Keywords & SEO
Most small business owners understand the importance of keywords and SEO (search engine optimization). They go together like cookies and milk, peanut butter and jam, or eggs and salsa (or is that just me?). Whatever your perfect pairing, this post will provide you with a basic outline for choosing your target keywords and phrases to best support your online marketing and SEO. This is not a content marketing strategy, nor is it everything that you will want to know about keyword optimization, but it is a good place to start.
1. Choose long tail keywords first
What do long tail or mid-tail keywords mean? Let’s go back to my standby example, ‘dog biscuits’, and compare ‘dog biscuits’, ‘organic dog biscuits’, and ‘organic dog biscuits Victoria, BC’. Searchers typing in the first term, ‘dog biscuits’, could be looking for anything from recipes to locations. ‘Organic dog biscuits’ is a little more specific and relevant for online stores competing globally but still very competitive whereas ‘organic dog biscuits Victoria BC’ is very specific both in item and geographic location. This is considered a long-tail keyword as it has lower search volume than the broader ‘dog biscuits’ key phrase but is also much more relevant and likely to convert. It doesn’t matter that you had 10,000 visitors to your site this month if no one purchased anything or converted into a lead. It is far better to have 100 visitors and 10 sales.
2. Avoid targeting just one keyword or phrase throughout your site
No matter what your business, there are always supporting ideas and topics around your key terms. Sort your keywords and phrases into three piles: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary.
Primary keywords are the ones tightly related to your product and/or services and will drive the most traffic. These are fundamental in searches used for your product. You will want one page of content for each of these terms.
Secondary keywords are those that support your primary terms. These are often long-tail keywords and can be used in your blog and social media spheres.
Tertiary keywords are those that are not directly related to your key phrases but are still connected in a way with your target consumer. Keeping with the dog biscuit theme, you could write about the relationship between nutrition and health or traveling with their dog and easy snacks to have on hand. Although not directly related to your product, they are still targeting your market.
3. Use synonyms and be literal
Don’t forget about synonyms and natural variations on your key terms. You can’t say the same thing over and over again on the page without sounding robotic, unauthentic or worse – spammy. Use similar terms throughout your copy such as: ‘dog treats’, ‘dog snacks’ and ‘doggie biscuits’ where you can to keep the keyword relevance high and the copy interesting. Don’t forget to limit the amount of non literal language you use. The Google Bot might be pretty darn amazing at a lot of things but language interpretation can be incredibly tricky. (Check out our blog post about how this is changing the way people search). Try to write clearly and simply with little innuendo around your key terms. Sarcasm and wit can be difficult for the bots to get right.
Let us know what you think or if there are little tidbits that you have found helpful in your keyword building strategy.