The keywords you target as part of your SEO campaign will have a direct impact on how many and the kind of visitors that find their way to your website. Missing important keywords because you didn’t do due diligence with your keyword research means missing out on a section of your target audience. If you aren’t targeting the right keywords for your business and your audience than your website is bound to get left behind as your competitors make all the connection with your potential customers.
Here are four things site owners can do to help ensure their keyword research is on target and attracting the right kind of visitors:
1. Check your own analytics to see how visitors find your website.
There is no rule that says two people have to search for the same product/service in the same way and visitors are bound to find your site through a variety of search queries, some of which you may have never thought of! If 100 people are coming to your site using a keyword that isn’t part of your SEO program at all, imagine how much better you could do for that keyword if you actually started going after it! Keeping an eye on your own analytics will also let you know if there are any new keywords popping up in your industry. Search behavior is bound to change over time and the sooner you catch on the easier it is to carve a spot in the SERPs for yourself.
2. Look for long tail variations you can effectively compete for.
Depending on where your site is in its lifecycle you might not have the authority and trust factor and SEO history to go after super broad and highly competitive keywords. This doesn’t mean you won’t one day be in such a position but if you want to keep your doors open long enough to get there you need to find some other searches you can effectively compete for. This means investing in the long tail. Look for more specific keywords that will deliver more targeted visitors to your site. It might mean less traffic overall but long tail keywords tend to send the kind of visitors are that are much closer to converting. In my opinion it’s more useful to have fewer better visitors than just more visitors that might not be ready to convert.
3. Don’t be blinded by search volume.
This is a common problem I see many sites owners make. They see that keyword A gets 6,600 searches a month and automatically assume that’s the best keyword for them. After all, why bother with keyword B that only gets 310 searches a month when keyword A gets 20 times the search volume! Because search volume does not equal relevancy—that’s why. Just because a keyword gets a lot of searches that doesn’t mean it’s the right keyword for your business, that page of your site or your specific target audience. Choosing keywords based on search volume alone is one of the easier was to get off track because it doesn’t factor user intent into account at all.
4. Think like your target audience at every stage of the buying cycle.
It’s important to remember that one touch point doesn’t always turn into one conversion, especially for B2B companies. You’re going to have to interact with your customers time and time again in order to build a rapport with them and that means connecting with them at every stage of their buying cycle. But someone that is ready to buy budgeting and forecasting software is probably going to search differently than someone wanting to learn how to balance their budget. Both are potential customers for the same software company but the information they need to take the next step is very different and so is the way they will go about looking for that information. Your keyword research needs to take every stage of the buying cycle into account, as well as think about who the influencers and decisions makers in your audience are. What they need/want to know should directly influence your keyword research.
One of the most important things to remember about keyword research is that it isn’t set in stone. As your business grows and develops, your industry jargon is updated and search behavior changes the keywords that worked 2 years ago might not be the best fit today. Don’t be afraid to revisit your keyword research from time to time if you feel like you’re missing the mark!
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is the President of B2B SEO services company Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com). With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog, hosting SEO Workshops, and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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