of looking for keywords that will help prospects find your site in search engines.
So, are you ready to know how to choose keywords for SEO to target on your site?
Why is keyword research important?
Imagine the below scenario:
Site A and Site B are in the same niche and sell similar products at the same price.
Site A receives 500,000 visitors through search engines.
Site B receives 5,000 visitors through search engines.
Site A gained 100 customers in the past 30 days.
Site B gained 100 customers in the past 30 days.
Site B, of course.
Even though Site A receives 500,000 visitors, most of these visitors aren’t potential customers.
You don’t need hundreds of thousand visitors from search engines. You need potential customers. Not just anyone.
A prospect could also be someone who doesn’t need your product today but may need it months or even years later.
These are the people you should be driving to your site from search engines.
For example, let’s say your business is a digital marketing agency in Texas like Digiboost.
You need small and medium-sized business owners visiting your site.
Keywords that sports enthusiasts type into the Google search engine won’t lead to sales.
For example, if 500k sports enthusiasts from Texas visit the site, none of them may convert into clients.
If 5k entrepreneurs from Texas visit the site, ten visitors or more may convert into clients.
You don’t need a lot of visitors. You need the right visitors who want your product or service.
That’s why keyword research is extremely important when selling online.
A shoe store should target keywords shoe buyers or fashion fans are typing into the Google search engine.
Why keyword research is important today as it was 10 and 20 years ago
Keywords have been an important part of search engines right from the beginning.
Many believe that keywords may not be as important as they were 10 or 20 years ago because search engines have gone through a lot of changes in the past years. Yes, Google now considers a lot of factors when ranking sites in its search results.
The truth is that keywords remain important today as they were many years ago.
Maybe even more important because you still need to rank for the right keywords that are related to your business.
The way marketers use keywords has changed too.
Some years ago, you may rank for a keyword by mentioning it over hundred times on your page. Marketers called it keyword stuffing.
Today, keyword stuffing no longer works. Google and Bing are completely against keyword stuffing.
Google looks at the primary keyword you want to rank for and a variety of keywords that are related to your main keyword.
If your page is targeting the keyword “social media marketing,” Google expects to see keywords like “Facebook,” “Instagram,” “Twitter,” “LinkedIn,” and “Pinterest.”
For example, this page on the WordStream’s blog targets the keyword “social media marketing.”
If you visit the page, you’ll see phrases like “Twitter for social media marketing,” “Facebook advertising,” “social media marketing on Instagram” and more phrases related to the target keyword.
Google looks for these words and many others to see if your content is about social media marketing.
If you want to rank for a keyword like “jet engine,” Google bots expect to find words like “rocket,” “turbojet,” and “airbreathing.”
These words are what you expect to find in a content that discusses jet engines.
People are also doing voice search. Google and Bing let their users search by using their voice.
The phrases search users say are also keywords.
Most of these phrases are questions. You need to target them too.
Understand different types of keywords
There are three types of keywords, and you need to understand each one of them.
- Head keywords: They usually contain one or two words and receive a high number of searches per month, e.g., social media, Facebook marketing.
- Body keywords: They usually have two to three words and receive a good volume of searches, e.g., social media marketing, Facebook marketing strategies.
- Long tail keywords: They have four or more words and receive a low search volume on Google. However, they make up most of the searches in search engines, e.g., how to do social media marketing, the best Facebook marketing strategy for small businesses.
Head keywords have high competition. Ranking for them is hard.
It could take years before your site may be able to compete for head terms.
Body keywords have moderate competition. It may also take years of work to rank for most of them.
Most long tail keywords have moderate to low competition. You can rank for most long tail keywords within a year. You could even rank for some long tail keywords without targeting them on your pages.
Long tail keywords make up about 70% of total queries in search engines.
I recommend that you target long tail keywords in your content. It’s easier to rank for most long tail keywords than the other two types of keywords.
It’s also easier to convert visitors from long tail keywords than other keywords.
Long tail keywords are more specific. You know what the search users want, and you can give it to them in the content. For example, Cute Smile 4 Kids, an orthodontics and pediatric dentistry in Arizona, target long tail keywords on their home page.
Understand LSI keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) are keywords that are related to your main keyword.
Google uses LSI keywords to gauge the quality and comprehensiveness of your content.
If you have created a page about marketing, Google expects to see most words related to marketing.
The more LSI keywords you have on a page, the better your content will perform in search engines.
