So you’ve finally finished building your business’s website.
Your hard work has resulted in a beautiful and professional layout. You’ve written content powerful enough to convert interested customers into sales figures.
But there’s one problem: how do you make sure those potential customers find out about your site in the first place? That’s where keyword research comes in.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is integral to the search engine optimization (SEO) process. If you want anyone to find your site through Google, you need to predict what queries they’ll search for to raise your ranking in the results.
But keyword research is about more than just getting the visitors. By optimizing your website’s keywords, you also:
• Ensure you’re getting the right kind of visitors (i.e. those actually interested in your business).
• Keep up-to-date with changing market conditions.
• Improve your overall understanding of the target market.
• Raise your chances of success if your business serves a rather niche demographic.
Researching keywords, and by extension SEO in general, is becoming an incredibly strong tactic in the business world now.
• 82% of marketers now consider SEO’s effectiveness to be on the rise.
• In 2018 on average, a company will spend 41% of its marketing budget to online research.
If you run a digital agency in Toronto or work in digital marketing in a Toronto firm, improving your SEO and finding the right keywords should be your top priorities.
Understanding Your Target
Before you start throwing around keywords, you need to understand the target audience you want to appeal to. You’re interested in not only who they are but also what they might want. For instance, if you work in a computer repair service, your potential customers might be searching for queries like “how to diagnose blue screen crashes” or “how to know when to replace a hard drive.”
Ask yourself the following questions to capture the right audience.
• How specific should the target demographic be? Are you focused on a specific niche or just going for a general ballpark audience?
• What do you intend the demographic to do once they reach your site? Are you trying to sell them something outright or just want to raise brand awareness?
Long and Short Keywords
There are two types of keywords to look out for: long and short ones. Tons of people will be searching for short phrases, so the competition for SEO will be tough. Plus, short phrases tend to be general in scope, and the traffic you receive will be unfocused.
Throw a few short keywords in, but mostly focus on long keywords, as they:
• Have rather low competition due to lower search engine traffic.
• Makeup 70% of all search queries.
• Are more effective if you wish to sell a product. (Someone searching for “200 Lumen Halogen Flashlight” is more likely to have money in hand ready to spend than someone searching for “camping gear.”)
Building the List
• Begin by brainstorming topics related to your industry. If your website is for a gardening company, topics like “landscaping,” “flowers,” and “lawn mowing” are relevant.
• Then, fill in keywords related to those topics. Try to predict what a potential customer would search for. For instance, someone interested in “flowers” might search “what type of flowers grow in humid weather well and look best in the spring?”
Researching the List
Now that you have a list of possible keywords to include, it’s time to find the best ones. It’s common to do keyword research using Google itself. If you choose to do so, remember to use Incognito mode in Chrome, Private Browsing in Firefox, or your preferred browser’s equivalent. Search engines gear the results towards your interests and recent searches, so use a blank slate to see what your customers will be seeing.
• Search each of your keywords into Google and see how many and what type of results you get. Can your site’s content compete with these other sites for this keyword?
• Google may offer a “searches related to…” section at the bottom of the page. Use these as more keyword suggestions.
• If your site already ranks well in a keyword, keep it in mind so you can build momentum.
• Remember that your keywords must be relevant to your website. Grabbing the wrong audience won’t help.
Consumer demand, and thus search engine statistics, change greatly over time. Plus, search engines change their algorithms every now and then. 40% of marketers, in fact, consider changing algorithms the biggest difficulty in search engine optimization.
Remember that keyword research is an evolving process. Keep track of your results, determine which keywords work out best, and make changes accordingly. Re-evaluating your list every few months is recommended. With massive competition, mastering SEO in Toronto especially is a difficult but heavily rewarding endeavor.
Globalgraphics Web Design is a full-service digital marketing and SEO company located in Toronto. We help clients, big and small, make sense of digital marketing and develop strategies that work for their businesses.