A finely tuned set of keywords will make your website work harder to increase online traffic and grow your business.
It’s not complicated. We do it with our clients all the time and with just a little input you can do it yourself.
There are plenty of free tools to help and here’s our bite-sized guide to getting started.
1. Start a spreadsheet
Brainstorm words and phrases that are relevant to your product or service offering – long and short – and note them down. Try free keyword suggestion tools like Ubersuggest for a different perspective. Don’t forget to add common misspellings.
2. Keep an eye on the competition
Find out what keywords your competitors are targeting and add them to your spreadsheet. I’d suggest using different tabs for each competitor (and for your own keyword suggestions) so that you can compare them quickly.
Check your freshly gathered words against your competitors' keywords. Is there an opportunity they are missing?
Services like Keyword Spy help you do just that.
3. Develop customer personas
This is about understanding your customers, not just an exercise in demographics. Compiling a persona or pen portrait for your customers is about creating empathy with real people; their motivations, pain points, attitudes and influences.
When we’re creating personas we use a simple one-page template and we’re happy to share it with you.
Download our Customer Persona Template.
Fill in the blanks by using knowledge you already have. Talk to your team, your customers and prospective customers. Go where your customers are talking online too: forums, communities and social media. Note what keywords and language they’re using.
Aim to create between 4 and 6 pen portraits – you may have more but this is a manageable starting point.
Next, review your keywords with these personas in mind.
The next step is to identify your most important keywords.
Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner enable you to upload your data (via .csv) and find out how many searches are conducted for each term, how competitive they are and what they would cost if you were planning to run a pay per click campaign.
Keep this data in your spreadsheet then remove the words and phrases which are too competitive, expensive or which would get you more visitors but which aren’t relevant. I’d suggest keeping those you do remove on a separate tab for reference.
5. Develop a content plan
Search engines like regular fresh content. Develop a content strategy and calendar so that you have a plan to work from. Upload a news story each week for example, or write a monthly blog. The plan should link to your broader cross-channel marketing aims.
6. Place your keywords
Integrate your keywords with your content plan. Write relevant keywords into blogs, page tags, page titles, headings, links and in your general copy.
Don’t forget to label your website images and video files with descriptions that include relevant keywords too.
7. Review, refine, refresh
How will you know it’s working? Monitor performance with tools like Google Analytics. Have visitor numbers gone up? Where are they entering and leaving the site? Keeping track means you can make continual improvements.
Having a defined, well-researched set of keywords and using those in your website and online marketing (paid for or not) makes it easier to reach a wider audience online who will be more ready to buy.
Our clients - SMEs to national organisations – see this every day that we work with them.
We are always here to help and love a good chat, especially if it’s going to help you get your business where you want it to be.