That’s it! That’s it! Your website is finally finished and you have just indexed it on Google. Like any self-respecting marketer, you take care to regularly publish relevant and high-quality content on your site and bring your social networks to life to attract traffic. However, despite the scale of the investment and the energy you put into promoting your website, there are few visitors, and even fewer conversions.
Content is obviously one of the most important elements to be well referenced and have a website that brings in traffic and conversions. However, no matter how much you offer your users the most relevant content on your domain, if you don’t have traffic, no one will be able to enjoy it!
This is where keyword research comes in.
A keyword is a specific word or group of words that Internet users type on a search engine to find the answer to a question. For example, if you type “Antique furniture restoration” in the search bar, Google will offer you a set of results that it considers most relevant for the keywords you have chosen.
Performing keyword research consists of determining, with several tools, the keywords that Internet users will enter in the search bar to land on your site, in order to optimize your web pages and have Google display them for your terms.
Producing marketing content and maintaining a website without doing keyword research will waste a lot of time and money. Keyword research is an essential step in making your website and content a reference in your field, and therefore reaching the top positions in Google search results.
Why perform keyword research?
Google logs more than 100 billion searches per month. It is now estimated that half of the world’s population uses the Internet (around 3.77 billion users). The Internet is therefore a great tool (if not the best) to increase your visibility and make your company known to your potential customers. However, competition is fierce on Google, and you need to be methodical to get the best possible visibility.
Give directions to Google
Keyword research goes beyond SEO, it allows you to determine your overall digital marketing strategy.
The marketing content you produce on your site is Google’s main interest. You should never lose sight of the fact that Google’s objective is to offer its users the most relevant content related to their search. However, not all your content is equally important. As such, you need to highlight your keywords to give Google insight into the content of your web pages and to demonstrate the relevance of what you offer to Internet users’ searches on the subject.
Always ensure that you maintain consistency between your keywords and your content. If you are a garage owner and you publish blog articles highlighting keywords that relate to plumbing, there is a risk that you will be referenced on searches that do not reach the target you want to hit at all, and this will penalize you on Google and with Internet users.
To be able to perform a good keyword research, you have to be able to put yourself in the Internet user’s head.
No keyword, no traffic
The primary objective of SEO is to be referenced on search engines. In other words, writing content for your customers also means writing for your customers to find you.
There are 3 essential aspects to SEO: content, link building, and keyword research. To receive traffic and conversions on your website, you need to be referenced. However, referencing in the first few search results is not enough, it is still necessary to attract qualified traffic. Qualified traffic is made up of all Internet users who are genuinely interested in the service you offer, and who are therefore potential customers. To increase this traffic on your website, you have to conduct keyword research.
Therefore, it makes sense to ask yourself several questions before you really get into the subject and determine if your keywords really match your website.
- Do my keywords target what people are looking for?
- Are users who arrive on my website after looking for the keywords you have chosen satisfied with what they find there?
- Does the traffic coming to my website help me meet my objectives (economic or otherwise)?
If one of the answers to these three questions is no, you should do keyword research which, as you’ll see, is very simple.
How to easily determine your keywords
To determine your keywords, you have to put yourself in the user’s shoes.
If you were a normal user, and you were looking for the exact service your company offers online, what keywords would you use?
For example, if you want to restore a beautiful used piece of furniture in your home, you will probably look for something like “Old furniture restoration” online. As a result, a furniture renovation company will have to place itself on these keywords in order to attract traffic to its website.
What is your website about?
To determine your keywords, review your website, as well as all the keywords it contains (service page names, blog article titles, etc…).
Furthermore, to ensure that your keywords are effective, you need to ask yourself several questions:
- What is the search volume for these keywords?
- How many sites target the same keywords?
Be careful not to position yourself on keywords that are too competitive: if you are unable to place yourself in the search results, your efforts will be wasted. For instance, if the furniture restoration company only positions itself on the keyword “furniture”, chances are it will be largely overtaken by furniture sales companies in the search results.
Google is your friend
Google can provide you with a lot of answers to guide your keyword research. Indeed, a first step can be to type your keyword and look at Google’s suggestions, which highlight the main trends related to this keyword.
To go even further, one technique is to type your keyword, followed by a letter of the alphabet, for example A. The suggestions proposed by Google therefore allow you to determine which queries have a high search volume. Continue with B, C and so on, and you will have found a great deal of information about trends related to your keywords.
Google also suggests trends. They are extremely revealing of the traffic on a particular keyword and can also greatly help you to refine your searches, and produce content that responds to issues that have a high search volume.
