93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. So, if you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords.
Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.
One of the biggest mistakes I come across is trying to rank for generic keywords with a high search volume.
Instead, try long-tail keywords.
These are keywords or key phrases that are more specific — and usually longer — than more commonly searched for keywords. They get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.
Long-tail keywords allow you gradually to get more traffic and to be found by new and motivated audiences.
Here is an example of a list of long-tail keywords for“social media marketing.”
How to figure out your target keywords or phrases
I’m borrowing this from PR consultant Gini Dietrich’s playbook so you may need to adapt it to your own business.
- Write down all of the questions you are asked in new business, or sales, meetings.
- Write down all of the questions your customer service department is asked.
- Go to your website or your internal server/Dropbox/Google Drive and grab your most recent frequently asked questions sheet.
- Go into your sent mail and scroll through to see what kinds of questions your clients are asking you that you’re writing long answers to every day. Write those down.
Now you have a nice list of content as a starting point. If you are being asked these questions, this is what people are also searching. And, if you have the answers and you’re the best suited to provide the solutions, they should be finding you when they search for these things.
Two tools to help you find long-tail keywords:
This is a free Google tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead of or alongside your original keyword.
You will need to sign up for an Adwords account with a Gmail account but you don’t have to add any credit card details or create any ads to use the tool.
Pro Tip! Check out Google Related Searches. Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.
I’ve installed this tool as a Chrome extension and I find it super helpful. It returns a host of long-tail phrases based on what people are searching for using specific keywords.
There are other long-tail keyword tools out there which you also might like to try — including Keyword Clarity (a free keyword grouping tool that makes it easy to identify keyword clusters) Answer The Public (an automated autocomplete tool that will populate relevant topics based on your search), and KWFinder.