5 Ways to Choose Keywords for SEO Content Optimization
There is so much data nowadays that it becomes an information overload when trying to analyze data. One of the biggest aspects digital marketing is SEO Content Optimization and while trying to choose the right keywords it’s easy to get lost in the numbers.
If you are looking to optimize your content for the right keywords these are the 5 things you need to focus on.
SEO Content Optimization
I’ll just quickly touch on what optimizing content for SEO purposes actually means.
The content on your site should accurately describe what product you are selling, service you are offering or information you are trying to provide to give your visitors what they need to know. However, to bring them to the site in the first place your content needs to contain the keywords they are entering into search engines, combinations of these keywords and surrounding terms.
For example you may be selling a red candle which is called ‘Luscious Cherry Candle – Red’ and the product name is also mentioned in the text. But are people searching for this? I don’t know, but Google does. If you use Google Keyword Planner you will find people search more for “Cherry Red Candle” so if you change the product title to “Luscious Cherry Red Candle” and then also reflect this in the text, the meaning is still the same but you more closely match what people are searching for. This is the essence of search engine optimization of your content.
Define your goals
Before you even look at keywords you need to define what you want people to do when they get to your site. Do you want them to call you, buy a camera, sign up to your newsletter, request a quote for a new shed or something else. Until you know what the goals are, you can have the most searched terms on the web optimized perfectly throughout your content but you won’t generate any leads and get visitors to do what you want.
If someone lands on your site from the the search term ‘best point and shoot camera 2017’ and you want them to buy your new Song Cybershot them you will be pretty disappointed. But if your goal is for them to subscribe to your newsletter to find about all these new cameras coming out then you will probably get a new subscriber.
If someone lands on your site while searching for ‘Buy Sony Cybershot free delivery’ and you want them to buy your Sony Cybershot then you are probably in with a good chance for a sale.
Think about what your site targets and what you offer and then what would people ask you in everyday life to get what you are offering. These keywords are gold!
This stems from defining your goals but is often one of the most simple yet overlooked areas to think about when choosing keywords. You need to have defined goals and then shape your keywords around what people would search for when specifically looking for your service.
If you are a lawyer, you may have some pages relating to ‘child custody’ and it would but understandable to optimize this page for terms relating to ‘child custody’. However, this is not exactly what your page is about, it is about legal service and assistance for child custody. There fore this page should be targeting slightly longer keywords such as:
- child custody legal assistance
- legal advice for child custody
- child custody lawyer
Therefore to optimize this type of page we should be reading sentences like “We offer easy to understand legal advice for child custody matters” and “…as a top child custody lawyer I focus on what is best for…”. These are much more relevant to what you do, rather than just ‘child custody’ which is very general.
However, if you run a blog which gives information on legal terms than targeting just ‘child custody’ could be perfect for you!
The easiest way to understand Searcher Intent (often referred to as Buyer Intent) is to understand why they want to be on the page you ae optimizing. Below is a sales funnel which helps illustrate a buyers journey from discovering your product to conversion.
Awareness – This is the stage in the buying cycle when someone just learns about a new product. Whether you see a new pair of shoes in a catalog, hear about them on the radio for the first time or are searching on a general topic on the web then stumble across the shoes this is the beginning of the sales funnel. Websites and content which relate to Awareness keywords are generally:
- Blog/News Sites
- Blog Posts/Articles
If you have an eCommerce store or a service based business you can write blog posts for your website which build awareness about your services (often called Content Marketing).
Keywords in this category are generally:
- Best running shoes 2017
- Most comfortable running shoe
- Running shoes for summer
- Running shoes with a lot of ankle support
Notice these are all generic and not specific to a running shoe as they are aimed at catching people while do research and finding your product exists, they are generally not ready to buy.
Interest – This is the stage of the sales funnel which people have narrowed down a little more about what they are looking for and and performing research into specific products to help make a decision. If you think about how you make a purchase decision offline, you’d ask people close to you “Hey, what is the best small car to have with kids”? Then after asking a few people you’ll then begin asking “Hey, what do you think of the 2017 Holden Astra or Ford Focus?”. The second question here is the keyword around Interest. You have narrowed down what you are after and are now investigating those options further. Websites and content which relate to Interest keywords are generally:
- Review Websites
- Comparison Sites
- Articles deeper explaining a specific product or service
This content tends to be on impartial sites and not on the actual site offering the services. However you can write content for a site which offers a service or sells products to spark interest without a sales intent.
