SEO Basics: Choosing the perfect keywords for your website

Keywords are part of a websites content and used to help connect prospective customers to your site. Researching and optimising your keywords increases the likelihood that people will find you when they do a search for something you offer. In this post we share 4 tips to help you choose the best keywords for your online marketing strategy.  

1. Target long tail keywords

Unless you are a highly authoritative site, ranking high for a term such as “cakes” will be incredibly difficult compared to something specific and more unique. Long tail keywords usually contain around 3-5 words, and they work simply because they are much less generic. The more specific your website content is, the more likely your website will match your visitors’ needs – and  when they do land on your page, the more likely they are to stay and convert. 

Go to Google directly and start typing in phrases to see what people are already searching for. Try adding an underscore before, after or within your key phrase/word and Google will fill in the blanks.

2. Location matters

If you’re based in one location, make sure to use region-specific keywords so anyone searching this area will be able to find you. If you operate in more than one location, create a page on your website for each area to make sure you are indexed when a search is done for any of these additional locations.

Use Google Trends to see how much interest there is for certain keywords in your area, and how they’ve gone up (or down) over time. You can also pinpoint trending related queries – including “Breakout” results that have very recently seen a substantial increase in searches.

3. Think like a customer

Look at your selection of potential keywords and think about how they relate to your company. If someone searched for this phrase, would your business actually provide what they’re looking for? If not, think about your ideal customer – what phrase do you think they would be searching for?

Remember, exact matches of the term someone searches for will usually be ranked higher. For example, using key phrase “recipe for gluten free pizza dough” will probably not perform as well as “gluten free pizza dough recipe”.

4. Research the smart way

Once you have some key phrases in mind, it’s time to make use of Googles Keyword Planner to see how yours compare. Keyword Planner is primarily for Googles AdWords service but can still be used for free as a really handy research tool. 

Inputting your key phrases will bring up useful data including average monthly searches and a selection of related keyword ideas. You can also refine your search to target a specific area or language. Run other URLs through the Keyword Planner – e.g. your competitors, forums/subreddits related to your industry, and Pinterest boards  – for even more inspiration. The best strategy for smaller businesses is to use phrases that aren’t particularly competitive, and have a low average monthly search – around 1000 searches or less. 

With your list of key phrases ready to go, the next step is to start naturally integrating them into your website copy. We’ll be providing some tips on this soon, but in the meantime why not check out our how-to on creating engaging website copy?

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