What is a Keyword?

Good question! Everyone talks about keywords for SEO but we just want to clarify what they are.

A keyword is a word or phrase that a person types into a search engine such as Google or Bing. In fact many websites have a search function and so do social media sites.

How are Keywords Useful for My Business?

At Espan Digital, can’t emphasise enough just how important keyword research is and how it is a fundamental part to any SEO project.  If you don’t have the right keywords in place, then you will not rank for keywords that will help drive the right kind of customers for your business, products and services. Also wrong and incorrect keywords may rank, however they will rank for phrases that nobody will search for which is ineffective and will not drive traffic to your website.

When people use search engines for products and services, they are typically researching and seeking information online. They will have a word, phrase, question or statement in mind to search with, and this is across all of the search engines, i.e. Google and Bing. Buyers will be looking for solutions to problems. Think of anything that you have searched for recently and the chances are that your search is to solve some sort of problem or lead to a solution, eg “SEO company”.

When someone is searching for your company or organisation, they won’t necessarily search for your company name unless they are already aware of you. They will insert the keywords they think best describes what they are searching for, and these keywords will need to be aligned to what you are selling and providing.

You can therefore optimise your website around the keywords that your customers will be searching for and are relevant to your business, products and services. Combine this with the search engine’s goal to present the websites that are appropriate and relevant to a particular search term, then it can be seen why SEO keyword research is a fundamental part of the SEO process.

Keyword research and a keyword strategy will help to define the keywords to target that will help your business get ranked in the search results as well as drive more traffic of the right type of customers to your site.

Compiling a Keyword List

The first part to keyword research is to compile a short list of the most suitable and potential keywords and phrases. Keywords are subjective, so one person will search for one term and another person will search for a completely different term. So it’s important to get a holistic view of the type of keywords that could be used and compile a list.

You can do this by asking your customers what terms they are using to search. You can also ask your staff and those that are client-facing to feed back relevant keywords and also look at your website performance analytics that will give you an idea on the type of keywords that are being used by your website visitors. You should also look at your competitors and what keywords they are targeting and using and brainstorm ideas.

You can also use a number of different targeted keywords to particular pages on your website to drive highly relevant traffic. So for instance if you are selling windows on one web page, you can use window-related keywords for this particular product page. If you are selling doors on another page, then you can use door-related keywords for this particular page and so on.

Testing and Assessing Keywords

When you have your list, you will need to test and assess those keywords. There are a number of free and paid keyword research tools that can be used including the Google Keyword tool which is free to use. You can assess the amount of traffic that each search term will achieve based on the number of searches and the number of competitors using that particular keyword.

The beauty of the Google keyword tool is that it will also throw up some other search terms that may be relevant and you haven’t thought of. Sometimes longer keywords, or `long-tail keywords’, using SEO jargon, can be really successful and help to rank higher and differentiate you against your competitors. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are searched less often than generic keywords and are longer in character length. They are also highly specific and will tend to drive less traffic but traffic driven will be a high quality of traffic of searchers who are specifically looking for products and services.

Using Alternative Search Terms

You should also look at the keywords that your competitors are using and ranking for. If it’s viable that you can outrank them for certain keyword phrases, then go for it. If, however, the popular keywords are already being targeted by larger competitors with bigger budgets and older, established websites, you can decide on other keywords that will drive traffic to your site.
There is little point in going for and spending money on highly competitive keywords that you will never rank highly for, and when you check the keyword traffic for each phrase you can determine which lesser competitive keywords to go for that will bring traffic and help you to rank for those terms.

So to give an example, a gym will want to use the keyword `gym’. However when you search in Google `gym’ as a keyword is highly competitive and the big players will rank in the top 20 ranking places. However, for a gym based in Surrey then the keywords for `gym Surrey’, `gym in Surrey’ amongst others should be targeted. These are very relevant and are based upon about the locality and the rankings are much more likely to be achieved.

We offer a range of SEO services in Surrey and the rest of the UK and also in-depth SEO keyword research and strategy for all types of businesses.