My mission is to help entrepreneurs revitalize their businesses with practical strategies to grow their business, revenue and impact.
Last week, I covered Keywords and why they are important to your digital strategy and hopefully had you thinking about whether your current keywords are up-to-date or even motivated you to start researching your keywords. You see, keywords are crucial and ensure search engines find your content, which means you need to know what keywords are popular, if their search volume is high, and if their general intent is relevant to your business.
This week I want to dive into Keyword Research. To make it easier for you, here is a quick 5-Step Guide and a platform recommendation to help you develop a list of targeted keywords.
Step 1 - Make a List
Open up a spreadsheet and list the keywords you think are relevant to your business. These are probably the pillar pages of your website and the services or products you provide. Then search for one of those terms in a search engine. I'm going to use Google as my search engine.
You will see the number of results (blogs, videos, websites etc.) for that keyword search. That's great, but what would be helpful is knowing how many people search for that term per month, not how many articles are available.
You can do that by subscribing to a great little product called Keywords Everywhere. It's super cost-effective and will be your ace-in-the-hole for keyword research. With it, you will be able to see the monthly search volumes for keywords. Many other platforms offer keyword research tools, but I'm going to use Keywords Everywhere for this guide as I have found them to be a simple but effective solution.
Searching with Keywords Everywhere activated, you will see how many people have searched for your keyword each month. The more people searching for that keyword, the more critical these topics are to your audience.
Step 2 - Search volume per month
Keywords Everywhere will also show you how that keyword has performed globally and Related Keywords with their search volumes. So if you are using another platform, do your search and add these suggestions to your list. I also add the search volumes to give me perspective on the popularity of each keyword.
Step 3 - Related keywords
Keywords Everywhere will give you popular Long-Tail Keywords. So again, find any Long-Tail keywords and add them to your list. You can also use the suggestions Google gives you and add them to your list. Don't worry if this list is getting a little lengthy; it is simply a brain dump of potential ideas.
Repeat this process for each of your relevant keywords.
Step 4 - Keyword relevance
As you do your research, you will get a feel for what issues users want to solve with their search. I suggest you note the users intent; it will give you an insight into whether your business has a solution for these well-searched issues and whether you need to add it as a business solution. Try developing keywords and topics around these issues in the future.
Step 5 - Refine your list
Let's take another peek at that list of relevant keywords you just created and refine it. After all, not all of them are going to align with your business.
To do that, you need to understand that shorter keywords, usually terms used for your offering, like 'pillow', will be much more challenging for you to rank on the first or even the second page of a search engine. Let me give you an example; if a user searched for 'pillow' in a search engine, the list of results would be so long and generic that your content would be competing with millions of other content.
Now, if you used a long-tail keyword, let's say 'pillow for neck pain for side sleeper', your article, blog or website is more likely to appear on the first page. Of course, appearing on the first page for a shorter keyword might be one of your aspirations, but getting found at all should always be your primary goal.
It's time to sort through all your keywords and prioritise which ones you think are essential to your business and the ones that will give you the most impact. Knowing search volumes for keywords will provide you with an advantage over companies that aren't doing SEO.
You can now implement your prioritised list of keywords on your website to help you appear in keyword searches. In addition, you can use them to develop targeted content for articles and blogs, knowing with confidence your audience is actively searching for those topics.
Further reading: Do you have a business strategy that is driving your business?
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