As we’ve previously discussed, keyword research and getting it right, is one of the most important parts in gaining positive SEO results.
Search Engine Optimisation is simple to get to grips with but difficult to master, and a major part of that difficulty is in not only understanding, but utilising the correct keywords. This will ensure that your website is reaching out to not just any audience, but the people that you want to talk to.
What Is A Keyword?
Let’s start from the beginning though. Many people may have heard of the term ‘Keyword’ but won’t be familiar with its actual meaning and purpose.
In definition: A keyword is a word or phrase that describes the contents of a web page, helping to not only give the user an idea as to the information that the page contains, but also to allow search engines to match content with appropriate search terms.
So, to break it down, a keyword has two purposes:
• To draw readers to a webpage
• To allow search engines to capture the best content for particular search terms
In essence, a keyword gives you great freedom in finding your audience and spreading your message, if used correctly.
After creating your page and finalising your content, how do you decide which keyword or phrase to use in order to draw people to your site via search engines like Google?
You can do this by identifying areas of conversation or hot-button topics and turn the keypoints of that into your keywords.
For example: Is there currently a demand for a specific job to be filled for clients, or are candidates scrambling for tips on how to apply for a specific role? Try to spot trends and work out how best to take a niche word or phrase in order to hone in on getting people looking for specific things. Doing so will enable you to earn a higher conversion rate as you’ll be trying to attract people who have gone past the more generic search terms like ‘Jobs in London’.
The Importance of the Long-Tail
When people try to come up with keywords, they often come up with terms that are short (one or two words) and extremely competitive. These keywords will be the target of thousands of websites across the internet, some in your niche and some not but all competitors. This means that it will be extremely difficult to rank for the keyword and will take a lot of time and effort.
In contrast, terms which are more niche and therefore less competitive can result in more views over a longer period of time, this is because rather than focusing all of your time and effort on one keyword you can create tens, if not hundreds, of new pages targeting niche terms.
In fact, studies show that more generic terms – like ‘Facebook’, ‘Football’ or ‘Rock Music’ – result in only ten to fifteen percent of keyword searches and it’s the longer terms like ‘Football in Surrey’ or ‘Rock Music bands in Hampshire’ that will actually chalk up more results and more people coming to your website.
It works the same way when candidates look for jobs. Those who search for ‘Manager Jobs’ will turn-up more search results for manager jobs than they could ever possibly have the time to go through. Upon realising this, users will then immediately start searching for manager jobs in specific locations and/or companies.
‘Manager Jobs in Carlisle’
‘Manager Jobs at Tesco’
‘Manager Jobs in ‘Durham’
‘Manager Jobs at Morrisons in Durham’
Just like that, the user has searched numerous times under different criteria because they’ve been brought to a page that has identified their keyword and been presented with valuable and useful information for what they’re looking for.
You’ll notice that these terms are more niche and has resulted in providing specific information to someone who knows what they’re after. These people are more likely to follow through with a purchase or application because they already know what they want, they just need to find a site that allows them to do it – which could be yours if your keywords are primed and ready.
The pattern of searching for specific terms that contain an area, job type or company is a familiar one to many people after searching for a broader term and failing to find relevant information. It’s something that you’ve probably done yourself many a time, but it shows the importance of having more niche keywords that can answer someone’s question immediately.
Finding out what the best keywords are is one thing, but making sure you’re utilising them correctly is another. It’s a process that can only be gained through years of experience in dealing with SEO in general.
Different Types of Search Engine Queries
Before a customer has even got around to deciding on the specifics of what they’re looking for they are already conducting searches that they’re hoping will help them to come to a decision.
There are three different types of searches and they can easily be remembered by the abbreviation: NIT. This stands for Navigation, Information and Transaction.
The first type of search engine search is when a user already knows where they’re going. It could be a site that they know well or a brand that they want to visit or review.
For example if a customer is looking for new trainers they’ll go straight to Adidas or Nike – the big brands that are so ingrained in people’s minds at this point that they don’t have to think much to discover initial facts about the product – in this case trainers – that they’re looking for.
When it comes closer to purchasing though, they’ll be increasing the length of their search terms …
This is where customers will be trying to find specific information on a product, and they are looking for experts who can offer guidance and advice.
Using the trainer analogy that we used before, if they are buying trainers for a specific purchase – say they are a first-time marathon runner – then their search terms will reflect this. They may start searching terms like:
‘Best trainers for running first marathon’
‘Best trainers for running London marathon’
These terms usually won’t bring up the bigger brands, as they consistently rely on their name alone rather than handing out advice, but the caveat to this is that people are much more likely to trust a website that has provided valuable information.
So, for a small chain marathon specialist website selling running trainers, if someone has found a blog on their site detailing the nuances of the best running shoes then that customer can just buy it straight from there.
When customers are at the point of purchase and actively looking to buy then their search terms will reflect this. Instead of looking for brands or advice, their search terms will be things like:
‘Nike Running Trainers X62 Model Size 10’
‘Adidas Marathon Trainers AD7 Model Size 10’
This is when people are looking for only one thing and are ready to conduct a transaction.
Being a big and recognisable brand helps, but even if you aren’t by providing thoughtful information you can gain the trust of customers at the start of the buying process when they’re searching for further advice. By providing this, you can gain a significant influence over where not just one customer, but many over a number of years go for a specific product or service. This, is the long-tail effect in action.
There are a number of tools that you can take advantage of in order to help you, one being Google’s very own keyword planner.
The tool helps to identify the competition you might have using your suggested keywords and aims to guide you into the less competitive keyword markets.
This tool can be useful as it can help you to identify keywords which may be applicable to your area of expertise, but if your subject is niche then it may not show results.
It might be more useful to ditch automated tools and instead see what your competitors are using and use the terminology of your niche. For example, don’t use “Engineering Jobs”, use “Airframe Certification Engineer Jobs”
Find Out More
At Strategies, we have years of experience in both keywords and overall SEO strategy planning. We’ve managed to help numerous companies move their SEO marketing forward to make them a more viable and developed business.
If you’d like to talk to us about keywords, SEO or anything else, feel free to contact us. One of our friendly team will be happy to talk you through any SEO or website related query in order to help you reach your goals.