Before you start figuring out your keywords, it’s best to get to know the type of visitors you will be trying to attract to your website. That way, you can tailor everything you do to hold maximum appeal to your ideal visitor, including picking your keywords and creating content they will like.
Customer research will help you learn what people REALLY search for. You’ll be able to find out the precise phrases they use when they search, so you can include these in your site and content, to help it rank for those keywords.
1. Customer Research: You might know roughly who your ideal website visitor is, especially if you already sell things online, or have a blog or business profile on social media. They will be the people already interacting with you, the ones who like your content, comment, or buy things from you. Think about what age group they tend to fall into? Are they mostly male, female, or mixed? What interests do they have? These things help make up what is known as the customer persona, and it’s important to define your customer persona if you want to do well in SEO and online marketing.
Many people think compiling a customer persona will only help them if they are looking to create products people will want to buy. But knowing your visitors is also critical to succeeding with SEO. As well as knowing the age, gender, and interest data on your ideal customer or visitor, you also need to know WHAT they search for and HOW they search for it. Without this information, you won’t be using the keywords the people you want to attract are searching for. You won’t be able to create content that’s structured around these keywords, as you won’t know what they are. And your content won’t be structured in a way that is most appealing to the people you want to visit your site and engage with it.
2. Finding the right Keywords: Once you’ve created your ideal visitor profile, you can start conducting some keyword research. This will involve discovering the precise keywords and key phrases that your ideal customer’s use when they search.
Keywords can be split into two main types:
- The type of keywords people use to find products
- The type of keywords people use to find information
If you have an online store retailing yoga pants, your product keywords might include: Yoga pants free delivery, Yoga pants for curvy women, Adidas yoga pants. And if you were writing a blog article on yoga positions, your informational keywords might be: Yoga positions for weight loss, How to perform yoga, Proper yoga posture.
Ideally, any page that’s properly optimised for SEO should include several sets of BOTH types of keywords so however people search, your website always appears as an option. You’ll also be more likely to appear for other, related keywords.
3. How to perform better Keyword Research: There are some handy tools you can employ to find better performing keywords and the first one is Google’s Autocomplete tool. Most people have already used it, though they might not have realised it at the time. When you type anything into the Google search box, you’ll notice several search suggestions are displayed automatically, below what you have typed. These are the keywords and phrases related to your topic that people have already used to search. They are incredibly useful as they are the phrases people use to search for things and can give you great ideas for keywords to include in your content. It’s a good idea to write these suggestions down or keep a list handy for when you come to create your webpage.
You can use Autocomplete to search for Keyword ideas for any topic you want. It’s a brilliant way to find highly relevant search terms that you can use in your content. The second tool you can make use of is called Answer the Public. This is a free tool that’s especially useful for discovering informational keywords and phrases.
If you were writing a blog piece about Steam Trains, you might type “steam trains” in to Answer the Public first, to see the questions connected to that topic that people have been asking. A typical result might be “what steam trains are still running?” Not only does this give you keyword search ideas, but it is also a great way to get new potential topics for blog posts or vlogs. Another way to find keywords is to employ a good keyword research tool to discover how popular your chosen keyword is, and how hard it will be to get into the top ranks of Google search results with that search phrase. The more a keyword is used, the harder it is to rank for. However, the answer is not as simple as picking keywords that aren’t popular, as you still need to include the words and phrases people search for. You need to strike the right balance between keywords that aren’t so competitive you can’t rank, and keywords that people look up, so your site can get discovered.
Tools like Answer the Public can help you home in on more niche, but still searched for key phrases. Answer the Public is especially useful once you have a list of potential keywords, as it will help you whittle down your list and find the best search terms that are also the easiest to rank with. There are a LOT of keyword research tools available that can help you in your quest to discover suitable keywords. SEMrush, the Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google’s own Keyword Planner, are some of the most helpful.
4. Using Google’s Keyword Planner: You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to discover keywords for your SEO content and webpages, even though it was primarily created for Google Ads campaigns. This is a free to use feature within Google Ads, so you’ll need a Google Ads account to use it. Once inside the Google Ads dashboard, open Keyword Planner, and type in a keyword. You’ll get search volume data on that phrase, along with a selection of related keywords and phrases.
Search Volume Range gives you an idea of how often people have searched for the keyword you typed in that month. By entering your selected list of keywords into Google Keyword Planner, you’ll be able to use Search Volume Range to see what keywords are popular – and what ones aren’t often searched for.
5. Long-Tail Keywords: The last thing you can do to optimise your keywords is include more long-tail keywords in your content. There’s not so much competition for these types of keywords, as not so many people use them, so it can be easier to rank highly in Google for them. They are also more precise, so they can help a more relevant audience find your content. A typical example of a long-tail keyword would be “How to burn belly fat fast”. A shorter keyword that’s NOT a long-tail example, would be “burn belly fat”. When you refine your SEO approach, you can also include the shorter keywords that are used more often, but if you’re a beginner, long-tail keywords will help you rank higher, faster.
6. Keywords for Voice Search SEO: It’s important to include keywords in your content that will help you get found by people conducting searches using voice. Google states that almost 50% of all adults use voice to search daily, and this number is growing.
The two biggest differences between keywords for voice and other keywords are.
- Most people using voice to search tend to use longer, more detailed keywords
- Voice searchers ask a LOT of questions when they search
A lot of people think they don’t need to optimise for voice search because they assume most of these types of searches will be carried out by people using smart speakers. They think that no one will be visiting their website, but this is simply not true. Research has shown that 20% of all searches made by smartphones are voice searches. More people are also now using their laptop and desktop computers to conduct this type of search, so it’s crucial to include voice search friendly keywords in your SEO strategy.
7. Optimising your content for Voice Searches: More people are also now using their laptop and desktop computers to conduct this type of search, so it’s crucial to include voice search friendly keywords in your SEO strategy. You might be wondering how to choose the best keywords for voice search. Here are four top tips that will help you prime your content for voice search:
a. Remember to optimise for Google’s Rich Answer Box: Here there is only ONE answer displayed, so you want to make sure yours is the best one. Research has found that 75% of the top Rich Answer voice search results rank in the top three for desktop searches. By optimising your SEO approach to ensure you rank highly in Google Search for your niche on desktop, you’ll be maximising your chances of getting found in voice search. The tips and techniques in this video will help you boost your general Google Search score, improving your chances of appearing as the best result in Google’s Rich Answer Box.
b. Remember to optimise for Featured Snippets: Priming your content for Google’s Featured Snippets is one of the MOST effective ways to rank highly in voice search. Snippets are small pieces of essential information, that Google automatically pulls from your webpage. To have a chance of getting your content featured as a snippet, you should include clear questions that have relevance to your topic. Make sure they are questions that people who are looking for information on your topic would ask. You can use tools like Ask the Public to find out what topical questions people are already using to search.
c. Remember to include numbered list posts: Using numbered lists will boost your content’s chances of appearing in voice, and it will also help you maximise the chance of appearing in featured snippets. Try creating blog posts such as “Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Memory”, then bullet point each of the tips you include using numbers.
d. Use long-tail keywords: Longtail keywords will GREATLY improve your content’s chance of getting selected as one of the top voice search results. You can use Google’s Search Suggest Tool straight from the Google Search Box to find suitable questions using Google’s autocomplete feature. Just type in a question then look at the bottom of the search results page, where you’ll find a Searches Related to section. You’ll get a handy list of related and relevant questions people have already searched for, that you can include in your content.