If you don’t have SEO keywords in your website content, it will be difficult for people to find your site through search engines. For your website to be properly optimized for search engines, you need to speak the same language as your prospects using keywords that play an important role in connecting searches to your website.
Since keywords form the foundation for all your SEO efforts, it is definitely worth the time and investment in making sure your SEO keywords are extremely relevant to your target audience. Choosing a good keyword is a delicate trial and error and process.
How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO
First, you need to do some keyword research. This process entails finding and examining search terms that people type into search engines with the aim of using that data for your SEO or general marketing. Through keyword research, you will discover the topics people care about and even how popular these topics are.
Remember these three tips for keyword research:
- You need to do SEO keyword research more than once. It should be an ongoing and ever-changing process.
- Avoid targeting keywords that are too popular because of their high competition.
- Replace high-volume keywords with more specific phrases to attract the right visitors to your site.
- Regularly re-evaluate your outdated SEO keyword list.
Next, make sure to diversify your keywords. You will not stand out if you use all the same keywords your competitors use. Besides using keyword search tools, you should also do your own research to find out who uses your keywords and discover how you can stand out.
Keywords Research Process
The following is a keyword research process that will teach you how to find the best keywords for SEO.
1. Create a list of the most important topics in your field of business
Think about the topics you want to rank and categorize them. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and determine the topics they would search for. Come up with 5–10 important categories that are vital to your business which you will later use to identify specific keywords.
When you carry out a search on the topics you come up with, you will get to see their monthly search volume. This information will help in analyzing the level of importance of these topics.
2. List keywords for each topic category
Once you’re done creating topic categories, it’s time to look for some keywords for each category. These include keyword phrases that will rank in search engine result pages, because your audience is using them in their search.
For instance, if you are in the gardening industry and one of your topic categories is “gardening tools”, you can brainstorm some keyword phrases you think people would type related to that topic. For example, “where to buy high-quality gardening tools”.
The aim of this step is to come up with a bunch of phrases that your prospects might use to look for content related to that specific topic. Another way to do this is to determine which keywords are being searched on your website and getting “hits”. You can do this using website analytics tools like Google Analytics.
Do this step for as many topic categories as you have. If you struggle to find relevant phrases, you can always ask your customer-facing colleagues for the phrases customers use or the most common questions they have.
3. Understand the role intent plays in keyword research
This means that your website needs to address the problem your audience intends to solve, rather than just having the keyword on your page.
For example, let’s say yo u’re a digital business guru researching the keyword “how to start a business” for a blog article you want to write. “Business” is too generic, and the searcher’s intent behind that keyword will affect the angle of your article. Does the searcher want to learn how to start a digital business or a brick-and-mortar business? If you want to reach people interested in starting a digital business, then you will need to ensure you understand the keyword’s intent before settling on it. To do this, simply type in the keyword into a search engine and analyze the results that come up.
4. Look for related search phrases
If you have run out of ideas of keywords that people might use to learn about something, examine related search terms that are displayed when you type in the keyword into a search engine. For instance, if you type in a phrase into Google and scroll down to the bottom of the results, you will see a list of other suggestions related to your topic of interest. This section can help in generating ideas for more keywords.
5. Make use of keyword research tools
There are several keyword research tools to help you with finding good keywords based on the ideas you have come up with. These tools can provide you with alternatives you might not have thought of. A couple of resources to try are: Ubersuggest by Neil Patel or Keyword Generator by ahrefs.
How To Use SEO Keywords on Your Website
Now that you have learned how to find the best keywords for SEO, you need to strategically use them to get your desired results. You can begin by using your keywords in:
The title of your page.
This includes the SEO title and the actual title which might be different. Google uses titles to determine relevance. Your page title is the clickable link that comes up in search results.
The meta description.
This is the section below the title (clickable link) that provides an appropriate description to help searchers decide whether to click. If you don’t have an SEO tool, this section is automatically generated from the first 160 characters of your content. So, you can place your keyword within those characters.
Social media updates and links.
If you’re sharing your site’s content on social media, then the keyword may already be in the title. However, you can also include appropriate hashtags along with the post you’re sharing since hashtags work just as well as keywords.