Working out a list of keywords to target is one of the most essential aspects of determining your overall online marketing strategy.
But how do you decide which terms to use and how to get the best out of them?
Many small business owners fall into the trap of targeting phrases which are either too broad or highly competitive. Another pitfall is selecting terms which are just not going to get you the conversions you need. For example, if you are a specialist window cleaning business, there is no use targeting the term ‘cleaning services’ as it is just too broad and very tough to rank for.
If you can latch onto the long-tail low-hanging phrases that aren’t competitive in the search results, you can grow your website with much less effort.
Analyse your competition
Every industry differs in terms of competitiveness and this could greatly impact your budget if you realistically want to rank for certain terms. If, for instance, your budget is small, then targeting localised terms is the way to go. If your budget is a little heftier then you can afford to go for some more competitive high volume terms.
Here is where competitor analysis can make a big impact on which terms to aim for. Tools like SEM Rush and SpyFu can help paint a picture of who may be stealing your thunder. Take a look at what keywords you are ranking for on pages two and three, and use these as a spring board for your campaign.
Use your data to set practical goals to strive towards
By knowing where you stand, you can establish some short-term goals. These may include ranking on page two for a percentage of your selected keywords or increasing your organic traffic by a set amount.
Medium term goals could include you hitting page one for a few terms and then later hitting page one for some more competitive terms. There is a nifty browser plugin called Fat Rank which you can quickly tell you where certain keywords are ranking for your site.
If you are a business and you are selling something, then it is also important you select keywords that are commercial in nature, for example you should include additional words like ‘buy’, ‘affordable’, ‘for sale’ etc.
Many people use Google’s Keyword Planner, which is also a great source of data to help select target keywords. For those who have not used this service before Keyword Planner provides historical data such as search volume data for keywords and new ideas for phrases to target.
This data can however be a little misleading at times as some terms could spike at certain periods during the year therefore it may be better to hover over your keyword and look at the volume of searches over time.
Aim for consistently high ranking keywords to avoid fluctuations (the above example shows good traffic all year).
But you can find juicy keywords in other places too, these include:
- Search for terms in Reddit threads
- See what is trending on Google Trends
- Use tools like InstaKeywords & io.
Don’t be afraid to throw in a few more words to steal extra traffic
Just because you are focussing on ‘car repair fitzroy’ does not mean you can’t throw in a few extra words around that keyword to encompass more. For example, you could put together a cluster of keywords wrapped around your ‘root’ keyword.
Your cluster may look something like this:
car repair fitzroy
car repair service fitzroy
quick car repair service fitzroy
quick car repair service fitzroy vic
So in summary…
Start with some short goals, optimise your content and you will notice some big changes in your organic traffic numbers. The best thing about the online space is the ease at which you can change and test strategies, so go and unlock those revenue opportunities.