Keywords have a lot to do with SEO. Using the wrong keywords can cost you conversions, while utilizing the right keywords can increase web traffic and rankings. Although they are primarily used for Adwords, keywords can be placed throughout websites, in blog posts, and social media updates. Embedding keywords in such places can help improve where a website ranks, as long as it’s done in a professional manner, avoiding keyword stuffing and spamming.
There are several tools available to help generate SEO keywords specific to your business and industry, but at some point you’ll need to take a break from spreadsheets and get creative. Using data, analytics, and brainstorming you can create successful keywords to improve your SEO. Follow the steps below to stay on top of keyword trends and discover new phrases to add to your online marketing.
Start With Search Engines
Search engines can be your friend, especially when it comes to research. Type in one of your business’ frequently asked questions into Google and see what kind of results automatically appear in the drop down as you type. The drop down displays popular search phrases based on an initial word or phrase you entered. Using Google’s search engine will give you new keyword phrases people are already searching for.
While you’re on Google, scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see, “Searches Related To”. This section is exactly what it says and displays searches that are related to your search. When you’re running out of keyword options and need new inspiration head to Google and start searching.
Think Like Your Customer
Sometimes your customers know more about your business than you do. When you’re consumed with the structure and functionality of the every-day tasks it’s can be difficult to separate yourself and see the company from the outside. Take a few moments to look at the business through a customer’s perspective to get a better idea of new keyword phrases. Answering the following questions will give you a better idea of your customers thinking behavior and what they might type into search engines.
- What is your customer searching for?
- What are some of the most asked questions about your business?
- What type of language and slang, if any, would they include?
- Does the customer have a high reading level?
- What does your customer need? Is there a specific product they would come to you for?
- What else does your customer buy on a regular basis? Taking a deeper look at what other types of items your customer would be interested in can create new keyword phrases you hadn’t thought of pairing before.
Break Out the Notebook
Get old fashioned, grab an old fashioned, and start writing down different keywords using a pen and paper. In an environment you can feel creative in jot down what your business is about. Then, explain a few of your goals, what you want to achieve for yourself and for your customers. Describe some of your products and where you get them from (local companies, international resellers, etc.). Read through your notes and pick out new keyword phrases. These phrases may not be the highest searched, but will generate new terms to add to your website and Adwords account.
When practicing this exercise, try answering the following 10 questions to help further improve your keyword brainstorm session:
- Describe your business in 5 words.
- Now, describe the business in 3.
- Use 1 word to describe your business.
- Describe your competitor in one sentence.
- Now, describe them in 3 words. Note: Refrain from using foul language 😉
- Describe your industry to someone who is new to it.
- Tell that person why they should join the industry.
- Give them 5 words to describe the industry you’re a part of.
- How would you describe your business to your mother using one sentence?
- What do you think you’re most popular keywords are?
Divide Your Business Into Topics
Create a list of topics that relate to your business and industry. These topics can be generalized ideas or broad topics. Bloggers will easily be able to do this, as the idea is similar to creating a new blog topic. For example, an SEO agency can have a topic list like this:
- How to Rank Number One
- How to Increase Your SEO
- SEO Resources
- Best Practices For SEO
- SEO Leaders
- What it’s Like to be Matt Cutts
See how easy it is to create 5 unique keyword phrases from brainstorming topic ideas? Once you have a list of topic ideas, develop sub-topics and categories for each section. This will give you more specific keywords generated from a basic topic idea.
- Category: Ranking on Page One
- Topic: How to Rank Number One
- Sub-Topic: Is it possible rank on page one?
- Sub-Topic: Best tactics for ranking
- Topic: How to Rank Number One
Check Google Webmaster Tools
Google provides several tools for online marketers to analyze performance and rankings. Their Webmaster Tools has a section made specifically to keyword data. By logging in, you’re able to see what keywords are performing best on your website, and which ones aren’t. If you’re using Adwords you can use this information to better allocate budget, as well.
Try Authority Labs
Successful search campaigns rely on both knowing where you rank for terms and which terms the engines>think your pages are about. Authority Labs is a tool to help bridge the gap between ranking and keyword research. Discover new keywords, keyword phrases, and even those annoying Not-Provided keywords.
With Not-Provided becoming the norm for keyword data in analytics tools, Authority Labs’ Now-Provided report is now a key part of any SEO toolkit. Focusing efforts on pages and keywords that already have some traction in the engines can be quick wins that pay off in a big way. By combining rankings, Google Analytics, volume, and competition data, Authority Labs is able to highlight your important keyword opportunities. Easily add these keywords to your rank tracking so you know where you stand with your SEO efforts.
Re-do the above steps frequently so you’re constantly using the most up-to-date keywords. Check how each keyword performs over time through data and analytics, as well. It’s important to frequently update your keyword spreadsheet to stay on top of new trends and ahead of the competition.
How do you come up with new SEO keywords?