Feeling completely overwhelmed when it comes to keywords?
Wish you could figure out what on earth it’s all about so you could capture some of this apparent magic for your business and grow beyond your wildest dreams?
Yeah, you’re certainly not alone in feeling like that.
Even those incredibly talented and visionary entrepreneurs and business people just can’t get their heads around the whole keyword thing so they’d rather leave it to a professional.
But if you’re a startup, you’re budget is teeny tiny or you’re serious about business success, you’re going to have to do it if you want your business to thrive.
To help ease your suffering (!), I’ve put together a quick introductory guide to keywords that can help.
I’ll explain just enough about keywords to get you started, talking about topics like why they’re important and how they work.
Then we’ll get stuck in and learn how you can find the most effective keywords for your niche business and also put them to work for you.
After you read, you’ll breathe a big sigh or relief and FINALLY feel like you can make sense of them!
Here’s what you can learn here:
- What are keywords?
- Why do keywords matter?
- What are long-tail keywords?
- How to find keywords for your business
- How to use keywords on your website to get more traffic
So get the kettle on and let’s get started.
What are keywords?
Keywords are those words or short sentences that you type into Google (or another search engine like PInterest) when you’re looking for information.
For example, if you’ve decided to learn how to dance salsa and you live in London, you’d open a new browser tab on your phone or laptop and type in something like ‘salsa dancing classes London’.
These four words: salsa-dancing-classes-london are your keywords.
Google uses these keywords to help understand and organise all that information floating out there on the interweb.
This means that when you do a search like the one above, Google can do its whizz-trickery and can give you the perfect answer to your question or query. Or at least, as close to it as possible.
This means that you get the solution to your problem and the website owner gets seen.
Are you with me?
As should be pretty obvious by now, this means that if you’re the one with the business, you need to learn to master using these words if you want to get more clients or customers, grow your business and boost your profits.
But that’s not all that keywords do.
They also help you connect with potential clients who really need your help. They help boost your site authority and naturally help you to become more specific with the content you’re putting out there and nail your niche.
Yep, keywords are pretty important.
What are long-tail keywords?
I don’t want to get too technical in this article because I don’t want to overwhelm you with information.
But you’ll hear the expression ‘long tail keyword‘ a lot if you read more about keywords so it’s worth explaining.
Now, you might have noticed that when we were searching for ‘salsa dancing classes in London’, we didn’t just type in one word at a time.
We used a mini-sentence.
In fancy digital marketing speak, this is called a long-tail keyword.
For example, when I was searching for those salsa classes, I could have typed in just ‘salsa london’ and I might be lucky enough to find what I was looking for.
But by being as specific as possible, I would be far more likely to hit the jackpot instead of ending up with a tomato-based dip I can eat with my tortilla chips!
What do we actually DO with keywords?
That bit is super-easy!
We find out more about the keywords and topics that our target audience will be using in their searches and we expertly weave them into our websites and blog posts in places like our metadescriptions, page/post titles, alt-tags, links, body content, and so on.
This helps Google to notice our content and hopefully, get it in front of the people who need us.
In the old days of marketing, many people thought they could just include as many of these keywords as they could.
Keyword stuffing was the name given to this and you’ve likely seen it in action. You know those awkward sounding sentences and paragraphs that just don’t flow? Yeah, that was it.
Anyhow, the search engines have become wise to that kind of shennanigans and will actually penalise websites that try to do this.
My advice to you is this: DON’T DO IT!
How to find the right keywords for your business
So far you’ve learned that keywords are those handy words or short phrases that people type into Google when they’re looking for answers.
You’ve also learned how Google uses them and why they’re so important for your business.
So how do you go about finding the right keywords for your niche market? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Brainstorm keyword ideas
Start by grabbing a pen and paper, then write down the keywords that you think your clients might search for when looking for your help? What problems do they tell you they have?
Give yourself around 30 minutes to do this task and let your mind run wild- you’ll be surprised at what you might already know.
2. Head to Google
Next, we can expand on that list by heading to Google and searching for those terms. Simply type the keywords you’ve come up with into the search bar and see what comes up.
If you scroll right down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a handy list of related search terms under the heading ‘Searches related to [keywords you’ve just searched for]’.
Sticking to the earlier example I gave you, this list looks like this:
- private salsa lessons london
- dance classes london
- latin dance classes near me
- salsa classes
- salsa classes near me
- salsa tropical
- beginner salsa classes london
- salsa classes london
These are the keywords that people have already searched for, so make sure you add them to the list.
When you first typed in those keywords, you might have noticed that Google auto-suggests the rest of your sentence. These are keywords too, so make sure you add them to your list too.
