Keywords – Everything You Need to Know
Keywords – or rather, words that you think your customers are using to search for your type of service or product – forms part of your content plan. So really, this is a guide on how to create the perfect website content using keyword analysis.
For this article, we’re going to focus on content and specifically how research, variety and placement of keywords can maximise your content scores.
To make it easier to understand, we’re going to pick out a real-world case study too.
Step 1 – Research
According to Brendan at BLD Communications, "understanding which words you’re going to target and why is undoubtedly the most important part of your content plan."
Here’s what you need to consider when doing your keyword research;
- Which tools to use
- Keyword volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Keyword importance
There are lots of keyword tools out there which claim to know search volume, SEO difficulty and other data but surprisingly each with wildly varying results. I think the sensible advice here is to use a cross section of tools as a guide and then fill in the gaps with some common sense. We use MOZ keyword explorer & the Google Adwords Keyword tool.
If you were Hero Shot Photography and could rank for just one keyword (or phrase) what would you choose?
- Corporate Photographer
- Business Photographer
They both have the similar user intent, they’re probably both equal in terms of conversions and Hero Shot can service each type of enquiry without a preference. So which one to choose? Well, ‘corporate photographer’ has double the search volume. So it stands that ranking for this word will produce more traffic and hopefully more custom.
You may look at the above words and suggest, why not rank for the word, photographer, instead? It’s bound to have more volume and, in fact, it does - fifty times more search volume.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is difficulty. Words with higher volume tend to be more competitive. General words tend to be more competitive too because of all the much larger, more authoritative websites that could compete.
So whilst the word photographer would be great, it’s unlikely that our case study, Hero Shot, would be able to rank for that word. (Difficulty is somewhat proportional to domain authority).
The Moz keyword list feature has a further field for importance. This is rather a subjective score but we recommend assigning values based on how likely that search term is going to convert. Sometimes the differences can be subtle.
- Photographer Sydney > service + location
- Sydney Photography > location + subject
The intent of the searcher from ‘photographer Sydney’ is much higher. The word difference is very subtle.
With keywords now listed with volume, difficulty and importance, the Moz keyword tool can sort these words into a priority order. From the above you can see that despite being far more difficult, the word photographer is still ranked #1 - and that’s because the volume is so much more significant. ‘Corporate Photographer’ is ranked above ‘Photographer Sydney’ because of the lower difficulty and higher importance, even though volume is less. And so on.
Step 2 – Create a content map
Before diving in and writing your content, try to map out which content is going where. A useful place to start is by looking at your target keyword list and group similar ‘user intents’ together.
Head Shot Photographer
Real Estate Photographer
Step 3 – Optimise your content
Let’s look at page 1. Content will include each of those keywords in a way that creates a great user experience.
A suggested title would be: “Headshot Photographer in Sydney”
With sub headings like:
Best Headshot photographer
Corporate headshots for business professionals
Headshots for actors and models
Try to use a keyword once every 75 – 100 words. That should give you the required density.
Step 4 – Create content for your users
Writing great content isn’t just all your favourite keywords strung together. It’s a real attempt to offer your users something they will like. If you’re not sure what to include, think about all the common questions your customers ask you - that should form the basics of your content.
In terms of our case study:
Example photos – obviously
Hair & make-up options
Length of shoot
Options for video
Resolution of images supplied
Are the images finished in photoshop?
Take a research based approach, finding keywords that will mean the most to your business. Take into consideration volume and difficulty to find words that are both achievable and worth it. Then, create groups of keywords that have the same user intent. Satisfy that user intent with great copy which is logical. Optimise each page with consistent titles, img tags and headings.