Online marketing is an essential skill for today’s small and medium size enterprises. A key part of online marketing is knowing what are keywords, which ones are worth money to your business, and having a plan to rank for them. Ranking for the right keywords can bring in a lot of traffic to your website, while keeping your marketing costs low. Let’s take a look at how you can use keywords to draw attention to your brand online.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the search terms that people type into search engines when they are looking for information. By targeting keywords that are relevant to your industry, you can make your website appear in the search results that Google shows to people who are looking for businesses like yours.
How to Find Keywords
The most important factor in keyword choice is relevance. You really must know what are your keywords, and they may only be a handful. Your target keywords must be words or phrases that people are already using to search for businesses like yours.
First, think of a few keywords that people might search for when looking for businesses like yours online. For example, if your business is a store that sells guitars, you might try keywords such as “guitar shop” or “guitars for sale” as your starting point. Come up with as many keywords as you can, including single and multi-word phrases.
Next, plug these keywords into Google Keyword Planner to see how many people are searching for them. The keywords that are likely to attract the most traffic to your site have a high monthly search volume compared to their level of competition.
How to Find Low Competition Keywords
The SEMrush Keyword Research feature can help you find what keywords that are currently neglected by your competitors. As a small business owner, you’ll find it difficult to compete with bigger brands for the most popular keywords. Therefore, a better strategy is to find low competition keywords to use in your SEM campaign.
Google Keyword Planner provides an estimate of the level of competition that each keyword faces, summarized as “Low,” “Medium” or “High”. Unless you have a huge marketing budget and an expert search marketing team that is ready to take on the biggest brands in your niche, it’s best to avoid high competition keywords. Instead, look for keywords with low competition, which are much easier to target.
You’re Already Using Keywords
If all this talk of keywords sounds unfamiliar and complicated, you might feel better to know that you’re actually already using keywords on your site. Any text on your site contains terms that people can search for to find your business and others like it. Use the Google Search Console to see what search terms you are already ranking for. You can use these search terms as the first target keywords in your SEM campaign. There are many other research tools that can help you find profitable, low competition keywords. Notably, the folks over at Authority Hacker published an excellent review of the top keyword research tools in 2017 which gives you a nice run down of the leading keyword research tools that marketers are using now.
Paid vs Organic Search
Here’s the million dollar question: once you’ve found the keywords you want to target, how do you actually use them to make money? There are two methods, known as paid and organic search marketing, and you’ll probably want to use both of them to create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.
Paid search marketing involves buying advertising for your target keywords from a service such as Google Adwords. Your ads are shown at the top of the page of search results when someone searches for your target keywords. You pay every time someone clicks through from an ad to your site. You can keep the costs of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising low by choosing low-competition keywords for Adwords, which have a lower price-per-click.
Organic search marketing (also known as search engine optimization or SEO) involves placing keywords in the text that appears on your website, so that your webpages show up naturally as relevant search results when someone searches for those keywords. As with paid search marketing, it’s a good idea to choose low competition keywords for SEO, so your webpages aren’t crowded out by those of your competitors.
Consider the Conversions Funnel
The aim of keyword marketing isn’t simply to bring web users to your site. You also want to convert those visitors into paying customers. Therefore, your site should be set up so that it funnels visitors from their initial landing page through to your online store, where they can make a purchase.
Another strategy for increasing sales is to choose high conversion keywords, which are search terms that people use when they are ready to buy. For example, someone who searches for “Gibson guitar reviews” is probably at a very early stage of their buying journey, whereas someone who searches for “buy Gibson Les Paul online” is ready to make a purchase. In this case, the latter is likely to be the higher converting keyword, as it attracts visitors who are ready to buy to your site.
Long Tail Keywords
What are long tail keywords? Often, the highest converting keywords are long tail keywords. These contain multiple words and are very specific. For example, “white women’s high heeled sandals” is a long tail keyword, whereas “women’s shoes” is not. Long tail keywords often convert highly, as they are used by searchers who already know exactly what kind of product they are looking for. They also face less competition than generic keywords.
Help With Keywords
Learning to understand what are keywords and use them effectively requires a lot of time and effort. SEMRush and other tools like it can help you monitor your sites and those of your competitors to see how your keywords are performing. Start using these helpful tools today to find the best keywords for your site and make them work effectively for you.