Search Engine Optimisation & Keywords
What Are They And Why Should You Care?
If you have used Google before you have used keywords. They are the words and phrases that people type into the search box when they are looking for help or information.
“cheap hotel rooms in Auckland”
“where is Lapland”
What Google does is take these keywords and matches them to the websites and pages that it has in its index. It tries to understand what you are searching for, and it then tries to give you a page that will answer your query.
Keywords are therefore a crucial part of SEO. If you want your website to appear on the search results pages of Google you have to know what keywords your potential customers are using. With this information you can then devise a strategy to create and market content based on that keyword that will help you appear higher in the search.
You will probably know instinctively some of the main keywords that are relevant to your business. This is unlikely to be all of them, however. In addition, you have to look at which ones are the best to target.
Let’s look first at finding more keywords. You can purchase tools that do this for you but you can also do it for free by simply going to Google. Enter one of the keywords that you already know into the search box and then scroll to the bottom of the search results page. There you will find a “searches related” section, giving you a selection of other potential keywords.
Entering the term in Google will also give you an indication of how difficult it is going to be to rank for a keyword. Is there a lot of competition? In particular, are the top positions occupied by large companies that would have much bigger SEO budgets than yours? Or are the results on the page poor? Do you think you can do better?
You should also enter the keywords that you have found and that you think are worth competing for into Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. This will tell you how many searches the keyword gets per month, and it will give you an indication of how much it might cost to run a Google AdWords campaign for the those words and phrases.
When looking at Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, don’t get dazzled by big numbers. A keyword that has a lot of monthly searches might not generate you much traffic and, more importantly, the traffic that it does generate might not convert.
When looking at keywords you should therefore think about conversion – which keywords are the most likely to convert. When you combine this with your analysis of the competition, you will have a targeted and potentially profitable list of keywords to focus your efforts on.
Long Tail Keywords
Finally, don’t forget to include long tail keywords in your strategy. Of the handful of examples given above, “cheap hotel rooms in Auckland” is the only long tail keyword. It is a keyword that is quite long and specific, so it won’t have as many searches as other shorter, more generic keywords. However, they often show significant user intent, so can convert well.
If you want your website to be SEO optimised, or you want to run a successful PPC campaign, keywords are a crucial part of your strategy.