In a world where people get most of their information from the Internet, it is increasingly important for your business to have a strong digital marketing presence. What’s the secret to staying ahead of the competition in an ever-growing online environment? SEO keyword research can give you an advantage by offering insight into what people are searching for. This research can be applied to craft content and develop an effective digital marketing strategy.
In this guide from Connectica, we will discuss how keyword research affects SEO rankings and how it can support your digital marketing campaigns.
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization. Think of search engines, like Google, as major highways and your website as the destination. If you want traffic to come to your website, it has to be optimized to attract your target audience.
Remember, your competitors’ websites are also destinations that people can get to from the Google highway, so you really have to make sure your site stands out above the others.
There are two main focus areas of SEO: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the optimization that occurs within your website, such as page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, content, and technical optimization.
Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your business domain such as guest blogs or backlinks on high authority websites.
SEO is a form of organic marketing. Organic marketing refers to unpaid traffic that comes to your website. SEO and organic marketing are highly valuable marketing endeavors for any business. Your website has the potential to produce traffic that converts to sales without paying for ad space!
In contrast, traffic from ads platforms like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads are considered inorganic. Now, don’t get us wrong! Inorganic marketing has immense value too, because paid ad platforms will deliver traffic to your website quickly. However, it’s a short-term solution. As soon you pull the plug on your advertising campaign, traffic to your site will also decrease.
Think about it this way, the average monthly PPC spend for small to medium-sized businesses is $5,000 to $9,000, depending on the time of year. Larger businesses can easily spend tens of, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising campaigns. That’s great if you have the budget, but if you don’t? Optimizing your website will maximize your digital presence for the long-term.
Organic marketing is a long game that can require months of effort before seeing meaningful returns. Many business owners are not prepared to put in the work that a long-term organic marketing strategy requires. Our digital marketing experts strongly recommend that if you’re going to invest in pay-per-click advertising, do it in combination with an SEO campaign.
SEO keyword research helps you identify phrases that people are searching for online in relation to your business, service, or product, as well as providing insight into how much competition there is around each phrase.
You can then use this information when creating content or designing digital marketing strategies aimed at increasing traffic to your website from Google or other search engines.
There are two major types of keywords: fat head and longtail.
Both types of keywords are worth ranking for, but they each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. When developing your keyword research strategy, keep search volume and competition in mind. We recommend including a variety of keywords with different search volume and competition values in your keyword list.
Fat Head keywords are shorter and more popular generalized terms. They are the words that directly describe your business. For example, “basketball lessons,” or “fish tacos”.
Here are a couple of things to know about fathead keywords:
Example: If you own a restaurant in New York City, the keyword “New York restaurant” would be a fathead keyword.
Ranking for fathead keywords is a long-term goal for a company. It would be unreasonable to expect to score a fathead keyword quickly – these are the types of keywords that require considerable time and work to rank for. That does not mean you should not include them on your website or SEO strategies, because websites can rank for them with due diligence. A fathead keyword is a great score because it will bring considerable, free organic traffic to your website.
On the other hand, long-tail keywords tend to be longer and more specific phrases than fathead keywords.
Here are a few things to know about long-tail keywords:
Example: “Best brunch spot in Manhattan” is an example of a longtail keyword whereas “New York restaurant” is not as clear cut.
Although these types of SEO-friendly phrases do not get as many searches compared to fat head keywords, ranking for them can bring significant results since most people who search for such queries have buyer’s intent. Additionally, having many long-tail keywords can add up over time to a large amount of traffic. Whether small or large – traffic is still traffic! While you work to rank for fat head keywords, you can continue scoring long-tail keywords.
There are many paid and unpaid tools to find SEO keywords.
Google offers a free keyword finder tool that can be a great start. If you have the budget for it, marketing analytic tools like SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs offer SEO keyword tools that can be quite effective too. Whenever you use these tools, make sure to center your search around relevant keywords towards your business and services or products. Ranking for relevant keywords will help you gain relevant traffic and lead to a higher conversion.
When it comes to organic marketing, content is king! Content should be the driving force behind your SEO strategies.
In a nutshell, the content for each page of your website should be optimized for the keyword or words you’re trying to rank that page for. Include SEO keywords in your web copy, headings, and meta titles to help Google know what a page or post is about; just remember not to overdo it.
Content for your website can include blogs, core service or website pages, location-specific pages, ebooks, video transcripts, and press releases.
I think it’s fair to say that SEO keyword research is an integral part of any digital marketing plan. It’s the foundation for all your digital marketing efforts, but it can be a difficult and time-consuming job to do on your own; especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Connectica has been helping companies with their digital marketing since 2012. Search engine optimization is our specialty and we have the expertise to help you build out an SEO strategy that will bring your business more traffic, leads, and sales.