So, after you’ve chosen a keyword you’ll like your page to rank for in search engines, you also need to know some LSI keywords you need to use on the page.
I use LSI Graph to find LSI keywords.
Just enter your main keyword and click “Generate.” The tool will return some LSI keywords Google expects to see on your page.
For example, some LSI keywords for “social media marketing” are:
- Social media marketing tips
- Social media marketing agency
- Social media marketing platform
- Social media marketing strategies
- Social media marketing examples
These are some of the keywords Google expect to see on a page that targets the keyword, “social media marketing.”
You can also find LSI keywords by visiting the pages that rank for the top positions for your main keyword.
Visit those pages and copy the main phrases you can turn into topics on the page.
Understand the intent behind the keyword
There’s an intent behind every keyword you see.
It’s difficult to rank and convert visitors from head keywords because they have multiple intents.
For example, a head keyword like “social media” says nothing about the intent of the searcher.
Here are the search results for the keyword “social media.” Google has little idea of what you really want, so it just displays the definition of social media and returns a Wikipedia page that says every random thing about the topic as the #1 result.
Now, let’s talk about body keywords.
Some body keywords say the intent of the searcher. Most don’t. That’s why I avoid body keywords.
For example, someone who types a body keyword like “social media marketing” shows that they are interested in social media marketing. But we still don’t know the intent of the searcher.
That is why long tail keywords are the best. Long tail keywords reveal the intent behind them.
For example, a long tail keyword like “social media marketing strategies” shows that the searcher wants to know some strategies.
You can create the perfect content that organizes the best social media marketing strategies. The search user will be happy after reading your content.
Another long tail keyword like “social media marketing services” shows that the searcher is looking for a marketing agency that offers social media marketing services.
Another long tail keyword like “social media marketing services in Texas” is even more specific. Now we know the searcher wants agencies that sell social media marketing as a service and must be located in Texas.
The longer the keyword, the more we know about the intent behind it.
There are four types of intents you can find in a long tail keyword:
- Navigational: It shows the searcher is trying to find a particular page on a website they know. For example, a keyword like “buy shoes on Amazon” is a navigational keyword.
- Informational: It reveals that the searcher wants an answer to a question. For example, a keyword like “what is the best shoe brand for running” and “how to run an online business without debt” are informational keywords. The searcher wants to learn something.
- Investigational: It tells you that searchers have a particular product or brand in mind, but they want to be certain they are making the right decision. Searchers want to know if they are about to do the right thing or if they are doing the right thing. For example, “are canon cameras the best for vlogging.”
- Transactional: It tells you the searcher is ready to buy. For example, “get a discount on Nike sneakers” and “the best GrowthFunnel pricing plan for small businesses” are examples of transactional keywords.
The intent behind the keyword should reflect in the content.
The keyword should match the intent.
Don’t target any keyword without knowing the intent behind it.
How to find the right keywords
The right keywords will translate into the right visitors.
When you target the right keywords, search users find the information they are on looking for on your site. You have prospects on your site who then convert into customers.
Everyone’s happy at the end of the day.
Time to brainstorm.
What are the topics and phrases that are related to your business?
If you have an in-depth knowledge of your product, service or brand, you should know the topics connected to them.
If you sell kids toys, for example, parents will be your customers. Parents are the ones who buy toys for their kids.
What are the keywords and phrases parents type into the search box?
Think about topics related to parenting.
Type a few keywords related to parenting into the Google search box.
Google will return sites that write create content around topics related to parenting. These are your competitors.
What are their most recent topics?
I’m currently on Parents.com, and I can see interesting topics like:
- Lower your child’s risk of getting sick at the pool
- Is Ketogenic diet safe for breastfeeding?
- Make feeding your toddler easier
- Talking to kids about depression and suicide
- Moms with bipolar disorder
- Sex after kids
- Butt and thigh workout for new moms
These are long tail keywords you can start storing in a list.
Apart from your competitors’ sites, you can also find keywords in books that are related to your brand.
Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can also help you find keywords you can target on your site.
How to use keywords on your site
After doing the above, you should have lots of good keywords you can target on your site.
How do you target these keywords?
Create content on your site and use these keywords in:
- The title of the content
- The meta description of the content
- A few times in the content body
- And in link backs to your site
Google is against keyword stuffing.
For example, a local
After reading this article, I believe you now know how to choose keywords for SEO with ease.
Start targeting the right keywords that will drive potential clients to your site.
And remember, you need GrowthFunnel to collect the emails of these visitors when they land on your site.