When creating a business website , the biggest challenge is making it visible to customers. A website can only enjoy real visibility if search engines can crawl it and index its pages. Luckily, you can use keywords to improve your SEO and draw attention to your website.
SEO: what is it?
Keywords are the terms and questions people use to search online. Of course, using random keywords won’t make your site popular. The pages of your site must be “optimized” to attract the right customers.
SEO, or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of best practices that make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. A site is more likely to get good positions on search engine results pages (SERPS) if common search terms are there.
Most of the time, people don’t type in exact URLs when searching online. They enter a related question, phrase or sequence of words. In return, the search engine suggests a list of sites based on their match to the query. These results, called “organic results” are your gateway to a stronger online presence.
The evolution of search engines
You’re probably wondering if keywords are really worth all the fuss. You may have heard that keywords are no longer an important factor for search engine algorithms. It is true that search engines are becoming more sophisticated every year. The keywords are not ready to disappear from the landscape but the context and the structure of the site determine their level of effectiveness.
In the early days of the Internet, any site stuffed with the right keywords could rank high on search engines. Search engine companies knew that a dilution of results would hurt the search for quality content. Google has paved the way for more sophisticated search engines that can judge the overall relevance of site content. Now, search engines crawl your site pages and determine their keyword relevance using bots.
Let’s take an example. A web user might grasp the question “What are the best places to visit in Madrid?” “. Imagine that your site has a page called “10 must-see places in Madrid”. Your site may very well not contain the exact wording of the user’s question. However, based on relevant word groupings, search engine bots know that the page is likely to answer said question.
To deliver even better search results, search engines reward popular sites. If your pages are read frequently and receive many links, search engines assume that their content is useful. The credibility of sites that refer to your pages through links is also important. This is to prevent spammers from profiting from the creation of many mediocre sites full of links. This is why placing quality content on each of your pages is the best way to improve your positioning on search engines.
How to choose basic keywords for your SEO
Although search engines are powerful tools, keyword research is still useful for refining your approach. After all, if you’re repairing smartphones, you don’t want to attract people who want their laptops repaired. To choose your keywords, compile a list of phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching online. The fundamental characteristics of your business are a good starting point. Consider the following aspects:
- Your business activity
- Your popular products
- The main problems you solve for your customers
- The location of your business
- Frequently asked questions from your customers
Use a keyword research tool such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to compile a list of common searches related to the phrases you’ve identified. To obtain a good positioning, it is a question of targeting keywords whose search volume is high and for which the competition is as low as possible. Short and popular keywords might seem like a good choice, but remember that all businesses in your niche use them. So how do you stand out and reach the top search results?
Long-tail keywords attract qualified visitors
Using long-tail keywords for SEO can help small businesses compete with bigger ones. Long tail keywords are highly descriptive phrases of three or more words. They allow you to identify precisely the problem that your audience wants to solve.
Let’s say you have a business that offers a personal chef service. You could start with basic phrases such as “personal cook”, “private cook” or “home cook”. These keywords will already be used by all personal cooks on their site; your chances of obtaining a good positioning will therefore be greatly limited.
However, not all personal cooks are your competitors since your business operates locally. Adding a geographic location, for example “home cook reindeer” helps filter out customers who are not in your area. Keyword research tools can give you long tail keyword suggestions. The more unique your niche, the easier it will be to refine your long tail keywords to reach the right people.