Why Keywords Are Important
Most people find websites by typing a word or phrase into a search engine. We call these phrases “keywords,” regardless of how many words are in the phrase. Search engines crawl websites for keywords and rank the most relevant content on their search engine website. The higher the ranking, the more likely you are to have people visit your site. Proper keyword research helps content writers get websites found on search engines.
More traffic can lead to many lasting benefits to your business. Therefore, one of the best way to bring people to your website is to use keyword-focused content.
How to Research a Keyword
There is such a thing as choosing the wrong keyword for a page. Your job is to find the most popular keyword behind a user’s intent with the least competition and then target it with your content.
Gauging User Intent with Keyword Research
Keyword research is easier said than done: no two people think exactly the same. Just because you would search for something using a certain phrase doesn’t mean other people would. In fact, more people may use a different phrase to search for the same exact topic. In some cases, a phrase you would use for one topic is actually common for another topic.
This relationship between topic and keyword is called “user intent” and is one of the essential SEO best practices. An audience’s need typically falls under one of these categories:
- Informative, like answering a question many customers have asked about your product.
- Transactional, like knowing your customers want to find and purchase boots.
- Navigational, like where to get the best sushi in the Midwest.
To find the best keyword for your content, consider one of these options:
Method #1: Topic First
Choosing a topic first is best for building main pages whose topics are already covered by other popular websites. During your keyword research, you may find that keywords for these pages are more competitive and therefore more difficult to rank highly for on search engines.
- Beginning research with a topic means guessing a client/customer’s need and providing them with a way of fulfilling that need. You may already know what your target audience wants from your business/company.
- Once you know the intent behind a user’s search, you can brainstorm possible word combinations for potential keywords.
- Cross reference keyword popularity with competitiveness. Ideally, a good keyword has a larger search volume and less competition from other websites.
- Another great way to ensure your potential keyword fits a user’s intent, type it into a search engine and see which results are already appearing.
- Choose a keyword for your page’s content.
Method #2: Keyword First
Choosing a keyword first is a good method for supporting main pages’ competitive keywords with longer keywords or keyword variations. Remember: don’t randomly apply a popular keyword to a page. Users’ intents may vary; therefore make sure the keyword you use to optimize your page has a practical user intent behind it.
The goal when choosing a keyword before a topic is discovering what keywords are the most popular in your field and why. There are many ways to generate new potential keywords.
- Some keyword research strategies are as easy as typing an existing keyword into Google and seeing which keyword suggestions appear.
- More complex methods like using the Google Adwords Tool or a paid service like semrush.com allow a more comprehensive summary of keywords. These third party services can be difficult to manage effectively without a professional search engine marketer, so consider outsourcing this responsibility to an SEO company.
How to Write the Right Content for a Keyword
Once you have a keyword and a topic to fit your audience’s user intent, you can write content to fit that need. By creating engaging content a user will appreciate, you help guarantee healthy user habits on your site like higher click through rates and linking.
Don’t abuse keywords
Make sure keyword use is logical, relevant, and not too heavy handed. By using keywords naturally rather than forcibly, both users and search engines will value your content more. If you abuse a keyword, your readers will get bored and search engines will mark your page as spam.
- Focus on only one keyword per page to ensure you’re not confusing search engines or overlapping user intents.
- Only create one page for each keyword to avoid duplicate content.
Both of these will not only increase your website’s popularity, but it will help your content stay on topic, which is always good for the user’s experience.
Planning, Planning, Planning! (and more planning)
It’s easy to use this formula of:
topic + keyword = content
and assume that therefore,
(content + content + content) x ∞ = website
I really can’t stress this enough: content, like most aspects of web design, is all about preparing a layout plan. Each content page should connect logically with other content in order to create a positive user experience.
Need Help With Keyword Research?
We at jWeb Media are fully aware that the intensive keyword research process can be time consuming, if not intimidating. If you believe you need help with keyword research or any other aspect of SEO and web design, call our offices today to schedule an appointment.