Keywords are essential for improving SEO.  A keyword is a term or word that is used to capture the meaning of a document. Then when those words are used in a search engine they will display websites whose content matches that of the desired search.  Understanding and utilizing relevant keywords will improve the chances of your website being viewed.

What is often overlooked in coming up with keywords for your website is a customer persona.  This is where you should start your research every time.  Ask yourself who is your customer, what do they like, how will they approach a solution to their problem, what are their interests and what language do they use.  Once you have asked these questions you will want to write down a couple defining characteristics of your customer base. With these characteristics you can then write your own keywords.

Some great tools that are free to use are keyword analyzing programs like SEMrush. You type in the name of your competition on their program and it will show you which keywords they use and for how long.  Repeat this step with as many competitors you have to find the most regularly used words.  I would warn about only copying your competition for the fear that you won’t be able to differentiate yourself from them. To find new words go to Google and begin typing in what your website is about. For example if you are a bakery that does customized birthday cakes type in “custom cakes” and without hitting enter see what google says people have searched in the past. You will also need to keep in mind which types of keywords you’ll be using or in other words are you going to use short-head or long-tail keywords

Once you have picked your keywords it’s time to start writing. Though this type of writing is very different than what you’ve done in the past you do not need to be scared.  You are simply writing to your customer audience you researched while remembering to keep your keywords in mind. An important guide to follow is making sure to keep your density at around 2-5%. This means that for every one hundred words you type you want to include around 2-5 keywords.  Doing so will improve your website ranking while not overwhelming whoever makes it to your website with too much repetition. Once you have finished a draft of your website I would recommend publishing it and then using keyword analyzer tools to see how you compare to your competition. Have a colleague review it and then rinse and repeat as needed.

These are steps that I have found to be the most helpful in establishing a strong search engine presence.  While not all these steps may apply to you following the outline will at least give you ideas on how you can maximize your keyword optimization and put you a step above the competition. Keywords are vital to your success and the extra work you put in to ensure they are relevant to your customers and unique from your competition will give you a competitive advantage.

Josh Pinnock