Keywords: Where do you start?

If you’re new to the world of marketing, you’ll need to know what keywords are. If you already know what they are and how to do keyword research, it’s always good to have a little refresher course!

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find information across the world wide web. Keywords are important to your marketing because your website and paid adverts can appear when people type these specific words or phrases into search engines.

What makes up a keyword?

Head terms: Shorter, generic keywords phrases, or a general term the majority of people write about.

Long-Tail: Three or more keywords, similar to a specific phrase, and is a more specific topic or a subtopic of the head term.

Side note: Long-tail keywords are great to target as less content is generally created on these specified topics, so there is a higher chance for your web page to rank higher on the organic results. Less content on the topic means less competition.

When your website shows up at the top of the search engine results page, it means you have successfully targeted these vital keywords that are also relevant to your on-page content and search optimisation aspects.

If nobody is searching for what you’re writing about, you won’t get traffic to your website. Online users don’t visit a website by accident, they’re after an answer to their problems, and if they can’t find valuable information, they’ll invest their time elsewhere.

Failing to plan, is planning to fail

Keyword research for businesses, big and small, helps focus search marketing campaigns (paid and organic) towards quality keywords. This ultimately directs online users towards discovering your ads or organic search listing, visiting your website, and converting into a paying customer.

Conducting this keyword research is a great starting point for any online campaign to determine how you will rank on search engines, but it should also be an ongoing process to monitor your growth against your competitors.

As a business, you should be researching;

  • Insights to what your audience is searching for, rather than what you think they’re searching for.
  • Knowing your keywords helps you to understand your brand and your business. What are you selling? What are your services? What makes you stand out against others?
    If you don’t know this, identifying your keywords can help you to understand who you are.
  • Without content on your website, strong Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will not follow. Search engines can only rank your website if your content is focused around a keyword that strikes the right balance between high search volume and competition – You must write with SEO in mind.
  • Paid campaigns should be keyword focused. Keywords make up your ad groups, which make up your campaigns, and you’re bidding money to rank for these keywords.
    If your keywords have low search volume, then your ads aren’t going to receive much attention. If your keywords are not relevant to your target audience, you’re going to attract the wrong people clicking on your ads, which wastes your precious budget as they will not be interested in your services and will not buy.

Whilst conducting your keyword research, it is always good to think about the search intent behind the queries that users are searching for.

WTF is Search Intent?!

Keywords can be separated into categories to help plan content which will meet users’ needs. For example “buy 1st Generation Apple Air-pods” searcher doesn’t want to read a blog post at this point, as they know what they’re looking for.

The common search intent keywords include

Navigational: When an online user searches for a website, such as YouTube.com on a search engine, they are navigating to this webpage by searching “YouTube”. The queries are usually branded.

How to use: Make sure you have landing pages for your products, services, and other offerings which are optimised using product and brand names.

Informational: When a user wants to find out a specific piece of information, such as “How large is a Bull Elephant?” into Google. These queries will include “what”, “why”, “how”, “where” and other question queries.

How to use: These queries make up a large majority of google searches. Use them to acquire leads to establish your brand as an authority and make users aware of what you have to offer.

Transactional: When a user wants to make a transaction, or wants to complete a conversion. This isn’t limited to simply buying a product, but it includes email signups, lead generation form submissions, shop directions or phone calls. some of these may be harder to measure in analytics, but they are still an important factor to a business.

How to use: Create landing pages with sign-up forms, lead submissions or add-to-cart buttons that allow users to make the transaction/conversion directly on the landing page.

Commercial: Similar to transactional intent to encourage users to purchase from your website, commercial intent allows you to offer free versions of products and get yourself in front of their eyes. These include;

Buy keywords

  • “Buy”, “Discount(s)”, “Deal(s)”, “Coupon(s)”, “Free shipping”.

Product keywords

  • Branded searches (brand-name goods)
  • Specific products (“Nike Air Force 1 Trainers” etc.)
  • Product categories (“summer playsuits”, “Hair dryer”, “home manicure kit” etc.)
  • “Affordable”, “Best”, “Cheapest”, “Review(s)”, “Top”

Don’t feel like you should use every single one of these keywords on every page, because that’s not how optimisation works. You only need the keywords that match the nature of the webpage.

Incorporating search intent as part of your SEO will help deliver relevant results to users, subsequently driving qualified traffic to your website. Your website bounce rate will be significantly reduced as users find what they want, so they stay on your pages, alongside encouraging more page views as you have met their search intent.

Keep an eye on competition

With anything in life, competition is healthy. From physical sports, board games, and your search engine results position.

The simplest way to analyse the competition for a given keyword is to put your keyword into Google or another search engine and see what comes up. By searching these keywords, you can view competitor ads marked with either the “Ad” or the “Sponsored” tag, alongside the organic listings, to see how many other businesses are writing about the same topic.

Now you can see what you competitors are ranking for, adding extensions to your adverts, or writing more emotional, intriguing ad copy may entice searchers to choose your ad. With organic optimisation, when a keyword has very high search volume it can be a lot harder to compete for these terms. Optimising for long-tail search phrases can be beneficial as you will be targeting a niche market.

Let’s wrap this up

Whether you’re running a content-focused blog, a brand marketer or a small business, you will always need to conduct keyword research to help kick-start your content and get your marketing activities in the right direction.

If you want to learn more about marketing solutions for your business, whether you’re interested in expert insights for your website design or simply want to have a chat with us about what we do, we are only an email away on [email protected]