To have lasting success on the internet, it all boils down to determining how your business aligns with a searcher’s keywords. In other words, what key phrases are people typing in to find products and services like yours? To help understand what keywords those are, it’s helpful to use keyword research tools along with some good old-fashioned creative thinking.
Generally, most online businesses can come up with a few keywords and most times those words are intuitive and make perfect sense. However, sometimes, there are other keywords used that you may not have thought of. Additionally, there may be words that you believed were important but are not as vital as you initially thought.
By looking at keyword search demand, you can see an estimate for how many people search for those words each month and you can even narrow the search estimates by geographic region. As a general rule, it’s best to start with a broader area, such as the entire U.S. before you start narrowing your region to just a local area. This allows you to get a larger basket of keywords and get a better idea of which words are more frequently used. However, keep in mind, the words that are used most often does not mean that those are the same keywords that will convert the best for your business.
Take for example the difference between “flight school” and “flight training.” Both keywords seem similar, but one converts twice as well as the other. Can you tell which one it is? Finding out which converts best comes after you have a chance to evaluate the performance. The easiest way to do this is by running a Google Ad campaign and comparing the conversion data. While that’s not the entire picture, a conversion is generally a good indicator regarding the visitor’s intent. The keywords can be passed through into your forms and a qualitative analysis can review the quality of those leads to make sure they do in fact convert to a sale at a similar rate. Still, for a quicker gauge, using the conversion data that Google gathers will provide a reasonably safe measurement. From that, you can look at the click-to-conversion rate and even a cost per conversion from those keywords.
The winner, in case you’re wondering, is “flight school.” It has the majority of searches and for a flight school offering flight training, it’s definitely the word to try harder to rank for.
So, where do you compile this list of keywords? Start with thinking creatively in terms of what someone would be searching for if they were interested in buying your product or service. Make sure to include two to three word phrases. Longer ones are fine to include, but don’t get too restrictive on those just yet. Next, use some good platforms for conducting keyword research such as Google’s own Keyword Planner Tool, SEMRush’s Keyword Magic tool, AHref’s Keyword Generator, Moz Keyword Explorer, WordStream, SeoBook, UberSuggest and Answer the Public. Simply use the starter list you came up with and use these tools to uncover and prioritize others.
I like to use Microsoft Excel to organize my keyword lists and sort them in descending order based on search demand. Each tool tends to have their own search demand estimates, so you may want to look at those lists separately in terms of which have the highest demand. Add another column to group the keywords into logical buckets and color those cells based on what you perceive to be the most important to your business. Perhaps some infer a job candidate or different unrelated business that might have a high search demand, but not what you want to attract. At this point, you should have a solid working list of keywords to keep and use when creating new web content for your website. Moreover, you can optimize title and meta tags with these keywords in mind, use them in keyword ad campaigns, and track and measure performance.
Finding the right keywords that have the higher search demand, and that also pull in the right audience for your goods, is one of the first steps in weaving in great SEO.