SEO Best Practice: Keyword strategy from scratch
One of the most basic fundamentals of SEO is keyword strategy. Despite Google’s algorithm updates that keep rolling every year and different search engine behaviour that follows, keyword research keeps being consistent in an SEO Specialist’s journey. Keyword research helps your websites rank for the most relevant keywords to your business. The right keywords can bring valuable streams of organic traffic to your websites that will last for years.
Search engines use keywords when users are searching for something online. If your keyword successfully targets the audiences who are researching something related to your field, you can get traffic. More traffic streaming to your website will later contribute to your overall ranking, which means your website will be prioritised by Google in its search results. Gaining a high Google position will draw more users to your website, increasing traffic, sales, and repeat visitors.
So, how you should choose your keywords?
Get familiar with the four common types of search intent
Search intent is the intention of a user when they are entering a search engine. It is the reason why they are having research online. Google has made a lot of effort over the years to enhance its algorithm so that it can recognise users’ search intentions. Google seeks to rank the websites that most closely match the search term being used by the user as well as the search intent. This is why you must ensure that your post or page corresponds to the audience’s search criteria.
The informational intent is the most common intention. Users are looking for information to learn about something; the newest MCU movies, chicken dinner recipes, signs of sickness in pets, or even something about SEO keyword best practices like the one you are reading right now.
The vast majority of Google searches are informational. Using informational intent is great if you want more visibility. A fantastic strategy to gain your audience’s trust in your subject matter expertise is by offering them informative or instructional content. You can utilise this content to target fresh leads that you can subsequently convert in addition to improving your visibility.
When a person has a navigational purpose, they are trying to reach a certain website, domain, or physical location. It incorporates local search and overlaps with Google’s “visit” and “website” user intentions. The users are already aware of what they’re looking for. Therefore, you generally don’t need to sell them on something new if you’re targeting a keyword like this. Update your local listings regularly, ensuring your location, contact information, working hours, and other essential information are readily accessible on your website. Here are some websites to learn how to update your local listings:
Users who have a transactional search intent want to carry out something specific, either physically or digitally. Contrary to what the name might imply, this is not limited to purchases alone. When conducting a transactional search, a user can also wish to sign up for emails, submit forms, visit a store, or make phone calls. Transactional intent gives you readily converted leads which will give you straight revenue if you know how to target it. Target transactional keywords with an optimised product landing page and a simple checkout process to take advantage of your opportunities. Don’t forget to combine your keyword with an attractive CTA (Call To Action) to create high conversions!
The commercial intent is a bit like informational and transactional intent combined. Search engine users will type in commercial intent keywords when they want to educate themselves about a product that they want to buy. This could be a review, comparison, demo, general recommendations, or detailed specifications. For example, users who want to do research on iPhone 14 before buying will type in keywords such as “iPhone 14 review”, “iPhone 14 specification”, or “iPhone 14 price”. To match the commercial intent with your content, you need to target keywords that align with the commercial information. By using these phrases, you may maintain contact with your user throughout a crucial phase of their purchasing process.
Think like your customers
One of the best things to do at the keyword research stage is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about what you would put into Google to find one of these goods or services. You may also ask other people, like your friends, relatives, or even current clients for their thoughts on the words they could use to search for your goods and services.
Be specific but not too specific
You need to pick keywords specific to your business. Using specific keywords means you are targeting audiences that directly relate to your product, whether they are looking for information or wanting to purchase the product. However, try to keep it general enough to reach wider potential customers.
Let’s say you are selling a dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef. If you want to target just “dive trip”, you won’t hit anything as it is too general. You want to target the “Great Barrier dive trip” or “diving trip in Great Barrier”, which hits the sweet spot. if you are using “3-day diving trip in Great Barrier reef Cairns”, you might get a little too specific.
Use multiple keywords or keyword phrases
Don’t just stick to one keyword only. The best way to see the result is by targeting multiple keywords for your business. Start with looking for keywords related to your target keyword. These are the variants of the words that you target. So, following our example above, if you are targeting “Great Barrier dive trip”, you might as well try “Great Barrier reef scuba diving packages”, “liveaboard diving in great barrier”, and “snorkelling in great barrier”.
Targeting multiple keywords helps you to avoid thin content and bring in loads of traffic. Remember that a keyword is not always a single word. Even a phrase is a keyword, too.
Use location wisely
Nest step is using your targeted area. Location-based SEO, also known for geo-targeting, optimises your keyword with a related location. Let’s say you have an Indian restaurant in Sydney. You want to target not only the “Indian restaurant” keyword but also “best Indian restaurant in Sydney”, “Indian restaurant near me Sydney”, or even targeting the suburb like “best Indian restaurant in Double Bay”. Using location in your keywords is also great if you are using Google ads, as it will directly target people in your area.
Understand the negative keywords
A negative keyword prevents ads from being activated by a specific word or phrase. This will prevent users who enter that keyword in their search to see these ads. Advertising companies typically use negative keywords to reduce the ads showing to irrelevant search queries. Since Google ad is paid per click, listing negative keywords is very useful to prevent ad budgets from going to waste.
The most common negative keywords are employment-related keywords, do-it-yourself hobbyists, and bargain keywords especially if you position yourself as a luxury brand. Going back to our “diving in Great Barrier Reef” example, you might want to list “diving internship”, “diving Great Barrier Reef tutorial”, or “cheap diving trip Great Barrier Reef”. This way, you are refining your ads for users who have no intention of purchasing a dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef.