Keywords 101: How to Create Content to Help Your Customers Find You Online
February 2, 2021
Keyword research is a hot topic in the digital marketing world. Content marketing strategists and search engine optimization (SEO) experts are always looking for the right keywords to help their webpages rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERP). But unless you are working with content strategists or SEO experts, you’re probably not dialed into the importance of keyword research, how to find (and incorporate) the right keywords into your website content, and the impact keywords have on your website traffic.
We talk to a lot of businesses who are unhappy with the low volume of traffic to their website. They want more traffic and they know that being on “the front page of Google” will help with that, but they’re often unsure of how to get that kind of placement on the SERP. On the other hand, some businesses have been burned by a bad experience with shady SEO companies that adhered to Black Hat SEO tactics such as “keyword stuffing” that breach terms of service agreements with all the major search engines.
If you’ve had a similar experience you may, understandably, shy away from anything involving keyword strategy. Or maybe it’s just too confusing so you’re avoiding digging into the process. Whatever is holding you back from using keywords, we want to help you feel comfortable working keywords into your digital marketing strategy. Even the smallest effort toward incorporating keywords across your website will help more people find the content you’re publishing.
How do keywords work?
Simply put, keywords are the words a person types into a search engine to perform a query. In order for your customers to find your content from an internet search, you must incorporate relevant keywords strategically throughout your website that matches these queries. This applies to website copy as well as blog posts, videos, images, and other content you publish online.
In a way, keywords are like a bridge that connects the content published on your website to the person performing the search. Keywords alert the almighty search algorithms to the substance of your website, making it more likely that your content will appear among the first results in a query.
For example, if you just moved to town and need a new hairdresser, you may type in “best salon in Chambersburg.” Those keywords are very broad and highly competitive. Now, if you have naturally curly hair and type in “best salon for naturally curly hair in Chambersburg,” that keyword phrase is much more specific. Our naturally curly friend is more likely to book an appointment with the salon that offers useful and meaningful content on their website about curly hair care.
Using relevant keywords like these will help the algorithms connect the appropriate content with the person searching.
How do I find the right keywords for my business or nonprofit?
Finding the right keywords for your business or nonprofit organization can be a little tricky. The right keywords should generate qualified leads and increase revenue for your business, but if your keywords are too broad or too competitive you may not see much of a return. There are many variables at play in this process and specific considerations based on the competition surrounding the keywords you want to use.
Start by finding out what keywords your website is already ranking for. There are a number of free website analytic tools you can find online to help you do this yourself but this takes a great deal of time and can be confusing to decipher. Alternatively, you can request an SEO audit from a reputable company (like ours!) to walk you through the steps and ensure that you have a thorough analysis of the keywords that are already bringing in traffic.
When you know which keywords are already bringing you traffic, you can opt to build out even more content surrounding those words to solidify your standing with this specific set of words. On the other hand, if you’re getting traffic from a keyword phrase that isn’t actually relevant to your website, you may need to make some changes to ensure your content is attracting qualified traffic. Remember, not all keywords generate revenue. Focus on creating content that appeals to every stage of the buyer’s journey to ensure that you’re connecting with customers who are ready to make buying decisions.
In terms of new keywords for which you want to rank, lean into your marketing strategy for guidance on the type of content to create. Hopefully, you have sketched out a few customer personas and have thought through what problems they have that your products or services can solve. With this information in mind, you can create blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, and checklists that will help your ideal customer and build their trust in what you offer. Again, there are a number of free tools to help you determine how competitive these keywords may be so be sure to investigate those details before spending a ton of time creating content.
How do I incorporate keywords into my website?
The main ways to incorporate keywords into your website are in the site design and the content you publish on your blog. From a web design perspective, the keywords you want to rank for should be included in places such as:
- Headlines and sub-headline
- Title tags
Be sure you don’t overdo it—work toward a balanced distribution of keywords, and never sacrifice user experience on the altar of SEO.
From a content marketing perspective, keyword research should also inform the topics you choose to write about on your blog. When you know what your ideal customer is searching for online, you can create content that specifically addresses those questions using the same keywords they’re typing into the search bar.
One mistake a lot of copywriters make is adding the keywords after they write the content. This approach is backward. It is always better to write to the keywords rather than attempt to wedge them in later. Otherwise, the keywords are unnaturally forced or stuffed, rather than seamlessly incorporated, into the content.
Another mistake is focusing only on blog writing for content marketing. Content includes videos, graphics, photographs, and any other means by which you are able to provide valuable and useful content to your customers. Make sure that video title tags and image metadata are all leveraging keywords to help you experience a boost in traffic.
Get the Most Out of Your Keywords With an Experienced Web Design Team
This article just scratches the surface of the power of leveraging keywords in your digital marketing strategy. Finding and ranking for the right keywords can deliver a significant boost in website traffic. We would love to help you better understand which keywords are bringing you traffic and develop strategies to help you attract more qualified leads. Let’s schedule an SEO audit and get to work today!