Are you using a keyword strategy for your website? When creating content, normally bloggers, content creators, web developers and other professionals keep SEO and keywords in mind. What are they trying to achieve, and what strategies do they use?
SEO’s goal is simple
Increase organic (unpaid) traffic from search engines. Google’s algorithm is complex and secretive. We may never be able to know its secrets, but we can plan a way to access its inner workings. Keywords are one of the most powerful weapons. Keywords are not just guesswork. A comprehensive strategy should include research, monitoring, analysis and continuous refinement to find and leverage keywords that bring more traffic.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO and keyword strategies, there are a few fundamentals that every marketer and content creator should adhere to.
1. For your website’s keyword strategy, you should understand your audience and niche
When it comes to SEO, your audience is not just a collection of people. Keywords focus on how people search online. You need to know their level of knowledge and the words and terminology they use. Keyword phrases should be natural-sounding and reflect the search terms they are searching for, especially with the rapid rise of mobile and voice recognition technology.
Talking to your customers is the best way to get insight into possible search terms. Ask your sales team for customer insights. Another option is to look at industry blogs, publications and online communities, as well as social media channels, including the comments made by readers.
2. Analyse search intent to determine the best keyword strategy for your site
Knowing your audience is just one part of the puzzle; you also need to understand why they are searching online. Previously, Google’s algorithm was designed to match keywords and terms to user queries as precisely as possible. Period. Google no longer looks at key terms alone, thanks to sophisticated machine learning. Their focus is on context and searcher intent. Why are they searching for a particular term? Are they searching for a specific website? Are they looking to purchase something? Or do they require an expert’s opinion on a question?
Understanding your audience’s information needs and pain points will help you identify relevant keywords that correspond to your target audience’s intent.
3. Your website’s keyword strategy should include relevant topics and topic groups
Once you have an idea of the search intent of your audience, create a lengthy, diverse list of company goals, marketing goals, brand qualities, products and areas of expertise. The goal here is to determine what your website offers and categorise them into three to five main groups. These ‘topic groups’ should align with your business’s most important goals and the needs of your customers. These groups will contain smaller topics that can be used to create sub-groups. This is the foundation of keyword research.
4. Your website’s keyword strategy should include both seed and long-tail keywords
Next, carefully think about and identify your ‘seed keywords’. These are terms that you believe your target audience will use to search within your topic groups. You should remember that your target audience may search by typing or voice recognition. You can think of 50-100 options. Then, you can put them in a database, SEO tool or spreadsheet. This will allow you to track which ones you use, where you use them (which page) and the success they have in attracting visitors.
You can also see what keywords pop up in the Google SERP under ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related searches’ by entering viable keywords.
5. Choose ideal keywords for your website
You now have an idea of where you are going. Now it’s time for you to narrow your search terms to find the best keywords for each webpage, which should be keywords that are immediately relevant to your business. You can rank for high-volume terms if you are at the top of your niche. You should stick to terms with low-to-medium difficulty for the majority of businesses. Long-tail keywords are the best. To gain more momentum, you can also continue to build on the keywords you already rank for.
6. Learn about your competitors
You’ll also need to identify your potential keywords. Do you miss the high-ranking phrases your competitors use? You can try entering your keywords into Google to see who ranks first. Is there an area in your niche you can fill? If so, how do you rank it? Is there a term you can use to express your uniqueness?
You can start by using the free Google Search Console or Keyword Planner. This will allow you to find lots of valuable keywords and help you build your keyword strategy. There are also great paid SEO tools available, including Semrush and Ahrefs.
7. Use a keyword tracking tool
One of the main benefits of these SEO and keyword tools is that they save time and give you a better understanding of what is working and what isn’t. Instead of using a spreadsheet, you will have a visual and easy-to-understand overview of the progress of your keyword strategy. This includes information such as page traffic, SERP position, new and repeat visitors and much more. This information will allow you to improve your keyword strategy over time.
Many choices are available in this space, so think carefully about how you will use it, your goals and your budget. A spreadsheet in Excel is useful for some small businesses. Many keyword tools offer free or trial versions that you can use to try them out first. Google Analytics can be a great place for you to start. It may give you search metrics that will help you identify who is visiting your website, how they get there, what pages they visit and more.
8. Be careful when creating your Google snippets
The listings in the search engine results are called Google snippets and can be optimised in many ways. These are the basics:
These are also known as SEO titles. They are clickable blue titles that visitors see in the search engine results. Your title tag should contain a concise, attractive description of your page. It should not exceed 60 characters. Include details about your company, the brand name and keywords.
The meta description (the text below the title tag) gives you more information about the page. While writing for humans is important, SEO should be considered by adding keywords. Keep your description under 160 characters.
9. Image name and ALT tags
Images on your website contain ‘behind the scenes’ information that contributes to SEO and your keyword strategy. In the title of the image and the ALT tag that describes it, include keywords.
10. Elements of on-page SEO for keyword strategy
In addition to the previously mentioned off-page elements, keywords in the on-page content that visitors see and interact with are essential for SEO. Some of the most important elements are:
Here is where your topic groups and sub-groups for your keyword strategy come into play. Your pages should link to related, relevant pages that offer more information on the topic. Strong linking strategies keep people on your site and help search engines understand it. They also build the authority factor Google looks for.
The H1 heading tag, which is the main title the users see on the page. Every page should have one H1 heading tag, and it should contain the keyword. The H2 tags, or main subheadings, are next in the heading hierarchy and go through to H6. Every few paragraphs, you should include a H2 header including keywords or synonyms. Google can understand the context and content of every page and website by using header tags.
Emphasis and points of interest:
Bullets, boldface and italics are useful to help readers find important details and locate the exact information they need. This encourages them to continue reading and to stay longer on your website.
11. Publish more content that is new and of high quality
SEO’s number one priority is to have relevant, high-quality pages that are valuable and engaging. This will encourage readers to engage more, which in turn sends positive user experience messages back to Google. Websites that provide detailed information about topics are also rewarded by search engines. This is another reason to use your topic groups as well as internal links.
Google appreciates fresh and up-to-date content as it gives them more pages to index. It also reinforces that your website is not going away. This is why people blog. You may add industry articles, tutorials, how-to manuals, infographics, videos, podcasts and other useful content to your website in addition to written content.
12. To support your keyword strategy, use off-page optimisation (also known as link building)
The most valuable SEO tactic is external links (also known as backlinks). If another website links to yours, this is a sign that they consider your page valuable enough to recommend it to their readers. Backlinks from authoritative sites are better than those from spammy sites, low-quality sites or ‘link farms’.
It can be difficult to obtain backlinks, but you can use the following methods:
Guest blogging is where you create links back to your website.
Suppliers, vendors and partners may be able to create links to your website.
Create a profile in business directories that includes a link to your website.
To sum up
If you follow the suggestions in this article, it should get you started on the right path if you are new to SEO or help you improve your current SEO strategy. Implementing these ideas will boost your SEO, which in turn will help make your website rank higher in the search engines and increase traffic.