In our latest 5 in 15 webinar: 5 New Ways to Think About Keywords & SEO, ReachLocal SEO Expert Shayla Jenkins shared some of her secrets to helping local businesses do better SEO keyword research. Here are a few of our favorite keyword research takeaways.
1. Do Your Keyword Research First
Our expert recommends conducting keyword research before doing anything else to optimize your site, including a technical restructure or fixing site errors. Keyword research helps you lay the foundation for your entire SEO strategy because it helps you understand what people are looking for from businesses like yours. This, in turn, helps you define the content on your site that is most likely to drive visits and leads from your SEO.
2. Think Like a Search Engine
Thanks to updates like Panda and Rankbrain, search engines are now able to make better sense of what a user is looking for and provide relevant results, even if they don’t search for the exact terms that are present on your website. That’s because search engines can understand things like synonyms, related terms, buyer intent, location, and more to determine what people really mean when they conduct a search. So, just having a few exact match keywords won’t cut it for SEO anymore. Instead, you need a wide range of keywords that relate to a single topic you want to show up for when people search.
3. Discard the Jargon
Often, when we talk about our own businesses, we use industry jargon, acronyms, and other terms that our prospects may not understand. So for local businesses, it’s important to remember that what people are searching for may be different from how you talk about your own industry. For example, people tend to search by the problem they have, like “I am being sued, need a lawyer” rather than “personal injury attorney,” but if your site is only optimized for “personal injury attorney” you could miss out on getting found by potential clients.
4. Find Untapped Keywords
If you’re using free online keyword tools, chances are you’ll probably find the same keywords that your competitors are finding, which creates competition for the same keywords. To overcome this challenge, our expert recommends using old-fashioned brainstorming, Google predictive search, and user-generated forums to discover new keywords that might often go unnoticed by others in your industry.
5. Look at More than Search Volume
Search volume is one key metric to look for when determining the best keywords for your business, but it’s definitely not the only metric you should consider. Keywords with a high volume of searches are typically very broad and may be used by dozens of other sites and businesses, making it difficult for your site to rank for them. Instead, our expert recommends creating longer-tail keywords that your site can reasonably show up for when people search.
Download the on-demand webinar below to learn more of our expert’s keyword research hacks (with examples), get tips for tracking the performance of your SEO keywords, and hear the answers to live audience questions.