]When trying to establish oneself in the online marketplace, the temptation exists to go straight for paid AdWords without Keyword Planning properly. This step is vital, can can indeed supplant the need for paid search advertising in large part, as the major search engines will grant a much higher Page Rank if they trust a page. Proper keyword research and implementation is a fundamental element of Basic SEO, yet is often overlooked by online marketers who don’t understand how important these keywords are to search engine algorithms.
Step 1: Keyword Research and SEO Audit
The first priority of this search is to understand the theory of how search engines rank pages, that is to say, one must set about auditing SEO, for one’s own website as well as competitors. Tools such as Majestic Seo and SEMRush can give insight to what keywords a site ranks for on search engines, a key insight into the amount of trust they have in a website. This crucial step is often overlooked, as referred to in this article from Business Insider, and many will invest thousands in content marketing without realizing that without the proper keyword research, their original website content will be hamstrung.
Step 2: Keyword Planning
Google’s Keyword Planner is step 1b, as it will allow one to see the kind of search volume one could capture if their site had greater search engine exposure. Though perhaps not Google’s original intent in designing the tool, the Keyword Planner allows a canny online marketing specialist insight into the raw number of searches for terms related to their business. Where SEO Audits can tell a person where their website and competitors are now, the Keyword Planner can help provide a road map for the future.
At this stage an SEO marketer must get inside the mind of their prospective customer, and give careful thought as to what exactly they want this person to do on their website. If the interest is simply is getting the customer to a website so they can learn about it, perhaps more general search terms will do the trick, or if the goal is selling on the website, terms specific to your product will get the customer buying.
For instance, if the marketer is running a Chinese restaurant that did not accept take out orders, the focus on keyword such as “Chinese food” or “Chinese food salt lake” may put them in front of the right sort of customer, whereas a website selling art supplies online may opt for terms such as “titanium white 16oz”. This keyword segmentation will not only help the right kind of customers find your website, but will also help search engines understand exactly what it is you do, building the crucial trust to propel you to the front page.
Step 3: Keyword Placement
After these two processes are completed, the next step is to determine where to place keywords on one’s website, and to do this properly, one has to think like a search engine does. Writing only for artificial eyes, cramming as many keywords as one can at the cost of coherence, often referred to as keyword stuffing, is short sighted. Google has put in measures to counteract this practice, and once they notice a website is doing it their trust with Google, and therefore their rank, suffers.
Instead, one should opt for a balance, using keywords in such a way that both google and the customer know exactly what they are looking at. This will take the form of relevant content published frequently, that is interesting and helpful to the user, but also seeded with enough keywords to ensure Google’s algorithm trusts it enough for relevant searches. This policy will also extend to the html tags that help navigate the site, and the descriptions and tags on images.
Step 4: Goal Setting and Patience
The fourth and final piece of advice is to set a goal, and be patient. Google hates nothing more than being tricked into offering low quality content to a user of their engine. So to reach the coveted front page one must establish a trustworthy track record. Both of these pieces of advice are covered in this article from Forbes, which recommends both a budget and a goal. However given that this post covers basic SEO, the latter is the most salient point when it comes to beginning keyword planning for SEO.
In sum, when beginning to think about SEO, one must first see what is driving traffic to one’s own website as well as competitors, look for the keyword the drive the right kind of customer to one’s site, implement those keywords into original content, and finally set a goal, and remain patient.
Written by: Lucas Brugger