Ah, the age-old question. How do I know what keywords I should be using to appear higher on Google and get more traffic? It’s a tough question to answer because every business is different.
Particular keywords may work better for you than you think, while some you are sure will be a goldmine may not generate any traffic at all.
However, knowing the right keywords to use needn’t be a complete mystery. In fact, in this post, I am going to provide some valuable insights into how to come up with the right keywords for your business which takes away the guesswork but doesn’t overcomplicate the process!
Search intent is basically the reason why your target customer is going to Google and typing in a keyword or key phrase to find what they are looking for. It also factors in the sort of result they are after.
Are they after a short and speedy response (for example when you use Google to double-check the meaning of a word – we’ve all done it), or are they after a more detailed response such as an article? Or may they are in the market to buy something and are doing some research to find the right product at the best price.
Search intent is a minefield, but Google (and other search engines) have now become more able to figure out the search intent of its users. Naturally, the search engines want the most relevant page to appear at the top to serve the intent effectively. So that’s why you are aiming to make the pages of your website suit the search intent of your target audience.
Types of search intent
There are four definitive types of search intent that any business owner with a website should be aware of. These are:
- Informational intent – when a searcher wants an answer to a question (such as the dictionary definition I mentioned earlier)
- Navigational intent – when a searcher is looking for a specific company (for example if you are looking for your local farm shop’s website)
- Investigational intent – when you do research looking into a potential future purchase either at a product or company level (such as searching for a comparison article on the best compact digital cameras for your upcoming holiday)
- Transactional intent – the searcher is ready to buy, buy, buy! They tend to search for very specific keywords as they know exactly what they are after (for example they might search ‘canon g7x mark ii’)
So how do you determine what type of intent a user would have when reaching your website? Let’s take a look at the different types of pages a typical website might have…
- Homepage – this is the page a searcher with navigational intent would land on. They either looked up your brand name or “local x business in x” because they knew they were looking for you.
- Blogs – Blogs are helpful for both informational and investigational searches.
- Product and service pages – These should come up for those with transactional intent. They want to buy your product now! These can also serve those with investigational intent as well.
Optimising your website pages to match the intent
To optimise your site means to use the right keywords to match the search intent. Here are a few tips:
- Product pages should include more commercial keyword phrases such as “buy canon g7x mark ii” or “discount canon g7x mark ii”.
- Using the same example, blog posts should have more informational phrases linked to your products e.g. “canon g7x mark ii in low light”. Your blog post ideas should be based on questions or issues that users may have about your product.
- You should create specific landing pages on your website for certain search intent phrases. For example, if someone was searching for a product, a landing page solely dedicated to that product (rather than a catalogue page with other products) helps increase your potential to be found for the keyword or phrase and focuses the message which can increase conversions/sales.
Creating your list of keywords
So now you know about search intent and a few tips on how to use your keywords to match the search intent types, now it’s time to come up with those keywords! I recommend doing your keyword research in three parts:
Part 1: Brainstorm!
Before using any tools to find keywords, spend some time brainstorming potential keywords that people should be using to find the content on your website. Consider each of your products and services and avoid “brand terms” such as your business name.
For example, fictional company Your Mug Shop sell personalised mugs. Some of their keywords may include:
- personalised mugs
- mugs with a name on
- custom mugs
- design your own mug
There’s no magic number of keywords to come up with – as you’ll start filtering them down later on.
Part 2: Google Keyword Planner
I have mentioned this tool on this blog before, but it is essentially a tool accessible through Google’s Adwords platform that allows you to see the search volume of keywords and phrases (how many times they are searched for on average over a set time period).
You will need to sign up for Adwords to access the tool, but once you have access you can start to come up with more keyword ideas based on what people are really searching for. Use your brainstorm terms in the search bar to be presented with how many searches those terms get, as well as how many searches relevant terms get.
Your Mug Shop could search for “personalised mugs”, and would be presented with these additional keywords that match a transactional intent:
- coffee mug printing
- personalised photo mug
- photo cup
- photo mugs online
- (and many, many more!)
With this information, they would look for the keywords with the highest number of searches and a medium to low competition and add them to their list.
Part 3: Filtering down
In an ideal world, you would have the time to create pages for every keyword – but not only is that not particularly feasible for a small business owner, it could also be seen as spammy to Google if your website suddenly had loads of pages! Each page would need entirely unique content on it…and who has time for that?
Instead, you need to pick out the most valuable keywords – the ones with the most searches and a decent level of competition. If the competition is high, you may struggle to stand out from the crowd and it will be harder to rank higher. If the competition is too low then it’s usually because the searches are too!
Now you have your list of keywords, you’re ready to optimise your site! Whether you optimise your current pages or create new ones for terms or phrases you hadn’t thought of, this is not a process to be rushed. Take your time because your changes will not have instantaneous results anyway.
Creating content for your website which answers search intent and persuades a visitor to become a customer is both an art and a science. Hire a professional copywriter today to help increase the visibility of your business online.