Your current clients and potential clients are searching for you…but how are they searching for you? Or here’s a better question, how do you know they’re finding you first? Your firm’s website could have the best user experience and graphics, but your efforts will be wasted if they can’t find you on the web. To drive traffic to your site, make it easier for spiders to crawl your site and get it indexed. For that to happen, it starts with keyword research.
What Is Keyword Research?
By definition, keyword research is the process of determining which keyword phrases people are using to search for the products or services that you offer.
Why Is It Important to Do Keyword Research?
It boils down to a couple of things. Mentioned above, doing keyword research will drive traffic to your site. More importantly, you’re driving the right audience to your site, not just anyone. If you are using keywords that are ranked lower or using keywords that are too generic, this will make it more difficult for people to search your site and find it, or worse, they might find a different firm before your’s. It will give you insight into how your page ranks and your competition too. Additionally, doing keyword research is similar to market research, you’re looking at what keywords people are associating with your firm.
Where Do You Start?
- Think like your consumer. Knowing who your audience is very important. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would type in the search query if they were to search for you. What kinds of keywords and how specific would they get with their keywords? Make a list of all of these words.
- Find and use resources.Google Adword, Google Insights for Search, Bing’s Ad Intelligence, and Wordtracker’s free Basic Keyword Demand, etc are some examples of keyword research resources. You need to determine the value of your keywords, not all of them are going to rank high, and a low rank does not necessarily deserve the axe just yet. After using these resources, it is up to you to narrow down your list.
- Understand the importance of long-tail keywords. While it is important to gain page rank with the more broad, generic words, the majority of the world’s demand for information lie in the long-tail, specific keywords. Another note to consider: it’s going to be a lot more difficult if you are a newcomer trying to gain a high page rank with the word “web design” by itself. Choose something more specific and then work toward the more generic keywords.
- Develop a strategy.You think like your consumer, you understand the importance of long-tail keywords, you have your data, now it’s time to strategize. Some suggest to make three categories (immediate, medium, long term), the immediate category containing the most specific keywords you are associating with your firm and going into more generic keywords in the long term category.
Keyword research and page ranking is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Know your audience, think about what they would do to search for your firm and what words they would use. Think about specific words they would use and work toward the broader words. Come up with a strategy. Keyword research is just the beginning, but you’re going in the right direction.