Google has given us the “gift” of no longer providing us with the list of specific keywords typed by visitors to our websites. Searching on Google analysis tools is not enough to know which keywords a company should position themselves on. Although other tools try to take advantage of this change by offering alternative algorithms, these are often paid services and their reliability can be difficult to measure.
It will therefore be necessary to rack our brains and think more about our positioning strategy on various keywords. This article will detail the different methods to properly select your keywords and thus succeed in your positioning strategy on search results. Note that these tips are effective for both SEO and PPC campaigns.
Keyword optimization research
First of all, you have to choose which keywords you want to appear on. This means that you need to know the list of keywords that can be typed by your potential customers when they want to search for you. To help in our keyword research, we can use free tools such as Google Trends (allowing us to see search trends for a keyword over a period of time) or Google AdWords keyword generator (providing us with a list of keywords in related search fields).
It is however advisable that you verify the relevance of each keywords suggested by these tools because it is not uncommon to get towards end of the keyword list and see ones with little to no relation to what you originally entered. Once you have this list, you can integrate these keywords into your AdWords ads or written content to help optimize your indexing on search engines.
Gathering and sorting through the data
Traffic prediction and keyword generation tools can be of great help as they alert you to the search terms typed in by users. On the other hand, they only provide you with raw data, you then need an analysis strategy in order to sort through all the keywords obtained to make the best decisions. You need to gather all the knowledge you have about the sector you are targeting, the added value you want to offer customers, and also how your future customers will interact with your products/services.
Competition keyword analysis
It is also important to analyze how your competitors communicate on the web and how they highlight their products/services. A small courtesy visit to their site will surely give you new ideas on how to communicate more effectively. You can also type in the keywords that you want to position on and see if any competition appears in search results. To do this, consider taking into account the relocation when you do the tests. To make it easier, use an IP address scrambler and choose the country that you want to test from.
Know that your competitors on the web are not necessarily the companies who offer the same services as you. For example, you may very well find yourself competing with sites like Wikipedia for very general keywords. So you have to analyze the exact keywords you want to position yourself on.
Research user intention
When you analyze your keyword list, you must also identify the reason people visit your website. The fact that your keywords are relevant is not enough, it is also necessary that the person who arrives on your website can easily understand exactly what it is you expect of them (subscribe to your Newsletter, buy your product etc.). Let’s look at an example:
Let’s say that you offer your services as a content writer for other websites. Although the keyword “editor” is relevant, it is far too general to make sure you appear at the top of the search results:
In addition, you should exclude all combinations of keywords unrelated to what you offer: “become a professional writer”, “job search editor”, “what is an editor”, to ensure the quality of the traffic you receive.
Using one-word keywords or not?
If you are on a market niche, opt for two/three words per “keyword” rather than just one word. Do not hesitate to include details about your activity that can differentiate you from other advertisers, or even include the area you cover. The more accurate you are, the more qualified your traffic will be. For example:
“Cheap used PCs” rather than “PCs”
“Italian Restaurant Paris” rather than “Restaurant”
“At home flower delivery ” rather than “Flowers”
Why? For the following reasons:
● The more specific your keywords are, the less likely it is that competitors will seek to position themselves on the same ones, which means that you will find it easier to slip into search results.
● Search results for generic keywords are often dominated by large companies. Keywords such as “computer” can generate 900 million results and the first results are occupied by large international companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc.
● Users know that they will find what they are looking for faster if they use specific terms. Studies published by Google show that most search terms are composed of two or three words.
● Most people write generic keywords when searching for product information and specific keywords when they are ready to buy a product.
The most effective thing to do is to analyze what users are typing into search engines in order to find you and to position yourself on these terms. If the search terms are evenly distributed between singular and plural usage, think about user intentions (we always come back to the same point). Maybe people that type the keyword “tennis shoe” are just looking for information about shoes used for playing tennis (compared to running shoes) while those who type “tennis shoes” are usually looking for to buy tennis shoes online. As a seller of tennis shoes, it would be better position yourself on the keyword “tennis shoes”. This may seem a bit far-fetched and yet a simple change like adding an ‘s’ can lead to very different results.
Similarly, if you are marketing TVs, it is in your interest to position yourself on the keyword “TVs” or “buy a television” rather than “TV” or “Television” in order not to compete with TV channels or TV program guides.
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