Keyword Research: How to Optimise for Additional Traffic
Ensuring that your website is optimised for the right keywords is often the difference between getting additional traffic and not. These need to be the words that your target users will be searching for; if your site is well optimised for these terms, your site will appear higher up in the SERPs meaning that more people will click on your website. But how do you know which keywords to target? And more importantly, which keywords will deliver that additional traffic?
Well it’s all dependent on your industry, and the level of competition you face. You will no doubt have your core products and services that you will want to rank for, however, if you’re a smaller company competing against larger multinationals, the chances of your site appearing higher than theirs is slim. Therefore, you may want to target more niche keywords. For example, ranking for keywords such as, “Mountain Bike” will be difficult as it’s such a competitive search term. Therefore, try mixing it up by optimising your site for variations or more specific keywords, such as “Cheap Mountain Bikes”, “Mountain Bikes for Children”, or “Mountain Bikes for Adults”.
What’s important though is that whatever search term for which your site will be optimised, they need to be relatively popular. There’s no point in aiming for less competitive keywords if they have little or no search volume. For example, long-tail keywords may be highly targeted, but they will have less search volume. In the context of mountain bikes this could be something along the lines of, “Cheap Mountain Bikes for Children Aged 10-14″. Depending on how popular this search term is should really dictate whether you optimise your site accordingly. The Holy Grail is to find keywords that have a high search volume, but are not that competitive – known as ‘low hanging fruit’ for people that love their buzz words.
But how do you check which keywords are competitive and which ones are popular? Well, this is where keyword research software and programmes help massively. A good place to start is to use Google’s keyword tool in AdWords. This will provide you with a decent guideline for which keywords to target, but more specific programmes will provide you with far more sophisticated data which will help inform your decision. Keyword Eye, Wordtracker and Wordstream are all very good programmes that any performing SEO will swear by.
When it comes to implementing keywords, be sure to have a clear plan of the website’s structure. This way you’ll know exactly which keyword to target for each specific page. Look to include keywords within the titles, copy, meta as well as the headers and copy for each page of the website. For the Home page, you will want to target core keywords. This will also apply to top level pages, but you may also need to be a bit more specific here as well. As you get deeper within the site, for specific categories and product or service pages, you will need to target long-tail keywords.
A great tip would simply be to use a variety of keywords. Be sure to include qualifiers, which can be adjectives, brands, locations, and features of your products and services. Location is a really good one, as local SEO is hugely important as more people look towards localised search. For example, you could target keywords such as, “Mountain Bikes (location)” or “Mountain Bikes in (location)”. Modifiers will allow you to target similar keywords that are slightly modified, such as “cheap”, “cheaper”, “cheapest”. Synonyms and plurals will also help to diversify your keywords.
Diversifying your keywords is important when you come to including your keywords within the copy on each webpage. Whilst you may have the root keyword targeted within the headers and meta, it’s important you don’t over-do it within the copy as this will look unnatural and could be misconstrued as trying to ‘game the system’. Having a high keyword density will work against you, so try to implement the above mentioned tips.