You’ve probably already heard a great deal about the importance of keywords and their applied use in your business website. If you still haven’t figured out what they are and what to do with them then this article is for you.
As an SEO consultant, keywords are something I get to think about and research every day so working with them for any particular business is pretty much second nature to me now. If I think back to the first commercial website I created in 2006 I have to admit that keywords had me a little puzzled! Here’s my Q&A list to help you understand how to find keywords for your own business:
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that someone uses to find something via the search engines. A little cryptic? Ok let’s try that in terms of your business:
A keyword is a word or phrase that your potential customer uses to search for your goods/services.
How do I Find What My Keywords Are?
There are a wide variety of different keyword research tools but I’m going to stick with the most popular one that’s completely free of charge: Google Adwords Keyword Tool:
- Create a Google Adwords account
- Log in and go to the Keyword Tool
- Now type in your main business service or product e.g. hairdresser
- Now look at the search results and you’ll see a wide variety of words and synonyms for your business
- You can export the search results to an Excel file and then remove anything that is not relevant
- Your resulting list contains your business’s keywords
What Do I Do With My Keywords?
In a nutshell, you need to sprinkle your keywords around your website. The search engines then see that your website is relevant for particular keywords, and serves up your website pages in the search results.
What are Longtail Keywords?
Your main keywords are sometimes referred to as ‘seed keywords’. From those seed keywords you can come up with related, more specific, longer keywords called longtail keywords. Here is a simple example:
- Evening Jacket
- Tuxedo Jacket
- Leather Jacket
- Black Jacket
- Sequin Jacket
- Black sequin jacket
- Black leather jacket
- Black leather evening jacket
- Black sequin tuxedo jacket
Do you see how we are using the seed keywords to make up longer, more specific keywords? The last two keywords would be considered longtail keywords.
What’s the Big Deal with Longtail Keywords?
Website owners are always in a big rush to get ahead for the main seed keywords. However these are always very competitive keywords, meaning it takes a lot of time and effort (and therefore expense) to get ahead of the competition. The longtail keywords are often overlooked and are therefore easier (and cheaper) to rank for. If you add hundreds of longtail keywords to your website and manage to get ahead in all the search results for those, then you’ll end up with a hefty amount of website visitors.
In addition to being easier to rank for, longtail keywords also attract more customers: people who use a longtail phrase know exactly what they are searching for and will be more likely to contact you and buy something.
Keywords are The Key to Success
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
Finding and using keywords which are relevant to your business is absolutely central to the success of your website. Without researching and knowing how your customers can find you then you’re leaving the success of your website to chance. Even if you can’t afford to have an SEO specialist research and pinpoint your keywords for you, if you follow the steps above you’re already a great deal closer to success than if you do nothing at all. Google Adwords provides you with a quick, easy and free tool so do take advantage of it and give your website the chance of success.