Keywords - selection and analysis

Service Business

In the last parts of our series, we wrote about what search engine marketing is all about, what is its specificity, and what are the two most important types of it. We started looking at the first one - search engine optimization (SEO). We have already mentioned some general criteria to be taken into account by search engine robots. Now let's take a close look at a few of them. We'll start with the topic of keywords that you've probably heard about in the context of SEO. Recall - keywords are words or phrases that are typed into the search engine by the Internet user. Keywords define what the user is looking for. The more keywords there are on your website, the easier it is for the internet user to find it. In this part of the cycle, we'll cover what the essence of keywords is and how the competitiveness of key phrases is determined. Next, we will tell you how to optimally choose the right keywords and what tools to use when searching for them. Finally, we explain to you what determines the length of keywords and what is the "long tail strategy".

Keywords - essence

What is the "key" of keywords? As already mentioned, keywords define what the internet user is looking for in the search engine. In this situation, we can talk about him as your potential client - he has a specific need, and your company, through the website, is to satisfy it. However, in order for a user to become your customer, they must first come to your site. This task is not easy, but we will help you achieve success!

You need to understand the keywords that your potential customers are using in the search engines. The more times a specific keyword appears on your page, the easier it will be for the user to find it in search results. Is there a number that determines how many times a keyword (understood as a single word or phrase) should appear in your website content? There are opinions on the web that a keyword on a given page should be repeated no less than 3 times and no more than 10 times. However, these are contractual limits.

Too small number of repeated keywords on the page may not bring any results, but too much may make the content on the page unreadable and a bit "artificial". In addition to the sheer number of keywords, it is also important to place them on the page, which is sometimes referred to as "density". Remember that search engine robots, which index keywords on a page, look at it "from top to bottom" - so pay particular attention to the presence of keywords in the initial parts of the pages. So where should they be placed?

  1. Website title.
  2. Meta tags (meta tags).
  3. The content of the page, with particular emphasis on headings, subheadings and the first paragraphs of the text.
  4. Anchor texts, i.e. texts placed between and tags, used to place links in the content of the page.
  5. Descriptions of images, graphics and videos posted on the site.
  6. If possible, also on the website's domain.

Now you have to define for yourself what keywords can be used by your potential customers. At the very beginning, try to make your keyword list as general as possible, then refine it. Create your own keyword repertoire and use it to promote your website.

Competitive keywords

Before you decide to carry out specific keyword selections for the pages on your website, however, you need to check out something called keyword competitiveness. It's just about determining how competitive a certain keyword is, i.e. how difficult it can be to position it well. We'll show you a few ways you can determine the competitiveness of your keywords. Remember, however, that the most important thing when assessing competitiveness is a good, in-depth analysis of the results obtained from various sources.

  1. A simple and often recommended method is to enter a specific keyword into a search engine and see how many total search results it has “hit”. However, this is a debatable way of checking competitiveness and often SEO specialists negate its usefulness.
  2. The use of special SEO tools, such as this Firefox plugin or paid tools such as Market Samurai or Search Metrics. Thanks to specialized tools, we can more reliably assess the competitiveness of given phrases than in the case of the number of Google searches.
  3. It is also worth supporting yourself with an additional tool, which is Google Trends. It will show you what recent search trends have been and whether certain keywords are not linked to a specific time period of the year.

The evaluation of the competitiveness of phrases is based on the analysis of many factors, including the assessment of links leading to pages and the quality of websites from which they come. Well "linked" websites are a tough competitor in the fight for a high position in search results. The competitiveness of phrases is also to some extent related to the industry - undoubtedly, a lot of competition is associated with the financial, insurance and consulting industries.

How to choose keywords? Methods

Once you have verified the competitiveness of certain phrases, you can proceed to the stage of selecting keywords for the pages of your company website. We will now look at the methods by which you can select them, and then the selection. You already know that an effective way is to start by collecting keywords related to your business.

Start writing down all the words that your potential customers can type into the search engine - start with general words that describe, for example, a type of service or product, say painting, restaurant or bikes. Single keywords, although frequently searched, are unlikely to have a positive impact on the effective positioning of your website due to their high competitiveness. Therefore, it is worth expanding the key phrase a bit. You can do this in several ways.

