By Emily LaDrig
All day long, people are cruising over to Google to tell you what their problem is. Do you have the solution to their problem? You may, but they’ll never know about you if Google doesn’t know about you. The purpose of your website is to help potential customers find you. If your website isn’t using keyword-driven content, the search engines won’t show your website to the right people.
Keywords should become the foundation of your website content. Keywords define what the content of your website is about and provides shortcuts that sum up a page and tell customers and search engines what you’re all about.
Choosing the right keywords is not always easy. It takes a little bit of work to dig into the results and find the unique, relatable terms. But, these are the terms that will truly make it easier to achieve good rankings in search engines, get qualified traffic, and convert that traffic into leads and customers.
How to build a list of keywords
The first step to utilizing keyword-driven content is to build a list of keywords and phrases specifically for your business. The goal of this task is for customers to be able to find your business when searching for your core business product or service in your core business location.
To start, go to Google or your favorite search engine and start with your core service and core location. For example, if your business is a wedding venue in San Diego you would search for “wedding venues in San Diego, CA”.
This is a good starting point. It should definitely be the start of your list. But you’ll want to build on this. Because while it seems logical to rank for these keywords, they are more high traffic terms, so it will be harder to rank and get noticed.
Now you need to look for some more unique search terms for your business. An easy trick for this is to scroll to the bottom of this page, where you will see “Searches related to”. This shows you what customers are actually typing in.
Some things that stick out right away are the words ‘affordable’ and ‘low budget’. It is not surprising that customers may be thinking of their budget when considering a wedding venue. If this fits with your offering, include these phrases in your list. If those aren’t words that fit your business, don’t use them.
Keyword research for SEO
Click into some of the search results to read through the listings and see if they sound like your business. This is the part where you do some research. Read through different posts and find words or phrases that stick out to you or apply to your business. Write them down. The point is to make sure that you’re selecting keywords and phrases that you want to represent your business in a way that you want customers to view your business.
Also, this is the city where you operate your business so you should see some familiar names and places, and maybe even some of your competitors. If you are seeing your competitor in the results, it is definitely a good idea to write down the search word or phrase. You need these customers to find you before your competitor.
Do this several times until you get to a point where you have 5-10 keywords and phrases on your list.
Using keywords on your website
Once you have the list, it is time to take a look at your website. These keywords and phrases should be included in 6 key areas of your website. These areas will help search engines to identify your page and rank it in search results.
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Sub Header
- Body Paragraphs
- Image Alt Tags
If you do not have access to update these 6 areas on your website, be sure to check with your website manager to ensure they get updated with your shiny new keywords.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, a 2nd stage business accelerator that helps small businesses excel and grow in the digital economy. Have questions about keywords or search engine optimization? Hit her up at firstname.lastname@example.org.