Robin Gandy, October 18, 2022
We take search engines like Google for granted as they are part of our everyday internet use. We can look up any topic and usually find what we're looking for in just a couple of seconds.
However, getting your website to rank highly in search can be a tricky task, but it's an important part of your search engine marketing. Targeting keywords throughout your site and blog posts is a great way to get started. Continue reading to learn how you can get started with keyword research!
Put simply, keywords are the words that a person types into a search engine when looking for something online. Including keywords on your website and in blog posts can help your site get found in search engines.
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Let's say you have a website about baking. How will someone find your website without knowing you exist? Well, you target keywords! If you specialize in banana bread recipes, you will want to target banana bread as a keyword so when someone searches for banana bread using Google, they can find your website.
The more keywords you target, and the more content you create that targets those keywords, the more likely a user is to find your website when using a search engine. Keywords are an important aspect of search engine marketing and content marketing.
Including keywords on your site can:
Now that you have an understanding of what keywords are, let's look at how you can get started researching keywords to add into your website. We'll break down an easy 3 step process that can help you determine what keywords you will want to include on your website.
Your keywords should be relevant to your website content and the audience you want to bring to your website. The content on your website, as well as the content you continuously create and share, should demonstrate that you are the expert in that field. Therefore, you should be able to come up with topic buckets that will be the starting points of your keywords.
You can do this by creating topic buckets and branching those topics off into sub topics. Here we've created a mind map. We've taken the word website, and branched that word off into topics, and subtopics.
Your topics should become more specific with more branches. During your brainstorming exercise, make sure to consider your audience and the overall goal of what you want your audience to do.
It's always important to consider your competitors when starting to conduct keyword research. Using an SEO tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs, you can type in your competitors' domain names to see which keywords they currently rank for, or which keywords they pay for.
This can give you an idea of which keywords you can target that they don't, or which ones you should also consider targeting. Competitor research can help you narrow down which keywords you should begin to include in on your website.
Now that you've created your topic buckets and have a sense of the topics you will create content for, you can start to conduct your keyword research. When searching for keywords, you will see the following:
Keyword Difficulty (KD): Keyword difficulty tells you how difficult it will be to rank highly for this keyword because there is so much competition. For example, “banana bread” has a keyword difficulty of 73 (super hard), while “easy oatmeal banana bread” has a KD of 28 (medium)
Volume: Volume is the amount of searches that keyword gets per month.
Cost per click: How much it costs per click to advertise your website when someone types in that keyword.
Number of search results: How many results available on a search engine when you search that keyword.
Ideally, you want the keywords you target to be high volume and low KD. Consider your topic buckets and begin to determine the keywords that fit into those buckets.
Head terms are more common, and therefore it’s harder to rank highly in Google by just targeting head terms. There are thousands of results for “Banana bread recipe”, so it will be difficult to rank on the first page of Google. Long-tail keywords are less common, which means they can be easier to rank for. It’s important to include both short and long-tail keywords on your site.
Now that you've determined your keywords based on your topic buckets, you can begin to work on your content including website pages, landing pages, and blog posts. Include your keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions.
Keyword research is an important part of search engine marketing and content marketing, and making sure you have created a keyword strategy before beginning your content strategy will ensure you are creating content that will get found online.