Sep11
How To Make Keywords Work For You

How To Make Keywords Work For You

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

How do you know if you are using keywords effectively? Does your keyword strategy reinforce your brand? Keywords should not be chosen at random. Nor should keywords stray from the brand you are supporting. In this post, we cover why keywords are important to your brand, and how creating a keyword strategy can help boost brand recognition and search engine optimization (SEO).

Why are keywords important?

Keywords in your website content act as little flags so that people know what you are about. Search engines look for keywords as markers in search functionality. These markers point readers in the right direction when searches match your keywords. All in all, keywords are a main element of SEO.

However, this means that if your keywords don’t represent your website, brand and industry, then your website can fall by the wayside. If your keywords aren’t representative of your website then your potential website traffic will be directed to other websites – even when you have exactly what they are looking for. This is precisely why your keyword strategy cannot be left to chance.

Building your brand.

A business brand is much more than a logo or color scheme. A business brand encapsulates how you engage with the rest of the world, and includes everything from the language you use and your workplace culture. Many aspects of your brand aren’t deliberately chosen, rather they evolve based on the management styles and practices already in place. However, recognizing qualities that are unique to your business is deliberate, and should be evaluated often to ensure that your actions and choices are deliberate and authentically represent what you project to the world.

In the early stages of brand development, keyword decisions are quite simple and are found by searching through search engines. However, many websites make the mistake of failing to regularly update their keyword lists once they establish regular website content updates. Just as your business and brand evolve, so should the depth of keywords that you choose to offer.  

Creating a strategy.

While the word strategy brings complicated plans and strenuous ordeals to mind, keyword strategy is much more straightforward than it seems. All you need is a list of words that you feel would be used to search out your website. Your list can be as long or as short as you would like. It should act as a reference for when you are looking to create new content.

Hubspot offers this great guide for creating a keyword strategy. If you are looking for a simple solution, you can quickly outline your strategy with a scrap of paper, or even a cocktail napkin:

First, think of at least three topics that are important to your brand. For example, if you run a plumbing business then your three topics could be leaky pipes, clogged drains and floods. Your initial topics can be as simple or as complicated as you would like.

Second, try to find at least three more subtopics and a long-tailed keyword in each topic. Long-tailed keywords can be found by searching your topic in a search engine. In a simple search for leaky pipes, you can easily find the following long-tailed keywords for website content:

By repeating these steps a few times, you can quickly build up a list that represents your brand.

If you get stumped, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which words will people use when they search for my website?
  • What questions do my product, service or website answer?
  • Which keywords are often used in other websites in my industry?
  • Who typically searches for my website and what other topics are they interested in?
  • Why would someone need my product, service or website?
  • Where would my typical website visitors expect to see information about my website?

From this quick list, you can easily create lists of topics to add to as you see fit. Once keywords are established, you can use Google Analytics to see how well they perform in searches. With a little time and research, you can ensure that your keywords work for you.  

Remember that keywords aren’t everything.

Search engine optimization cannot be won with keywords alone. There are many other elements that factor into where your website ranks in any given search, including how long your website has been live, how fast your website loads, how much time is spent on any given page, to give a few examples. However, keywords absolutely play an important part in who finds your website in an organic search. With a little planning and some excellent content, you can boost website traffic, exposure and your bottom line.

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