Getting eyes on your web pages is the first step toward a sale. Keyword research helps companies find the correct phrases to make that happen. In fact, utilizing keyword research strategies can significantly boost your website metrics. To get the most out of your efforts, it’s essential to understand how the research works and the best way to measure results.
Role of Keywords in Search Engine Ranking
Search engines aim to connect users with the best answers to their questions. To achieve this, algorithms crawl webpage content and index keywords. When a query contains those words, the search engine generates a list of applicable links with the most relevant at the top.
Businesses can influence these results by including the right keywords in their website content. Landing pages, blogs and even social media posts can increase search engine results page rankings, boosting the likelihood of users visiting your site. Most users don’t scroll beyond the first results page; if your company doesn’t appear near the top of a SERP, it’s practically invisible.
Of course, being first on a results page won’t do you any good if your site doesn’t offer what the querent needs. SEO and keyword research helps you target individuals who actually want your goods and services, ensuring you see returns for your marketing.
Importance of SEO Keyword Research
Keywords vary in impact and target audience, which is why keyword research is important for concrete results. A poorly chosen phrase may bring thousands of new website visitors while increasing the bounce rate as those users immediately leave. Keywords can’t just be popular in your industry — they must connect consumer needs to your solutions.
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to target a particular audience, especially when algorithms update frequently and under the radar. Instead, businesses must create an ongoing research, measurement and optimization process to stay adaptable in an ever-shifting online environment.
Keyword Research Tips
One of the most important things you can do is stay on top of SEO news. Marketing experts closely monitor Google announcements and SERP trends to anticipate changes; if you’re not on the ball, your rankings will drop. By the same token, responding quickly can catapult you into the top spot as competitors regroup. Understanding the landscape will shape your research approach.
Which strategies you use also depends on your goals. For example, to increase local traffic, you should research keywords that utilize the location. Brainstorm words closely associated with your area, such as the city, county or neighbourhood name, and see which generate high results.
You can also experiment with the following:
- Utilizing social media trending topics associated with your products or services
- Varying keyword length
- Targeting different stages of the sales funnel
- Trying variations of Google search bar suggestions
Another great technique is competitor analysis. What are other businesses in the space doing, and how effective is it? This approach highlights what works for your industry and the gaps you can exploit.
There are also a variety of tools available — Google’s Keyword Planner is even free. This resource uses the search engine’s knowledge to generate lists of potential keywords, giving you a great place to start.
Keyword Incorporation in Website Content
Of course, how you use keywords matters as much as the phrases you choose. Algorithms assign a lower value to “stuffed” web pages and a higher value to content that incorporates keywords naturally. In fact, Google has said that quality content is the number one criterion for SERP ranking.
To create high-quality content, limit the number of keywords and use them strategically. Headings are excellent placement, as are the first and last paragraphs. Strongly tie the keywords to your own business and, above all, keep your audience in mind.
You should also continually analyze SERP performance. Doing so lets you immediately detect when a strategy no longer works. You can find tools to measure bounce rate, click-through rate and other metrics that gauge the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
Finally, don’t hesitate to hire professionals to manage your SEO. Keeping up with research, implementation and analysis is a full-time job and can be especially time-consuming for small businesses without a designated marketing department. Unwired Web Solutions handles everything necessary to optimize your website for search engine queries. For more information, visit our website or give us a call today.