In its simplest terms, keyword research is done to find out what people are searching for in your industry. In addition, a keyword analysis may do one of two things:
- Verify that your customers use the same language you do, and are already searching for the terms you’ve optimized for; or
- Identify keyword opportunities you are missing out on (and in certain cases, to the point of making you rethink the industry jargon you use with clients on an everyday basis).
There’s a whole process SEOs use to find out what people are ‘Googling’, and every SEO is going to give their client something different in terms of a keyword analysis. The results we get at flyte can vary anywhere from 300 – 10,000 quality, applicable keywords. Finding these keywords is half the battle; the other half is implementing them.
Give each web page a focus
I think the best place to start putting a keyword analysis to work is by understanding that each page should have a purpose; and thereby a focused, unique set of targeted keywords. Top tier pages have a more generalized group, and as you get deeper into the site – to secondary and tertiary pages – the keywords should get more and more specific. Each page on your website is a different possibility to rank at search engines.
Page titles should include your richest keywords (being careful, of course, not to stuff) – describing the page effectively and including your geographic location (if you differentiate with it).
Body copy is the main destination for your keywords. I generally suggest a specific keyword phrase is not used more than 3-4 times for content of about 250 words in length. This is where copywriting becomes an artform: balancing incorporating target keywords and writing naturally.
What if what people are searching for doesn’t align with my target customers?
To expand on the second point from above (identifying new keyword opportunities): I will often include keywords in analyses for clients that may not necessarily align with their business model, but do relate well to their industry.
For example, I may find people may be searching for “cheap vacuums” (this is purely an assumption), when a client only sells high-end vacuums. So what do I suggest? They use it to their advantage; by writing a blog post or article: “Buying a Cheap Vacuum Will Save You Money Now, But Buying a [Our Company] Vacuum Will Save in the Long Term” or “5 Reasons Not To Buy A Cheap Vacuum” for a little less “sales-y” approach. For almost every case, there’s an opportunity to incorporate hot keywords in a way that will apply to your audience.
Remember who you’re writing for
It’s not all about keywords. That may seem counter intuitive to my craft, but it’s crucial to remember that you’re writing for people first and foremost, not search engines. So, never stuff your keywords anywhere (in the code or otherwise), or to try any other black hat methods.
Optimizing for keywords is much more an artform than a science: it takes remembering all of these things (plus some) and a fair amount of experimentation. But in the end, it’s about writing natural, enticing copy for your target audience.
Keyword Analyses for Dummies