A Guide to Unlocking SEO with Proper Keywords

Keywords text on paper

For many e-commerce business owners, getting on that first page of Google search results is the holy grail. If you have correctly indexed your site with Google, then a search for your company’s name—or, at the very least, the URL—should show up there soon after launch.

However, that is not the ultimate goal—what you want is to have people search for “goat milk soap” or “upright bass” and then find your website on the first page of search engine results. If people do not know who you are to begin with, then you have got to play the keyword-optimization game for the search engines to connect you with potential customers.

Keyword optimization requires a good strategy and implementation within your site if you want to get a good return on the investment. With that in mind, here are four tips to help you unlock the power of SEO by using the proper keywords for your business.

1. Start with Analytics

If your website is already live and if you haven’t done so already, spend some time reviewing Google Analytics and see what you can find out about:

  • Keywords used in organic search
  • Most popular pages and posts visited from organic search referrals
  • Visitor behavior once on those pages, including bounce rate, time on site, and number of pages viewed

The logic behind this is that you want to know if the keywords currently leading visitors to your website are in line with your expectations, and if they’re resulting in quality leads and conversions. If they are, then you have a good place to start. If they are not, then it is back to the drawing board.

2. Do the Research

The next step is to conduct a new keyword research. You may not have fully unlocked the potential of keywords, and you will not know if that is the case until you start doing some digging. You can use tools like Google AdWords, Buzzsumo, or WordTracker for this.

Here are some of the points to consider:

  • Which keywords do you currently rank well for?
  • Which keywords do your competitors rank well for?
  • Which keywords are the most popular in your industry?
  • How difficult is it to rank for these keywords?
  • Does it make sense to go after your competition’s keywords?

Look at keyword selection like you do your business model. Everyone has a unique selling proposition, and the keywords you use on your site should reflect that. So, take the time to really think about which words would be the best reflection of your business and which ones hold the greatest potential (i.e. low-to-moderate difficulty and high popularity) for you.

3. Look at the Long Tail

Before settling on any keywords for your site, familiarize yourself with long-tail keyword alternatives. These are the keywords that are longer strings of text (more like phrases) that people use when they have something very specific in mind and are nearly ready to convert.

For this step, you can use a tool like KWFinder to identify the long-tail keywords that will optimize your results in search. Focus on finding a handful of keywords to build your content around. They should be:

  • Relevant to your business
  • Natural—in other words, would someone actually write this out?
  • Mobile-friendly, since people prefer to type less “unnecessary” words on their mobile devices

You might also want to consider geography- or location-related keywords.

4. Revise Your Content

This is the easiest step. Once you have your set of keywords (ideally, one focus keyword and a handful of secondary ones per page), you will need to integrate them into the following:

  • Page or post title
  • Page URL
  • Header text
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image titles and tags
  • Body content

The goal here is to incorporate your keywords as naturally as possible. If you are stuffing them in wherever they fit, you will compromise your content’s overall quality and defeat all the work you have done to identify those optimal keywords in the first place.

There are many different factors that contribute to where your website ranks in search. The best thing you can do right off the bat—as well as moving forward—is to ensure your content is optimized with the proper keywords so you can unlock the power of SEO.

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