What the heck is keyword research, and why is it important for SEO? Organic Search (SEO) can be hard to explain to someone who doesn’t work in internet marketing, but here at Page One we do a fair amount of education about the elements of SEO so our clients and their stakeholders can understand the value of the services they are paying for. One of the foundations of a good SEO program is carefully and strategically selecting keywords.
Here’s the thing, selecting the right keywords, even if you’re an SEO novice, doesn’t have to be hard work. Take some SEO tips from Benjamin Buford Blue, also known as “Bubba,” from the movie Forrest Gump, check out the full scene here.
Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.
In the clip Bubba was describing the types of shrimp that could be made and how versatile shrimp could be. In doing so, Bubba was unknowingly building a great list of keywords. With so many great, shrimp-related keyword variations to choose from, Bubba could have been a really great organic search marketer!
That’s all you need to do - make a list of the words that you think your customers will search for in order to find your website. Try to consider a variety of ways to say similar words and include those in your brainstorm list.
Next we, as experienced SEOs, would take that brainstorm list of words, which we would refer to as a “seed” keyword list, and then run the words through a variety of tools. Our tools will show us how competitive the terms are in the paid and organic space as well as approximately how many searches are being done on those keywords per month. But don’t worry, if you’re a beginner and just want to do this yourself, you don’t have to go too crazy. Try running your own seed list through Google’s Free Keyword Planner to get the basic information that you need. To help decide which words belong on your list, Answer these questions: 1. Are people even searching this word? 2. Is this word too competitive for a small site like mine to rank for?
There, you’ve done the basics of keyword research! Congrats! Plus, you have a good idea of how competitive your target key terms are and how likely it is that your business website will rank for those terms. Next, you’ll need to figure out how to use those keywords on your website. We recommend incorporating your target keywords into your blog or news posts. Also, you may have pages on your website that could use a little sprucing up, you could include those keywords within the web pages’ meta tags. Meta tags are a whole other aspect of SEO that unfortunately Bubba does not teach us about, however, we did write a blog post about How to Add Meta Descriptions that will be helpful.
Not feeling like a newbie anymore, are ya? Thanks Bubba!