Good day, fellow SEO heroes and warriors! I hope you are doing well today. Here at Search Engine Academy, we show you how to develop a keyword strategy for your website when you come to one of our classes. Before we talk a little bit about what a good keyword strategy might look like, however, we first need to learn what keywords are.

What Are SEO Keywords?

A keyword is a common word or phrase typed by search engine users. You can incorporate these words and ideas into your site content in order to boost your page on Google results. So how do we figure out which phrases will connect your site with your desired audience? What is keyword searching in practical terms?

That’s where keyword research and strategy come in.

A lot of people look at me blankly when I ask them what their keyword strategy is. That’s totally derp; you got to know something about what keywords are used in your business, alright? And no, a keyword strategy that consists of “Hell, I don’t really know…I just use what I think others might be using!” is not even remotely valid.

Typographic illustration for "what is keyword research?"Let’s talk about a few things for your keyword strategy.

First, you do need to know what your target market is using. If you don’t know, ASK. Query prospects, clients, sales people. Do a survey, take a poll, ask the guy on the street, but find out. If you have web analytics available for your site, look in the keyword section. If you have Google Webmaster tools, look at those as well.

Next, use any one of a ton of keyword research tools out there to check at least two things: the volume and competition difficulty of the keyword phrases you think you want to use. And, if you are a local business provider, it wouldn’t hurt to see what the local/regional demand for those phrases are.

Then, come to terms with the fact that you probably most likely cannot rank high for single words and keyword phrases that two words long and are very popular. Probably not gonna happen, umkay? And if you are local business, but you have set your sights on overcoming a national chain, good freakin’ luck. How many years do you have to wait?

Next up in our keyword strategy, search out and use long-tail keyword phrases. These may be 3 – 6 words in length. They are much, much faster and easier to rank for. Suppose you sell used cars (insert your jokes or gripe here). What are some easy opportunities for ranking well for your target audience? How about these:

Keyword tool results

Further keyword tool results

These are great terms. The first number is the approximate number of searches done in the last full calendar month, the middle number is ease of which you can rank for the phrase, and the last column is the number of competing web pages that have that term in either a title tag or anchor text. On the other hand..

Keyword tool results for "used cars"

"car for sale" keyword stats

"used car" keyword statistics

…not so much.

Some other keyword strategy considerations:

Seasonal – If your business is seasonal, you will need to update your keyword research regularly. Don’t think that a phrase that is good one season might be just as useful a year from that time. Maybe, maybe not. This is why you need to refresh your keyword research.

Event-driven – Do you specialize in events? If so, you will absolutely need to keep a keyword research tool on hot standby. You will always be doing some keyword research on something.

New Products/Services – As you mature your business and add things, this means you need to create new pages. That means more keyword research!

OK…you get the picture. Why not review your site and look for ways to freshen up the content with some updated keyword phrases? It just might be the way to get some higher visibility in search results! What are SEO keywords that could prove useful for your site?

If you’re looking to for a better understanding of a SEO at a high-level, check out this article on 5 steps for SEO.

Until next time, keep it between the ditches!

All the best,