Check out what the competition is doing
A very simple and effective way to determine your keywords is to look at the keywords that have been used by your competitors. With a few clicks, you can (legally) access the source code of your competitors’ pages and see all the keywords on which they have chosen to position themselves.
To access your competitors’ source code, here is a small table that gives you the steps to take depending on the browser you are using:
The source code contains all the information relating to tags, meta-descriptions, and can indicate the keywords on which your competitors wish to place themselves. Note that even if your competitors have not entered the “keyword” tag, the title tag already gives valuable clues. If several of your main competitors place themselves on identical keywords, it seems wise to align with the same niche, since these keywords attract a lot of qualified traffic.
Most often written in HTML, the source code is relatively easy to read, even for novices, and is presented as follows:
Here, the source code of the Decathlon Canada site gives us all the information related to the content of the title tags, meta-description, and on the keywords used in the content.
Use SEO tools!
There are many SEO tools that allow you to determine your keywords. Beware, most of them are paid for but some offer a free version.
With SEMrush, you can see which paid keywords your competitors are using. Again, if your competitors place themselves on the same keywords, it’s a sign that these keywords are effective in attracting traffic to your domain. In addition, the Keyword Magic Tool gives you the volume of keyword searches related to your domain as well as the price to pay to use Google Ads to reference these keywords. For instance, by typing “antique furniture” on this application, we obtain the following result:
We recommend that you regularly update your keywords with new research. In addition, track your keywords monthly through a paid platform or even Google Search Console, which is completely free. You will also be able to analyze the search volume recorded on the keywords you have chosen to position yourself on.
If you want to work on your SEO, which is an excellent way to become known online, you need to choose your keywords carefully. Create a list using the free Google Keyword Planner application from Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). Integrate your keywords naturally into your web pages and monitor them regularly to analyze the success of your SEO.
How to optimize keywords on your website
Several techniques can be used to optimize the keywords on your web page. Two essential criteria must be taken into account to ensure the relevance of your keywords:
- Does the keyword have a high search volume on Google?
- Does the keyword fit your website?
- Are your competitors positioned on the keywords you target?
If your keyword is relevant, you must place it in all your tags, URLs, titles, meta-descriptions and in the body of your content. Be careful not to overuse it, however, to avoid being redundant and making your content unpleasant to read for the Internet user.
Concerning URLs, yes it is important to put the keyword in the URL but above all you must have URLs of your own and that make sense in relation to the page. Don’t have a very long URL because you wanted to put a key expression in it. Also, do not change your URLs just to include the desired keyword. You may lose all the history of your page. If the SEO optimization of your site coincides with a redesign, consider changing URLs but don’t change your URLs just for SEO.
Put the keywords on which you want to position yourself as high as possible in your content and emphasize them in the tags.
Google also appreciates the richness of vocabulary, so don’t hesitate to use a thesaurus to include many synonyms for your keyword, which will help you to improve your SEO ranking.
The long tail technique
The long tail technique is a well-known technique for marketers to attract traffic. Theorized by Chris Anderson, this technique highlights the paradox that, on the Internet, the best-selling products are not the most profitable, but the enormous diversity of other products sold in small quantities produces the highest turnover.
The same is true on the Web. Referencing a keyword that has a very high volume will not drastically increase your traffic, because the competition will be extremely fierce and you will not necessarily be in the best position. But by referencing keywords called “long tail“, where the competition is much less fierce, and which also eliminates a lot of unqualified traffic, you can overtake the competition that may not have optimized its content for these keywords.
For example, in the case of a website that sells organic beauty products. You write a blog article giving your best advice on how to put makeup on for a wedding.
If you write the following title: “How to look the most beautiful at your wedding”, you may be competing with all the bridal dress, accessory and hat stores. By instead choosing a title tag like “5 organic make-up tips to look the best at your wedding”, you ensure that the people who visit your site will be qualified traffic, and moreover it will be much easier to be positioned on this subject since it is more specific and the competition will therefore be weaker.
The more specific your keywords are, the more you guarantee that you will be able to answer users’ questions when they visit your website. Therefore, by referencing yourself with long tail keywords, you may have less traffic for this or that keyword, but you will boost your conversions considerably.
However, for the long tail strategy to be set in motion, you must keep in mind that a great amount of content will have to be produced. In addition, this technique is preferred for SEO. In paid referencing, we would prefer to choose very high volume queries to benefit from as much visibility as possible.
With all these tips in hand, you are ready to determine your keywords and optimize them as much as possible to make your website a reference in your domain and greatly increase your traffic and conversions.
If you need help determining your digital strategy, or writing your content, contact us directly on our web page, we will be happy to give you our best advice.