So you want to learn about the different types of keywords, how to determine their value, and how to use them effectively to boost your small business SEO campaign?
Any seasoned SEO professional knows that the keyword is one of the main elements in any successful campaign. A good SEO strategy always begins with comprehensive keyword research, since everything you do from then on will subsequently come from the keywords and phrases you have gathered from your study.
Think about it for a moment.
If you fail to determine the right kind of keywords to use for your campaign, how can you expect your SEO strategy to be successful? Sure, there are tons of keywords you can use. If one of the Kardashians stumbles out of a club drunk, the keywords “Kardashian drunk club” would surely be among the top searches the following morning, right?
But let me ask you this:
Do the keywords in the example above have anything to do with your business? If someone uses those keywords and stumbles upon your website, do you think they would be interested in browsing through your content? Unless you’re TMZ, it’s highly unlikely.
This is why keyword research is an important first step in creating an effective and successful SEO strategy. You want to reach the right kind of audience through the keywords and phrases you use for your campaign.
You’ve probably heard this a million times:
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. It may be a cliché, but it’s true. No SEO campaign is worth the effort without the right kind of keywords. Look for any local SEO tips and guides, and you’ll see that most, if not all, of them mention the importance of using the right keywords in your SEO marketing campaign.
Below are a couple of things you should know about keywords and key phrases.
I. Keywords Serve as a Form of Market Research
For online marketers, the process of researching keywords is already a form of market research. It won’t provide you with definitive data about your target audience, but the process does provide crucial information about your specific market.
Your main goal when performing keyword research is to figure out the right keywords that your audience will likely be using when conducting a search online.
And those target keywords should be:
- Relevant to your industry, specifically your services and/or products.
- Commonly used to search for information related to your business.
- Relevant enough to pull visitors to your website and convert them into paying customers.
If your keywords do not cover these basic factors, you need to conduct more research.
II. Keywords Reflect Consumer Behavior and Intent
When it comes to doing a search online, consumers often have different approaches. Their attitude and behavior sometime varies. But there are common stages that consumers go through on their journey from a simple query to a loyal customer.
- The research phase – This is when a potential customer is simply gathering information on a particular product or service.
- The consideration phase – This phase usually comes after doing some research. The customer is considering options on a number of brands or service providers.
- The purchasing phase – The customer has made up his or her mind and is deciding to avail of your product or service.
- The loyalty phase – This is when the customer has experienced your product or service and is satisfied with what you have to offer. This is the ultimate goal of any SEO and online marketing campaign.
In each of these stages, consumers use different techniques for an online search, particularly with the number of words they use, the order of which they are entered, and the meaning or intent.
For instance, a consumer in the research phase will typically only use one or two words when doing a search, while consumers in the consideration phase often use longer search terms, containing at least three words.
Based on that, most SEO strategies use keywords that target consumers in the consideration and purchasing phase, because that’s where you can get the most out of your investment.
In any case . . .
The safest approach to identifying the right keywords to use in your campaign is to consider longer search phrases. Longer search terms often suggest better targeting in terms of reaching the right audience. Shorter keywords are generally used by people who are merely browsing or are already set on a particular brand or service. So long keywords are actually a good thing when used properly.
The Keyword Niche
Okay. You’ve probably heard of the term keyword niche being thrown around by SEO experts and professionals. But what is it, really?
A keyword niche is essentially a key phrase or a collection of keywords that contain the main subject or the head term. For example, in search phrases like “speaker repair service” or “speaker for sale,” the head term there is “speaker.” That means the keyword niche would be any possible keywords and phrases that contain the word “speaker.”
What makes this so important?
To understand its significance, you first need to realize that keywords have their own anatomy. There’s the head or head term, the body, and the tail. In the example above, the head term is “speaker,” the body is “speaker for sale,” and the tail would be “speaker for sale in . . .” with the latter also referred to as long tail keywords.
If you want to target specific consumers, those who are in the consideration and purchase stages of their journey to becoming loyal customers, the long tail keywords is what you should focus on.
The Long Tail Keywords
Yes. This is what SEO professionals, online marketers, and many a best local SEO company and service provider actually prefer when it comes to keyword research. We love the long tail keywords. You can think of them as the sentences that get entered in search engines when users search for specific information, with an emphasis on specific.
Why, you ask?
There are three basic reasons why the SEO industry today prefers the long tail over the other types of keywords.
1. The long tail is the most commonly used type of keywords when it comes to queries and they make up the vast majority of all searches conducted online. Contrary to what you were led to believe, long tail—which typically contains more than three or four words—is really the cream of the crop for keywords.
- There are over 14 million online searches being conducted every day.
- Of those 14 million searches, more than 90% are long tail.
- With long tail keywords, the head term is less significant than you think.
Here’s the best part:
Long tail keywords are actually perfect for small businesses, local establishments, and startups looking to enhance their SEO strategy and boost website ranking in local searches.
2. Long tail keywords can tell you a lot of the consumer behavior and intent. Again, we go back to consumer behavior and intent. Why? Because this is important. In order to truly understand your target audience, you have to get into their minds.
What are they really looking for?
What kind of specific information are they after?
Are they ready to purchase something?
These questions can be answered by analyzing long tail keywords. The keyword “dachshund” doesn’t really tell you much about the searcher’s intent, right?
However, a long tail keyword like “dachshund for sale in New York” tells you plenty about the individual doing the search. It tells you that the searcher might be in the market for pet dogs, that he or she has a preference for dachshunds, and that this potential customer might be looking to buy locally.
In the SEO game, the kind of information you can obtain through long tail keywords is priceless. It will enable you to better understand your target market and strengthen your SEO strategy.
3. When it comes to long tail keywords, there’s generally less competition. Because the head term or main keyword is typically insignificant in long tail searches, there won’t be much of a competition.
As long as you’re using the right long tail keywords that your target audience generally use, it’s easier to attract traffic to your web pages. And you can be certain that for those who do visit your website, they have every intention of checking out what you have to offer, which can lead to an increase in your conversion rate.
To sum it all up:
Keywords matter when it comes to creating a strong and effective SEO strategy. They are the foundation of any good SEO campaign. And finding the right type of keywords can make or break your efforts.