In recent years, the term ‘keyword’ has evolved from a fun buzzword to a critical part of the marketing lexicon. And not surprisingly, because of its quick adoption, the term’s definition and meaning have become skewed. My desire to better understand keywords was one of many reasons I attended the Moz Academy SEO boot camp.
So here is what I learned about keywords, and when, where and how should I be using them?
- What – Keywords and keyword phrases…
- When – Keywords present a unique opportunity to better understand your audience. Furthermore, they help you determine at which stage of the buyer’s journey they are finding you, getting you closer to sealing the deal. No matter what you’re offering, you want your audience to convert, whether that be downloading an eBook, signing up for a demo or purchasing your goods. If you’re ranking for keywords that people are using in their top of funnel searches, you could be reaching them at the wrong time with the wrong type of content. For example, if your keyword phrase “yoga mat shopping guide” ranks for someone who is not ready to buy a yoga mat, but rather is just starting their discovery of the practice, you lessen your chances of converting them. Ideally, you want that keyword to rank for the people who are looking to make a purchase and have the transactional intent of searching. When the keyword phrase “yoga mat shopping guide” is performing well, you can infer that your content is ranking at the right time and in the right place for people along their buyer’s journey.
- How – Two tools are available to us through Google that makes this process easier, Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends. The keyword planner tool is going to suggest keywords and give you the estimated search volume each word has in the market. Google Trends helps you determine the volume of search interest of the particular topic. After utilizing these tools, you should have some solid keywords you’re ready to test. Now, where do we put them?
- Where – Keywords and knowing where to put them, aids in optimizing our content so that we are 1. Ranking for the keywords your customers are actually using. 2. You’re finding people in the right place, which increases click-through in the search engine results page. 3. Your content is fulfilling their needs and so they’re visiting your site longer. 4. You are generating positive backlinks to your content, which in turn helps with number one, ranking. Keywords should be factored in and executed at every stage of this process in order to be successful. The “where” is a larger question because the answer is everywhere. They should appear in the copy of your new blog posts or landing pages. They should be used in your H1, H2 and H3 tags when editing a website page. They should be factored into the meta-data or meta-tags of your site and the domain, hyperlinks and backlinks of your content.
By formulating a keywords strategy and conducting the necessary research, you’ll find keywords are important along every step of the way. This is the second post in our series of Moz SEO boot camp recap, read our first one here and stay tuned for more posts from our Moz training!