The best way to start a good SEO ranking strategy is to spend enough time searching for and choosing the most appropriate keywords for your business. Making wrong decisions in this step can put at risk the results of our work. In this first article we will focus on the different techniques and tools available on the market to create the best keywords dictionary possible. However, before we start we should define what is a keyword, and outline some features that our keywords should have.
The most generic way to explain what a keyword is is to define it as a word or combination of words that are used to search information about any given topic. If we go further and we focus on the business world, a keyword would be that which our target uses to find a company or our product/services.
To learn which keywords are more convenient for our business, we have to understand the features that our keywords should have:
- They must be customer-oriented. A good keyword is that which best reflects what our target is looking for. In addition to rank by the name of our company, it is as good an idea to have a list with the keywords related to the industry, the field and the products and/or services of our company and by which our customers find us.
In this sense, it is important to put yourself in your users’ shoes. Different people think differently, and therefore, they will also search differently. Think about the different profiles that might like your products or services and how would they find them.
- Relevance. Keywords have to relate to our website, and they should be within the contents we offer.
- High level of searches. This is a crucial requirement. The average monthly searches should be as high as possible – this will also depend on the industry within which our website is.
- Low level of competition. Among different keywords, we will choose those with a lower level of competition. There are keywords with high levels of searches, which is why people resort to them more. However, these keywords have the disadvantage that it would be harder to rank by them, and more resources will be needed to achieve an optimal ranking. Therefore, it is smarter to rank by keywords with lower competition although the level of searches might me lower too.
- High level of conversion. Independently of what we understand as conversion (buy a product, get leads, download a PDF…), our keywords have to be oriented towards achieving as many conversions as possible, so we should lead our ranking to transactional searches.
Once we are clear about the features that our keywords should gather, we have to start creating our keywords dictionary, but where do we start?
Before using tools, it is ideal to start with some brainstorming to generate a keywords list which will host the seeds for the tools.
This preliminary list should include the words and combination of words (1-3 terms) that name and describe your key products or services as well as synonyms and alternative ways to find them depending on the different user profiles. It would also be useful to check our site to locate and extract relevant terms. We must not forget to list all our brands and sub-brands as well as all the ways to name them, including misspellings. Do the same with all the products or product models.
Previous experience in the industry
Having previous experience in the industry will help us know what are the most common search patterns. In case we lack experience, we can always ask our client-who, after all, is the expert-to provide us a list with the most common terms.
Internal search engine in our site
If our web has this functionality-which is highly advisable-we can use it to find out what are the expectations of the users of our web. A query on Google Analytics for the most searched terms in our internal search engine will give us a rough idea of what users expect to find in our site.
Keywords for our competition
It is always interesting to know what the competition is doing, be it to imitate them, differentiate yourself from them or to find market niches that we had not realised before. For this we can use tools such as SEMrush (http://es.semrush.com/) or just find their meta-keywords.
Some tip: make it hard for the competition and delete the meta-keywords. These are not useful for ranking and you will make your competitors a favour.
übersuggests (http://ubersuggest.org/ )
This tool will suggest search combinations and patterns to expand our initial keywords list. It does not offer the search volume but it is interesting because it can offer new ideas or variations on our keywords that we had not thought of.
When we have established the search patterns, this tool helps us link easily different words which result in a long keywords list.
Google keywords planner (https://adwords.google.es/)
Although this tool is conceived for SEM, it is crucial to perform a search with keywords. Under “Ideas for keywords” and for a specific search, Google will give us ideas and suggestions, as well as the average monthly searches that Google gets. You can filter by language, location and device.
Google auto completes the search proposing alternatives.
When doing a search, Google shows related terms that we can incorporate to our keywords list.
After we have chosen our keywords, it is recommendable to check out the future trend of our keywords. It may be that after choosing our keywords, the usage trend is downwards, so our strategy will be affected by a lower level of visits. Moreover, this will allow us compare different terms. This is very interesting to study the seasonal trends of the chosen terms and take advantage of this.
As you can see, there are different strategies to make an efficient keywords dictionary. However, which keywords should we keep? The answer to this question is so important that it deserves an article for itself. So stay aware to our next writings in our blog. We will give you all the necessary keys to choose the most interesting terms to rank.
Image via Balakov.