So you’ve done your initial keyword research and you’re excited to improve your site’s SEO. But you’re left wondering – now what?
Armed with your list of keywords, it can feel overwhelming to decide how to use each of those keywords to target new phrases and drive traffic to your site.
In today’s post, I’ll be recapping what we covered in our most recent SEO Saturday and provide an overview of how to incorporate your target keywords into your site’s content strategy.
Keyword Research Recap
Below are some of the best resources for performing your initial and ongoing keyword research for your site.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console allows you to see all of the keywords and search phrases that you rank for, including impressions, clicks, and click-through rates. This is a great place to assess your content on an ongoing basis, as well as get an insight into where you currently stand for a given keyword.
- Google My Business: In your ‘Insights’ tab, you will be able to see what searches are being used by local users, and can provide valuable location-specific information for optimizing your Google My Business profile and website.
- Related Searches: When you perform a search with one of your target keywords, there are often ‘Related Searches’ at the bottom of your search result. These show what else people are searching for, using the real language of searchers. This can show specific modifiers, related services, or location language that can allow you to further optimize your content.
- SEMRush/Moz: These are free tools (limited functionality) that allows you to assess your website, but also your competitors! If you are working with an agency or SEO provider, they should be able to provide you with comprehensive reporting on your competitor’s keywords, backlinks, and traffic.
- Google Trends: Google collects and shows search trends from across the world, but allows you to choose custom keywords and specific areas to see search trends, related keywords, and up and coming topics in your industry.
- Google Ads Keyword Planner: If you already have a Google Ads account, using the keyword planner to get search volume and find related phrases can be very helpful. This can also let you know how competitive a keyword is, and whether you should use SEO or paid ads to target that phrase.
- Answer the Public: This website is awesome – type in your keyword, and you’ll get a massive list of questions people are asking. This is a great way to get ideas for blog posts, FAQ pages and even new services or products!
Where To Use Your Keywords On Your Website
- Page Title: This is one of the most important areas to incorporate keywords on your site. This section is one of the first places that Google will read when indexing your page, and having your keywords prominently displayed early in the page title is critical for ranking.
- Meta Description: In your meta-description, you should be incorporating your target keywords and phrases. When a user searches for the exact or a similar keyword to what you have included in your meta-description, it will be bolded for the user which encourages them to click through to your site. While meta descriptions are not directly factored into ranking, click-through rate and on-site behaviour are both important factors for ranking for your desired keywords, so incorporating these keywords into your meta description indirectly assists with your ranking by improving click-through rate and content relevancy.
- URL: Ideally your keywords should be incorporated into your URLs, and is especially important for your service and product pages. It is also important with blog content and any resources that you have on your site, as this will provide additional content for search engines and users, letting them know exactly what your content is about and how it will serve them. Moving forward, ensure keywords are incorporated any new URLs on pages that are created. However, if you’re wanting to update URLs that you currently have on your site ensure that proper 301 redirects have been put in place to avoid any 404 errors, or accidentally lose valuable traffic to your site.
- Page Copy: Keywords should be incorporated throughout the copy on your website in an organic and plain-language style. No keyword stuffing, or robotic copy! Keywords and target search phrases can be used in headings, subheadings, and body content. You can avoid keyword stuffing by only using your target keywords where it makes sense and provides value to your clients, and supporting those keywords with genuine knowledge, descriptions, and sales copy.
- Images: When uploading images to your site, ensure that the file name includes either your target keywords or a plain language description of what is included in the image. On almost every website platform you are also given the option to add alt text to an image. The main purpose of alt text is for users who require assistive technology to better understand what the content is on your website. Google also uses this to determine the relevancy of an image on your webpage. The best way to write alt text is to describe what is in the image as though you are on the phone with someone! Describe what is included in the image and any characteristics or features – this may or may not include your keywords exactly, but it still provides context and relevancy for Google and your users.
Keywords & Content
- Core keywords (product, service, business type): These keywords should be used across your main pages, such as your homepage, about page, and core product and service pages. You may want to use these as focus topics for blog content in the future and ensure that the themes of your site content speak to the core products, services, and business type that you have.
- Location keywords: Your location can play a major factor in your search results, especially if you are a brick-and-mortar business that serves clients at a specific location. This is all the more important if you are in a particular neighbourhood or area where people would specifically be searching for your business. At a minimum, your location information should be included on your contact page and in the footer of your website. If your location is a defining part of your business (for example if you are in a trendy area or tourist destination) then your location should be included on your homepage’s page title as well as your homepages body copy.
- Questions: Determining what questions your potential clients are asking can be critical in developing valuable content for your website as well as your other marketing efforts. If you see a question appear in your keyword research, this can be a great starting point for blog posts, FAQs, and on-site resources. Generally, FAQs should be kept to questions about your business, product, or service specifically. More general or high-level questions can be addressed through your blog. Establishing yourself as an expert by answering the questions that your potential customers have decreases friction in the sales process. There is no such thing as giving away too much information! Especially in industries where there is a high level of competition, it is important to demonstrate your knowledge to convert your followers into clients.
- Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are keywords that are over 4 words long. Usually, these consist of a core product, service, or business with additional specific modifiers (features, benefits, questions. etc.)> I recommend looking at these keywords on a page-by-page basis to determine how to optimize individual elements of your site, as well as seeing what types of products or services searchers are hoping to find. This can be a great resource for blog content or even business strategy!
- Semantic keywords: Semantic keywords are keywords and phrases that are related to and support your target keywords. These keywords enhance your current copy, help avoid keyword stuffing, and show that your content is relevant and authoritative to your users and to Google. These keywords should be incorporated throughout the copy of your website, predominantly in your body copy and product or service descriptions.
I hope that this outline gives you some inspiration for getting started and putting your keyword research into action on your site!
I hope you have the chance to join me and Maddie from @thebuzzingblonde for future SEO Saturdays, where we will cover SEO for e-commerce, blogging, local SEO and more!