Of all the tactics used in SEO, making search engines work less to figure out what your webpage is about might be the most important. While Google’s algorithms are far more advanced than 10 years ago, at their core search engines are looking for the most relevant data to the search query. So how does Google decide which pages match a search query? By looking for the searched keywords, of course.
There are a number of ways to determine the best keywords for your website. In this article we will be focusing on four:
- Keyword Focus
- Searcher’s Intent
- Search Volume
- Keyword Difficulty
Before deciding which keywords you would like to target, it is important to understand how search engines read a webpage. Think of it like going to a restaurant with a menu that is too large. Although there are many delicious options, it is difficult to make a decision or know their specialty. The same thought process should be applied to SEO. The frustration involved when you are presented with too many options is something search engines attempt to avoid.
When creating content for your webpage, focus on 1-2 keywords per page. Among other issues, additional keywords will dilute the value of the keyword focus. Just like the restaurant menu, search engines will recognize that your webpage covers a broad spectrum of solutions that may result in a poor user experience.
Analyzing search volume is likely the easiest tactic in SEO to understand. Why spend the time optimizing content for a target keyword if there are no searches for it? Using several SEO tools, Firestarter SEO helps clients determine the best keywords by the number of times a particular phrase or variation is searched. This information also allows us to set realistic expectations about how much traffic SEO will generate for your website.
Matching with a searcher’s intent is a great method to decide which keywords to choose. This is the process of filtering out generic keywords that may have huge search volume in an effort to target exactly what the searcher is looking for. Consider these three searches:
- Basketball Shoes
- UNDEFEATED x Kobe 4 Protro Shoes
In the first search, “Basketball” is extremely generic. Does the searcher want to see the latest NBA stats? Are they looking for a local basketball court? “Basketball” may have thousands of searches daily, but will always leave the search engines guessing on actual intent. Search two, “basketball shoes” is better, but still a bit generic for a keyword target considering the extensive amount of different brands and types of basketball shoes (not to mention competing businesses which we will get into later). In search three, “UNDEFEATED x Kobe 4 Protro Shoes”, the intent is very clear. The searcher is looking for pages related to a particular shoe, or at the very least pages related to shoes worn by current top NBA players. In this case, using the particular product as a keyword target is best rather than attempting to rank for a keyword with a wide scope of inferred intent.
As you have likely realized by now, there are many factors that go into finding the most effective keywords to target. “Keyword Difficulty” directly relates to the amount of competition for a particular keyword. Referring back to the basketball example, we decided “basketball shoes” was an ineffective keyword. When it comes to keyword difficulty, “basketball shoes” would be ineffective due to the high number of competing websites that have established strong domain authority with search engines like Finish Line, Footlocker, Nike, etc. It is unlikely, even after years of SEO, that a new website would reach a competitive level with corporate giants. This makes understanding keyword difficulty imperative when researching target keywords.
How Can We Help?
Deciding on the best keywords for your business can be difficult. At Firestarter SEO we understand that no two businesses will have the same campaign to meet their specific goals. We leverage the client’s industry knowledge and several SEO tools to analyze current page rank, competition, and search volume to map out the most effective keywords. If you would like assistance with keyword targeting for your website, contact us today!