Keywords for this category generally include terms like:
- Asics Kayano 22 vs Asics Kayano 23
- Why use Asics Kayano 22 for road running
- How Asics Kayano support your ankles on long distance running
Note these are specific to a running shoe and its benefits, how it can help, why it’s amazing and anything else which is unique about it to build interest in the shoe.
Decision – This is the stage in the buying cycle where you have decided on the product you want and now you’re searching for conversion related terms. In reality this is the equivalent when you’ve decided on which shoe you want and you’re asking people “Where is the cheapest places to get Asics Kayano 22” or “Where can I get Asics Kayano delivered over night”. Sites which generally target these keywords and are going to have the best benefit of showing up in search results for Decision orientated keywords are:
- eCommerce Stores
- Service Providers (plumbers, accountants etc)
- Generally any site which is for a business which sells something
All keywords with what is called ‘Purchase Intent” falls into this category and tend to include phrases such as:
- cheapest Asics Kayano 22
- buy Asics Kayano 22 online
- overnight delivery Asics kayano 22 Melbourne
- Buy Asicss Kayano 22 Sydney CBD
These keywords are all very specific and are right at the point where the person has made a decision and just looking for a provider to match their needs. So if you are a shoe store in Sydney CBD and you show up in search results for ‘Buy Asicss Kayano 22 Sydney CBD’ then you have a great chance of making a sale.
Action – This is the final stage – the conversion! This is where the visitor knows YOU ARE THE ONE for them and buys your product, calls you for a quote, signs up to your newsletter, registers for your event and so on.
Search volume is kind of like Market Research for keywords. By this I means it’s great that you have a fantastic product…but how many people want it? Well instead of guessing Google Provide you with an amazing free tool (as long as you have an AdWords account) called Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to enter keywords and shows how many people are searching for them in the location you are targeting and how many other sites are competing for traffic for this keyword. Although this is aimed at PPC keyword bidding, it’s pretty tightly coupled to organic search as well.
For instance this post is aimed at people trying to do keyword research so if I put in ‘how to do keyword research’ it gives me an idea on what keywords to use in this post if I want to attract these visitors. Below it shows me if I use the terms SEO Keyword research, long tail keywords, keyword search and keyword research I’ll attract the better part of 15k people each month and there is a Low-Medum competition for other sites competing on the same terms. This is great! If there was only 1k searchers per month in total all with High competition then this would be less ideal as it would be harder to rank for the keywords.
That being said we can’t always get lucky such as in this case. If you are a plumber trying to rank for localized keywords in Melbourne, the competition is significantly higher as shown below. This does not mean it is impossible to rank for these keywords just significantly harder so choose the ones with the highest search volume to give yourself the best chance.
Ideal Keywords have High Search Volume and Low Competition – if all have high competition then choose the ones with the highest search volume.
This is again always overlooked and misunderstood. Whatever your site is about, ensuring highly consistent keywords throughout the site helps Google see that you specialize in an area and give you a better weighting. This does not mean that you have to optimize every page with the same keywords but it means consistent use of generic terms helps the site overall rank for these terms. For example, if you are a plumber in Melbourne and you offer 10 different services of which you have a page for each of these but across the all variations of the following keywords are used it will more so establish the site as a authority in the area:
- Melbourne Plumber
- Plumber in Melbourne CBD
- CBD based Melbourne Plumbing Company
- Plumbing company servicing all Melbourne areas
This can easily be translated into real life. We all have that one friend who is an expert in cars, food, sport or something else. If you have 5 people in a room and you have a soccer question and everyone knows a little about soccer but you have one person who tells you the latest stats of most of the English Premier League games each time you see them, who are you likely to ask? Of course the soccer fan! The sames goes on the web – be consistent and become the go to site for the most important keywords to your site.
There is a lot to take in here but where choosing a keyword for SEO content optimization make sure it meets as many of the criteria above as possible. The more criteria it meets the better the keyword will perform for your page. Choose up to 3 keywords to optimize a page for and make sure it fits in to each one of these categories, if it doesn’t then don’t use it.