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How to Find the Right Keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

The real purpose of the search engine optimization (SEO) is to help people who are looking for you to be able to find you easily. It is definitely more than just finding ways to get free traffic.

To do that, you have to match your website content with what users are trying to find on search engines.


Example:

Sarah conducts Flower Arrangement Classes. On her blog, she wrote about various types of flowers available for different seasons. There is not much competition for keywords relating to the various types of flowers and Sarah’s publications managed to get front page rankings for several types of flowers.


Do you see the potential problem?


People searching for different types of flowers most likely would want to buy flowers and are unlikely to be interested to attend a Flower Arrangement Class. Even though she has gotten a lot of traffic, those traffic are unable to give her any conversions as they have a different objective in mind.


So for SEO to work, you will need to understand what your target audience is looking for and optimize keywords that could bring in traffic that are looking for your services.


How to discover what are the list of keywords that my target audience is searching for?


Simple: research.


Yes, research is definitely a tedious job, but it is an important step for you to start finding the right keywords.


The focal point of keyword research would be:


Informational vs Purchase Intent Keywords


A typical sales funnel cycle consist of these few key stages:

  • Awareness

  • Consideration

  • Decision

  • Loyalty

And throughout each stage of the sales cycle, the type of words that users will search would be very different.


For instance, for someone that is looking for shoes, the type of content user search could be:

  • Awareness: Latest shoe trends, types of shoes

  • Consideration: Variety of sports shoes, how each sport shoe will best support different kind of sports activities

  • Decision: Which shoe brand is the most value-for-money?

  • Loyalty: Promotions for a particular shoe brand

In terms of keywords perspective, it can be further generalized into two types:

  • Informational Keywords: Words that users will use with the intention of doing research and gathering more information

  • Purchase Intent Keywords: Words that users will use with the consideration of making an actual purchase

Depending on your business model, you will need to have a clear understanding if each type of keywords would be beneficial for your business.


High search volume Keywords


High search volume keywords means that these keywords gained a proven statistical history that a lot of users search for using those words on search engines.


For each keyword, search engines like Google will provide search volume in a weighted average of the past 12 months. This way you can ensure that gaining ranking for these keywords would get significant increase in general traffic volume.


Low Competition Keywords


Low Competition keywords usually also mean that it has a smaller amount of search traffic. Comparing low competition VS high search volume keywords, the first glance seems to suggest that there is a lot more work involved in low competition keywords.


However, like the Flower Arrangement class example earlier, targeting low competition keywords may not be an entirely bad idea as they are much easier to rank. The key thing is to still write content that your target audience needs.


What tools I can use to start keywords research?


Google's Keyword Tool


There are many tools out there that could help you to find the right keywords. Being the largest search engine in the world, Google’s search-based keyword tool is still one of the most popular resources around.


The platform itself is free of charge. However do note that the purpose of this platform is for Google to encourage advertisers to spend more on Google Adwords. As such, exact search volumes for each keyword will only be given to users that have an active Google Adwords account. For users that do not have Adwords running on their registered account, you will be expected to see an estimated range and this may not give you a very accurate analysis.

Besides finding out the search volume, Google also provides some alternative keyword suggestions which would help to enhance your keywords list.


Google Search Console


Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tool) provides some information on where your website is being shown and what keywords your website is being ranked. Having this information will give you a good indicative on where you can improve further.


Conclusion


It takes time for search engines to update their records. Be patient and you will start to see your website garnering more organic traffic.


Also, note that you will need time to figure out what works for your site. There are no shortcuts to SEO and the strategy for each website will be different. With Google’s search algorithm being one of the smartest around, any shady work that you do with the intent to speed up on SEO will eventually get caught and punished. It’s never worth it.

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