You understand the importance of SEO for boosting online visibility in search results and funneling more traffic in your direction. Search engine optimization is essential for every business today, regardless of their size or the industry they’re in. Feel your way around SEO long enough, and you’ll soon discover that there are many layers to capturing the attention of search engines, and ultimately your target audience. While SEO comes with a constantly changing landscape, one thing has remained consistent throughout time – the importance of keyword optimization.
For many, keywords are synonymous with search engine optimization, or at least the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of SEO. This is because keywords play such a crucial role in how search engines find, rank, and present your website in relevant searches. With billions of websites on the internet, keywords are your main way of providing search engines with clues about your business, and the audience you want to attract.
Keyword Optimization Strategy
All that said, optimizing keyword usage isn’t as simple as plastering a few relevant words into your content. There’s actually a strategy behind keyword optimization, or at least there should be, if you want to maximize the return you’re getting from all your digital marketing efforts. Let’s look at a few of the most important steps to optimizing keywords for your website.
Step One: Identifying Your Goals
Were you thinking keyword research and content strategy were going to be first on the list? Knowing how to conduct keyword research, and what to look for in the word or phrases you choose, is important. But if you don’t first identify your goals, then you’ll have no idea what you’re looking for.
Take for instance a business that has been solely e-commerce since its start. After a couple of years, they’ve discovered a community they think is a great fit for a brick and mortar location. They decide to rev up their SEO efforts, and one of their biggest focuses is diving into content creation. In this case, the keyword strategy that they’ve had such success with for their e-commerce operation probably isn’t going to produce the same results for their physical location.
They have a new goal, so they need a new strategy, which in this case would include more geographically relevant, local keywords.
It’s also smart to take the customer journey into consideration when optimizing keywords for SEO. Not all the traffic that’s coming to your site is doing so with the same intent, and it’s an ineffective approach to think the same keywords are going to attract every member of your target audience. Develop separate keyword strategies that are designed to attract, nurture, and convert along the various stages of your sales funnel.
Keep Semantics in Mind
Let’s say nothing about your business, or your goals for search engine optimization has changed. Even with all other things remaining constant, SEO continues to shift. This means that even if your goals aren’t changing, you need to keep the shifting digital landscape in mind. One example of this is the rise in voice search.
Voice search is huge right now, and this demands consideration when developing your keyword strategy. The way we speak and type are entirely different, which means voice search users are coming at you with a completely new set of prime keywords.
It really all boils down to semantics. Considering semantics when optimizing your keyword strategy involves using more natural language phrasing and keeping search context in mind. For instance, keyword phrases that are presented in a Q&A format. Such as the difference between a text query that reads “Italian food near me”, and a voice search that asks, “where can I find the best Italian food in Atlanta”.
Evaluating SEO Keywords
Research that involves discovering the most popular, highest performance keywords for your niche is important. Something to keep in mind when doing this is that you’re not always going to be able to rank with the same keyword strategy that the giant corporation down the street has had success with. Your entire approach to SEO is different than theirs, so your keyword strategy should be also.
For smaller businesses, there are other elements of evaluating SEO keywords that should weigh more heavily. When looking at SEO keywords, keep popularity in mind, but also relevance, and intent.
The thing about going for the most popular keywords is that the more popular a word or phrase is, the harder it becomes to rank for it. If you’re a new business using the same keyword strategy as a well-established business that’s trusted in the community, you’re not competing on level ground. Chances are they’ll win the search engine race for the keywords every time. It might seem a little counterintuitive to choose less competitive keywords, but that’s the exact type of strategy that will help you stand out and rank higher in searches.
Another important sidestep to take when evaluating keywords is to consider user intent. There are three main intents that search engine users have when entering a query. The first is navigational and is used when they have a general idea of where they want to go but don’t know how to get there. They might enter the name of a business in the search bar or keywords that pertain to a specific type of business.
The next is informational. These are question-based queries, where the search engine user is looking for answers. This is where long-tail keywords and semantics are of extra importance. The third type of intent is transactional. These are the queries where the search engine user is looking to buy, sign up, etc. Choosing keywords that appeal to this intent is important because they’re essentially ready-made conversions that need little in terms of nurturing.
Developing a Keyword Optimization Strategy for SEO
The information provided here is a good starting point for your keyword optimization journey. However, really digging in and getting the most out of your keyword strategy from an SEO perspective requires time, effort, and a lot of hard work. We’re the digital agency in Atlanta that’s ready to roll up our sleeves and handle keyword optimization so you can focus on managing your successful, growing business. Contact us at Double Up Digital to learn more about our approach to SEO keyword optimization today.