Regardless of whether you are new to the world of online business or you already have a website whose performance you want to improve, you will have to rely on Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] to achieve your goals.
SEO is a process wherein you use various techniques and methods to improve your website’s standing and ranking in the eyes of search engines such as Google.
The objective of SEO is to get a better position on search engine results so that people searching for specific products and services find the link to your website on the top of their results page. Despite sounding simple, this is one of the more challenging aspects of running an online business.
A core characteristic of your SEO campaign is going to be the keywords you target. If you get your selection of keywords or even their usage wrong, then your whole SEO strategy will fall apart like a house of cards. Consequently, you must ensure that you know how to choose and use the right keywords for your online business. Here are some tips;
Relevance of Keywords
The first key to using keywords in your SEO strategy is choosing the right ones to work with. In fact, if you can pick the right keywords for your SEO strategy, half your work is done. Surprisingly, this is also the area where most website administrators, business owners, and internet marketers fail.
Context is the most critical aspect of picking keywords and also the area where most mistakes are made. Imagine that you have a business that deals in helping other businesses advertise on moving vehicles, roadside banners, and other such areas. Now, it’s likely that you’ll refer to your business as ‘mobile marketing’.
However, for the majority of people on the internet, mobile marketing would mean advertisements placed on the mobile platform. Thus, if you were to use ‘mobile marketing’ as one of your keywords, you would be giving the wrong impression to potential clients and would most probably draw the wrong target audience. The trick is to find keywords that best describe your business.
Another aspect to keep in mind, while picking keywords, is how the Google operates. For instance, plural or singular versions of the same keyword would not make much difference to your SEO strategy because Google essentially treats them the same way.
Competition in Keywords
When you start searching for the right keywords, you should take into account how much competition there is for those keywords. Competition is a metric that shows how many other businesses have tried to optimise for that keyword.
If you pick a keyword with high competition then you are competing with those businesses that have already put in place strategies to target those keywords. This means you have to work twice as hard to overcome their efforts.
A better alternative is to find keywords that don’t have a lot of competition – this is where ‘long tail keywords’ come into play. Long tail keywords are actually a phrase as opposed to being single or double words.
Consider a storage unit business based in Los Angeles, California. If this business targets the keyword ‘storage unit’ then it would not succeed as well as it would if it used ‘storage units in LA’ or even ‘storage units in Inland Empire’. Hence, it can be said that long tail keywords allow you to go deeper into a niche.
Placement of Keywords
How you use your keywords is also important. In the last few years, Google has been working hard to make sure that only pages with the best content get attention as opposed to pages which are created solely for SEO purposes. Panda and Penguin updates were designed for this purpose.
Thus, you need to have content that is not only SEO optimised but also informative i.e. it adds value to what the people are looking for. In contrast, if you have content stuffed with keywords then it would not only be difficult to read but would also not gain much traction with Google.
You also have to consider technical aspects such as including keywords in page titles, page meta data, image name, alt text, and excerpts.
ACTION STEP: Find out more about the importance of keyword research
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