Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be overwhelming. It’s a constantly changing and a highly competitive part of digital marketing. When something seems too big to handle, it’s best to break it down into smaller pieces. We are going to do this for you within the complicated world of SEO.
Let’s start with keywords and the research needed to target the right search terms.
The first piece of successful SEO for any business owner or marketing team is determining the keyword phrases you want to target for your website.
One of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make is thinking the keywords you use to search are the most important keywords to find your website. In reality, these keywords are only applicable to you and you are a sample size of one! Just because you search on your preferred keyword search terms, doesn’t mean they are the most applicable for your business or you will be found for those terms.
You must create a universe of keywords by finding out what people in your target market are using. These are the keyword terms that matter the most. Use one of our recommended tools to research the keywords most commonly used to find your product or services.
Once you have a universe of keywords, you need to find out how competitive they are – Google uses such a sophisticated and mature algorithm, you probably aren’t going to crack the top ten for highly popular and thus competitive search terms.
So how do you know what terms to target?
Let’s start with your brand.
1. Get Found for Brand Name Searches
You must get found for your company name and all related brand terms.
This is why the name of your company is so important. Don’t make the mistake of using a generic company name or worse creating a domain name that doesn’t match your company exactly. Your domain url is critical to Google and you need to be found as an exact match. This starts with your domain name. This also applies to any products or services using unique brand names, they have to be found as well.
2. Improve Keywords Closest to Page One in Google
The low hanging fruit in SEO keyword research are improvements on your current high ranking keywords ranking close to page one in Google. Most people don’t go past page one on Google search results, so moving to the first page in search results can have a significant impact on website traffic.
The Adwords keyword search tool and Google Search console are the two best SEO keyword research tools available. You can find the terms currently used in Google searches and where you rank using the Google Search Console. See the chart below and the circled position for the search term student apartments. You can see this website is ranking number 11 in Google, only the top ten search results are on the first page of Google.
Terms ranking between 10 and 20 means you are showing up on page two of Google, and with just a little work you can end up on page one. In this case “student apartments” is a prime example of a niche keyword phrase which can be improved with an SEO push and move to the first page of Google.
Keep in mind:
You want to be found for:
- Niche terms appropriate for your company.
- Relevant phrases with enough volume to drive traffic.
- Search phrases with traffic, but not so competitive you have very little chance of ranking on the first page of search results.
The key point of keyword research is you must show up for the terms most appropriate for your company.
3. Be Ready for Voice Search
Voice search is growing fast and will only continue to increase.
Hey Google, Siri and Amazon/Alexa are the three biggest voice search tools currently available. It’s early in the technology, but the best way to improve your voice search is to make sure your SEO fundamentals are in place – from your keywords to your all-around coding of the website for SEO. The words used to code your website must be simple and straightforward so they can be found by voice search more readily.
For example, if you ask Hey Google, ”Take me to Intuitive Websites”, it will bring up our address as well as our website because we have an exact match of our company name to our url and it’s in our title tag. This is an example of solid SEO coding matching a voice search.
To optimize your voice search make sure:
- Your technical SEO is in place. This includes title tags, headers, content and meta descriptions.
- Tag your images and graphics.
- Test your brand name in voice search for all three platforms to see what comes up, you may be surprised with the results!
4. The Power of a Blog for SEO
You must have to have a blog on your website connected to your brand, products, and services. Google loves to rank websites with blogs and they are the best place to load up content with your targeted keyword phrases.
We have covered many ways to make your blog stand out, make sure you are creating valuable content, and review why a blog is critical to your website’s success. For now, make sure you write at least one blog post a month. Remember, you can always hire writers from WritersAccess or our team at Intuitive Websites if you need help.
5. Mobile is 50% of Search
It is still critical to do searches in mobile to see how you appear and to use fundamentals of SEO coding to improve your mobile search (Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post where we will talk more about coding for SEO).
Today, inbound marketing strategies include much more than Google. In fact, about 50% more! People only search in Google about half the time. They search in Amazon, on their preferred websites, through social media or voice search as well.
This is where GoogleMyBusiness is critical. You’ve must be set up properly, as it shows up quite a bit in mobile. Mobile search is heavy with maps and locations. Set yourself up correctly and utilize mobile search to make sure you know how your business appears. This comes back again to proper SEO coding and selecting the best keywords for both mobile and desktop searches
Your SEO efforts start with accurate keyword research for the right keyword terms, getting found for your brand names, tracking your position to move up on near misses in Google search results and ranking in mobile search.
Several tools make this work much easier. The tools you want to use for keyword research are mostly free:
- The Google Search Console
- ScreamingFrog (while not a keyword research tool, this platform allows you to see how you are using keywords, and looks at all your SEO elements)
- Google Analytics
- If you want more data try SEMRush or MOZ tools and reports.
SEO is a rapidly changing field – even from week-to-week things change!
It’s our job to stay on top of all the details, and as a client of Intuitive Websites we manage and take care of your website’s SEO needs to drive traffic and build awareness of your company.
For more information on how we can help, contact our team today.