  1. Regionalize - add to the keyword the name of the place, region whose inhabitants seem to be your target audience. The local narrowing is most effective in the case of companies providing services in a given region, having a stationary point of sale or services, as well as in the case of various types of cultural or entertainment institutions, restaurants and clubs. Then the phrases may look like this - painting Wrocław, Psie Pole restaurant, Oława bikes.
  2. Specify - it may turn out that you do not run a business in which you can effectively use local phrases (e.g. an internet company, warehouse / warehouse, broad-range service company). Then you can use an additional description of the aforementioned word - it can be, for example, painting ceilings or touring bikes.
  3. Specify - When using both local and instantiation phrases, a two-part keyword phrase may not be very effective and may not give your website too high a position on SERPs. Therefore, it is worth considering adding one more adjective to the phrase, which can be used by Internet users in the search engine. They want to choose the cheapest, the best - in general - most suited to their needs from among many offers. Use it and create the phrase the cheapest Wroclaw painting or the best tourist bikes.
  4. Give others a chance! Ask your relatives or friends what words they would type into a search engine to find your products or services. It could bring you a whole new perspective on keywords!

Often the effective way, though not very fair, is to spy on the competition. Check what words are being positioned by a competing company that is in a better position in the search engine. Learn the appropriate conclusions from this. You can also use tools that will allow you to search for relevant keywords.

Tools to help you search for keywords

When selecting keywords, you can also use various network tools. We will present a few of them - some are very simple, others a bit more advanced. Thanks to them, you can create new keywords or observe if and how popular certain phrases are.

  1. The easiest way is to use Google Search suggestions. Start typing specific words and check the suggestions - these are similar terms previously searched on Google. You can find such suggestions either on the SERP, under the search results, or as hints when entering a phrase in the search field.
  2. Another simple tool for generating key phrases from single words is the Keyword Mixer. It works mainly with longer phrases, especially with a local or concretizing element.
  3. A tool that works similar to a search engine's suggestion is the Keyword Tool. It creates lists of words searched by users in a given search engine - they are quite extensive and arranged alphabetically.
  4. A more advanced tool is the AdWords Keyword Planner. The condition is, however, to have a Google account. After entering a specific word or phrase, you can determine, among others appropriate filters, product categories, etc. Pay attention to indicators such as the competitiveness of a given phrase and the average monthly number of searches.
  5. Alexa - is a paid tool that allows you to evaluate the traffic generated by certain key phrases on competing websites. You can also use tools such as Search Metrics, which we wrote about earlier, to analyze the traffic generated by keywords in your competition.

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The length of the phrases. Long tail strategy

The length of the keywords your potential customer enters into the search engine can reflect the stage at which they are in the shopping cycle. At the very beginning, he enters short words, consisting of 1-2 words, most often with a general, vague meaning. This means that he is only at the stage of searching, he has no specific preferences and he is probing the market - perhaps he has some purchasing need, but he does not know yet what it will be about.

A high position in the search results with short phrases does not have to bring tangible business benefits. In addition, positioning with 1-2 word keywords is associated with their high competitiveness and means a difficult and tedious fight for a high position on SERPs.

As the decisions related to the customer's purchasing cycle are clarified, the length of the keywords entered in the search engine also grows. Then users begin to refine their queries by adding more adjectives or location terms to the keyword words. The competitiveness of e.g. 3-element key phrases is smaller than in the previous case. Positioning for such phrases also allows the customer to interest your website when he is getting closer to making a purchase decision.

The client has already determined what he needs, so he starts looking for a product or service that will completely meet his needs. He enters keywords consisting of several words - even 8 or 10 words into the search engine. He wants to find a specific product on the web. Here it is worth considering using the long tail strategy.

What is it about? A long keyword is not very competitive and has a small number of searches per period of time, but it allows for something much more beneficial - reaching the customer when it is one step away from making a purchase. If, after entering a keyword of several words, it opens your website in the search results - you can count on conversion with a high probability.

So you have to decide for yourself which keyword strategy you are interested in and which best meets your business goals. You learned the methods of selecting keywords, competitive analysis and the dependence of the length of phrases on the stage of the purchasing cycle. In the next part of our series, you'll learn how to optimize your website's content and code for search engines.