SEO and content are the main drivers for internet visibility. At the center of those pieces are keywords. So when you are putting together campaigns, strategies, and content calendars, it’s pretty important you know what keywords people use to search for your product or service.
What is a Keyword?
Technically speaking, a keyword is “an informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate content of a document.” Thanks, Google. Now, in English; a keyword is a word or phrase that is a topic of significance. They form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to an appropriate search.
There are three different kinds of keywords:
1 Generic Keywords are shorter words – most often one word on its own. For us, it would be “marketing.” Although these keywords are easily applied to our company, they are easily applied to other companies within our industry.
2 Broad Match Keywords – Broad match terms are the core of SEO. Terms like “Red Tennis Shoes” or “Nikon D800 Digital Camera” will present a stronger opportunity and engagement than a generic term.
3 Long-Tail Keywords are typically longer phrases or a series of words that are a bit more specific to who you are – both your company and within your industry. “Design an ad campaign for a general contractor” or “taking good photos with an iPhone 6” are good examples of long-tail keywords.
Why are Keywords Important?
Keywords are important because they give you an understanding of your potential customers’ questions, concerns, or interests. As searchers, your target audience uses keywords when they search online looking for more information.
1) Keywords = Content Foundation
Each page of content (or blog, or offer, or email) has a main topic, and that topic generally ties back to a keyword or keyword phrase. Keywords help establish the foundation of your content and give your visitors an understanding of the page.
2) Keywords Give Purpose & Understanding
When reading your information, visitors are quick to scan content for keywords or phrases they originally searched for.
3) Keywords Help Search Engines
As search engines crawl your site, they index pages based on the keywords they find to help determine the purpose of the content.
Three Ways to Figure out What Keywords People are Using
When it comes to figuring out what keywords potential buyers, clients, and customers are using, there’s a whole lot of due diligence to be done. Here are a few ways to gain some insight into what keywords people are using.
1) Ask Your People
Your “people” are customers, potential buyers, staff, etc. Anyone who is familiar with your business, uses your product, purchases your goods… even those who choose a competitor – those are your people. Spend some time asking them what questions they are asking. Don’t forget to remove yourselves from the process and put yourselves in their shoes by using the words and terms they use and asking questions in the way they ask them. Oftentimes, the keywords a business thinks they should rank for or talk about are not the terms their customers are actually using.
2) Be Social
Don’t ignore your social media channels – especially when it comes to trying to figure out what your people are talking about, asking, or complaining about. Look at the trending topics and hashtags to get a better understanding of what people like and don’t like in the marketplace.
3) Google Tools
Google has a whole suite of tools to help you get to the bottom of the keywords and phrases. These are gold for many marketers.
Google Trends: This tool allows you to get an inside look at Google’s databases of searches. You can look at Google searches by regions, categories, languages, and set the time and search properties (image, etc.). You can look at one single keyword, or compare multiple terms.
Google Autocomplete: You know when you go to search for something, and Google starts to finish your question or thought? That’s autocomplete. Autocomplete predictions are possible search terms … The search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete reflect what other people are searching for and the content of web pages.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner: The great thing about the AdWords planner is that you don’t need to actually spend any money on AdWords – you just need a Google account. With an account, users can access the Keyword Planner and enter a keyword and Google will populate search volume (how often it is used) and the competition of that word (how many people or businesses want to rank for that word). This tool lets you filter by language, location, and mobile or desktop use.
If you have questions about keywords or writing content for SEO, let us know and we will be happy to answer your questions. You can reach us at 813-892-2545.