Search engine optimization. It’s a term that’s been around nearly as long as the internet. And no wonder! SEO is critical to the success of your website and should be an integral part of your content strategy. It increases organic traffic, puts your brand in front of current and potential clients, and ensures that people will find you as they surf the internet. Much of SEO involves building content around the right keywords, which will get you the highest rankings with search engines. It isn’t a strategy that’s best left to chance unless you’re not concerned about picking up any more business. Indeed, the strategic and purposeful use of high-ranking keywords will help more people engage with your content and can set you on your way to increasing your business.

The key to keywords

Keyword strategies can be tricky, so it helps to educate yourself about using keywords before you go ahead and start creating content. If your keyword focus is too narrow, only a few people will find your website unless their focus is narrow, like yours. However, if your reach is too broad and not focused, you might attract a lot of traffic, but no one will stay and take action. Either way, you’re missing the boat.

Obviously, the idea is to find the right keywords to maximize your visibility. Easier said than done, right? But there are indeed ways to zero in on these keys to writing great content. Here we’ve included a few steps to point you in the right direction.

1. Know your business goals

– First, remember that your keyword strategy should support your business goals. You’re one step ahead if you’ve already put together a content strategy or content calendar. Of course, these goals could change, which means your keyword strategy might also need to change. For example, if you want to promote a brand-new service or product, you’ll need keywords explicitly related to those items.

2. Know your customers/clients

– Who’s your ideal client? Is it that 30-something mom at home with the kids or the busy working woman who’s always on the go? Think about who you’re trying to reach, what kind of information you’re trying to provide them, and even what search terms they’re likely to use to find that information. In essence, you’re working backward to get the information you need.

3. Do a little brainstorming

– It’s okay to start this the old-fashioned way. Either by yourself or with your team, sit down and do a bit of brainstorming. Write down all the keywords you think pertain to your business. Involve members of your team that are intimately familiar with your products, services, AND customer base. They’ll likely know what visitors to your site search for when they land on your homepage.

4. Go to Google

– No, Google won’t give you all the valuable keyword data you may be seeking, but an excellent place to start is with their auto-populate feature; you know, that function that helps you complete your thoughts as you’re typing in a query. Not only can this help you identify keywords and long-tail keyword phrases associated with your business, but it’ll also allow you to see what kind of related content is already out there amongst your competitors. You can also use the “related searches” suggestions at the bottom of the page to obtain other possible keywords or phrases.

5. Use keyword tools

– Yes, there are tools to help you identify keywords and phrases that should be a part of your content strategy. These tools help you identify where you might land in the rankings by providing info like click-through rate and search volume. Then you have to figure out what’s best for you. For example, if the search volume for a specific word is sky-high, it may be too broad a keyword for you and will make it difficult to rank with the search engines. Instead, you might have to narrow the focus a bit.

6. Spy on your competitors

– If you are familiar with your major competitors, do keyword searches and see where they rank. While you want to rank for as many terms as possible, checking out the competitors can help determine your keyword priorities.

7. Create great content

– Finally, once you’ve done all the work (or let Watershed9 do it for you!), you want to make good use of those keywords by creating excellent content that addresses your target audience and provides them with the information they seek. Remember to include keywords where they do you the most good, such as in headings and subheads, image titles, and more.

At Watershed9, our experts have been working with keywords and search engine optimization since the inauguration of our business. As professional website builders, we recognize the importance of a great content strategy and offer writers to help you with keyword placement that’ll put you on the map and help you out-sell your customers.

If you need assistance planning your keyword strategy, call us at 604-337-1449 and speak to one of our experts about your next step.