Business owners are asking if keywords remain relevant in 2015, and the short answer is, yes. Keywords still form a critical piece in online marketing, no matter the medium, whether for ranking pages on your site or blog, videos, imagery, paid search or elsewhere, keywords are one of the fundamental items you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your web content.
Keywords are still the primary way Google classifies your content, whether that’s in the form of web page, blog post, video or anything else. Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account how well you are optimized for the particular keywords, and ranks you in the search results as a result. For this reason it’s imperative to make sure we are targeting the proper keyword from the outset.
Keep in mind you don’t want to ‘keyword stuff’ your page in hopes that Google will find you. According to research your keyword should not be more than 10% of your words. Google bots read at about a 5th grade level, so if you stuff keywords, it will recognize the misuse of those words and will not count your page in their search algorithms.
To help with keywords, let’s take a look at 5 items you’ll need to consider as you select the keywords for your content.
5 Things to consider when starting keyword research
Know how you’ll use them
Have a plan for how you will use the keywords. As stated before, they can be of tremendous value of any type of web content, even visual. The easiest way to do this is to narrow down your keywords and focus in on the ones that are specific to your company.
Identify common keywords in your niche
Just off of the top of your head, you ought to be able to think of a set of basic keywords to begin your research with, simply by looking at the content in your chosen niche or market. Take that list and add local keywords. Include your name, but the important keywords are words that focus on a problem that you solve.
Take a look at your competition
This can be done with the help of tools, or again by taking a close look at their pages. Check under the hood for title tags, page descriptions and keyword tags, if they made use of them. Looking at what your competition is doing right, helps you focus your efforts in a way to dominate your market.
Employ tools to help do the work
Luckily for us there are lots of keyword research tools out there, many of them sport a free version, such as the Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Keywordtool.io. Do a quick search online for the tools that work best for you. If you use Google Chrome, you can add extensions, or tools, to your browser for automatic feedback.
Learn the intent of the searcher
Now put on your thinking cap and try to get into the mid of the web searcher who’s looking for you. What is their intent, and how will these keywords differ from what you’ve found so far. Google estimates that 15% of web searches have not been seen before, so take the time to understand what they’re typing in the search box!
BONUS: Simple Exercise for Great Keywords
A simple way to get started finding ‘intent’ keywords is to begin typing in a Google search bar and see how Google completes the phrase. For instance, if I do marketing, I type ‘marketing’ in Google search, hit space and see what words pop up in the menu as suggestions. These are the words that people are commonly using when searching for your industry.