3. Explore Pinterest
What people often forget is that Pinterest isn’t just a social media website, it’s also a search engine of its very own. This means we can also use Pinterest to help feed our keyword ideas.
All you need to do is repeat the steps you took with Google: head to Pinterest, type in your keywords and see what comes up.
Look at the posts themselves and be sure to click through to the descriptive text to see what other entrepreneurs are using.
Then add these keywords to your list.
4. Visit Buzzsumo
Whilst Buzzsumo won’t immediately help you to identify keywords, the site will help you identify the niche topics and keywords that other people in your niche are writing about.
This can give you even more ideas about what to focus your blog posts around and figure out which keywords might work for you too.
Just head to their website and type in your niche topic, then write down any relevant niche ideas or keywords that you find there.
5. Use Google Keyword Planner
The pros swear by a tool called Google Keyword Planner.
This is free to use and pretty simple too, provided you promise yourself you won’t panic and get overwhelmed with all the information on the page. Here’s how you use it:
- Go to Google Adwords and open an account or log in.
- Click on ‘keyword planner’ which you’ll find on the reporting and tools tab.
- Go to the ‘find new keywords’ tab.
- Type in the keyword you want to use (known as a ‘seed keyword’) and add any extra info about your audience into the boxes below, then hit the ‘get ideas’ button.
- Click on the ‘keywords ideas’ tab and have a look through the keywords that come up. This is the point where many newbies feel overwhelmed with all the info- don’t be, just follow my tips here :))
- Look for keywords with low to medium competition and medium to high monthly searches. This will help you discover the keywords that your niche audience are searching for but also that there’s not too much competition so you stand a better chance of getting discovered. Write these keywords on your list, or better still, open an Excel document to help you keep track. (You can also download a list of the keywords directly from Google if you’d prefer.)
- If you’re feeling comfortable with this site, you can repeat the process by plugging your newly-found keywords right back into Google Keyword Planner and seeing the new results.
- Repeat the search as often as you can bear, at least every six months is usually a good idea.
Got it? Great! Go make yourself a cup of tea (or something stronger!) to celebrate you getting through that bit. 🙂
How to use keywords on your website to get more traffic
Now you’re armed with these keywords, you’re probably asking yourself, “Thanks Charlotte. But what on earth do I do with these things?“
Don’t worry, I’ve thought of that too. Here are some suggestions.
1. Create content around these keywords
You’ve got a gem of information there because you know that your clients have these problems. All you need to do is create content which offers a solution. Simple, right?
Choose one of the keywords and create a blog post, YouTube video, podcast or social media post around one of these long-tail keywords. Resist the urge to share all of your knowledge and focus on answering the question.
2. Add these keywords to the content itself
Once you’ve created that content, you need to make sure it contains those keywords so that Google can direct your ideal client right to your doorstep.
For blogs and articles on your website, include those keywords:
- In the blog title (make sure you use H1 tags too)
- In your subheadings (make sure you use H2 tags too)
- In the URL
- In the first 200 words of your blog post, towards the beginning if you can.
- At least 3-4 more times through the body of your post. Find similar keywords to include if you can to stop your content looking like spam.
- In any links
- In the alt-text tags for your images
But, again, don’t be tempted to cram as many of your keywords into your post as you can. It will just look spammy and Google will actually penalise you for it.
It’s worth downloading a plugin like Yoast if your website supports it as it makes SEO so much easier.
For social media posts:
Keywords matter on social media too, but they work slightly differently to keywords in your blog posts.
Make sure you’re including a keyword in the title of your content whilst also keeping it completely natural-sounding. If you can, include a keyword once or twice more in the content itself. Then use hashtags to finish it off!
3. Add these keywords to your website
You should also include keywords throughout your website. For optimal results with your SEO efforts, include them:
- In your title tag– This is the title that appears on the internet tab.
- In the meta description– A meta description is that little bit of text you get under each website heading when you search for something on Google. (Take a look at the image below to see what I mean).
- In your page headings- Whenever you can, include keywords in your page headings and titles throughout your website. Obviously, that’s not possible with pages such as ‘contact me’, but it’s worth bearing in mind for the rest.
- In your website copy– You should also include keywords in your general website copy wherever possible. Again, make sure you’re not ‘keyword stuffing’ but including them in a natural and helpful way.
Take action using keywords
If you’re new to using keywords, I highly encourage you to set aside some time to do some keyword research and start tailoring your content and website around these themes.
Doing this will help you become more productive, save money in the long run and build a solid core to your business that will help you attract more clients.
Now this might seem like a lot of information at first, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed.
Take it slowly, follow my steps and reach out if you need some help– I’d be happy to help guide you through the wonderful world of keywords so you can take your brand or business to the next level.