Conducting thorough SEO keyword research is a crucial first step in any strong strategy. But there’s more to quality research than simply identifying keywords; the best strategies take things a step further and consider customers above all else.
Focusing solely on the keywords you think are relevant without considering your customers’ preferences can set your SEO strategy up for failure.
But how can you learn what your customers’ preferences are, and more importantly, how do you take steps to meet their needs?
Fortunately, learning how to choose keywords for SEO can be made much easier with the right knowledge under your belt. Let’s begin by establishing a strong foundation to build upon.
Before selecting the right SEO keywords, you need to know who your target customers are and what they are looking for.
Developing buyer profiles or customer avatars can help you gain insights into your ideal customers and their characteristics, especially if you’re targeting more than one group.
You can begin to get to know your target customers by asking questions like:
- Am I targeting a specific gender(s)?
- How old is my ideal customer? Is there an age range?
- Where do my customers live? Does this affect how they use my product or service?
- Where do my customers work? What is the nature of their employment (full-time, experience, etc.)?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- Which language(s) does my customer speak?
- How educated are my ideal customers?
- What motivates my customers to buy my product or services?
- How do my customers like to spend time online?
Details like these help paint a clear picture of who you should target, where, and why. This information will serve as a skeleton for the rest of your SEO approach.
Search intent, also known as searcher intent or user intent, is crucial to consider when conducting SEO keyword research. It reveals what a user is hoping to find when searching.
The benefit of understanding the intent behind a user’s search query is discovering the best ways to tailor your content and messaging to achieve your goals.
Three main types of search intent cover most search queries: transactional, navigational, and informational. Let’s take a closer look.
Transactional intent describes situations where a user is actively looking to make a purchase or engage in a specific action on a website.
A user may, for instance, search “where to buy red shoes” to find a seller or list of recommended stores.
To effectively target transactional keywords, businesses can utilize paid advertising, such as pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, to ensure their ads are prominently displayed when users search for these keywords.
However, because transactional keywords can directly lead to sales, they’re often very competitive. Using a keyword or targeting it with advertisements isn’t a guarantee; users may still read reviews or gather more information before making a final decision.
Therefore, providing valuable and relevant content that meets the user’s needs and addresses their concerns is crucial.
In addition to paid ads and optimized landing pages, businesses can also leverage transactional keywords in other parts of their online presence.
For instance, incorporating transactional keywords in meta titles, meta descriptions, headings, and product descriptions can improve the visibility of relevant pages in organic search results.
Navigational keywords include those a user searches for a specific website, resource, or page. These keywords are often used when users are already familiar with a brand and searching for it directly instead of typing in the full URL in their address bar.
For example, a user may search for a navigational keyword like “Red shoe store in Colorado” if they are specifically looking for a particular shoe store that sells red shoes in Colorado.
In this case, the user already has a specific destination in mind and is using the search engine to find the website or resource that will take them there.
To stand out here, businesses need a strong authority and consistent monitoring of page metrics and content. Since they rely partially on familiarity with brand offerings, having an established online presence helps.
Informational keywords are usually searched when a user wants to learn more about a particular topic or find answers to their questions. This is typically when users want valuable information and insight.
To return to our red shoe example, an informational keyword related to the topic might be “how to style red shoes” or “how to take care of red shoes.”
These keywords offer an opportunity to help users fulfill their curiosity and make informed decisions, including those that involve using your services. They are also great targets when creating content to drive traffic to other pages on your site.
When utilizing your ideal SEO keywords, don’t forget to consider different sources of traffic outside your website.
Keywords can be used effectively in other areas, including social media and original content created for your site or others.
This is also why it’s important to know where your customers are coming from and their behavior – if you know your target base frequents Facebook, you have another clear target to zoom in on.
Choosing keywords for SEO involves some strategy and digging. The goal should be to find keywords that are realistic targets and will bring in a sizable amount of leads over time.
To do that, you’ll need to keep a few key characteristics in mind for each SEO keyword:
- Volume: Describes how often a term is searched. The higher the volume, the more potential clicks your content or website can achieve.
- Focus: While it may be tempting to use every SEO keyword you can, it’s best to narrow your focus to those that are most relevant to your site. Quality over quantity, always.
- Competition: Avoid aiming for keywords with high competition (many websites trying to rank for the same term). Some competition is inevitable, but if your website isn’t already a leading authority, it will have a hard time outranking more established sources.
- Quality: Choose SEO keywords that add value to your website and content. Search engines specifically look for signs of relevance and credibility when deciding rankings.
At Firestarter, we always take a customer-first approach when creating an SEO keyword strategy for our clients.
Many professionals get lost in the process and fail to keep the most important rule in mind: the customer always comes first.
That’s why we use research criteria based on your niche, target market, competition, and keyword search volume to compile a comprehensive list of SEO keywords.
You can count on our experience and expertise to guide your SEO keyword search in the right direction. Firestarter is an award-winning Denver SEO firm with 12 years of success, and we’re eager to work with businesses that share our passion for innovation and customer-focused solutions.
To learn more about how Firestarter can help you navigate SEO keywords, reach out today.