Improving SEO can help your site get found more easily, but you do have to go after it the right way!
Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. You’ve probably heard that implementing keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL are key strategies for improving your SEO ranking.
However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental. Long gone are the days where you can fill up a hidden box with thousands of popular keywords to pop up in searches everywhere. Now, we have to be purposeful.
So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.
Do Your Own Keyword Research
Keyword research should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. Including keywords that are specific to your business and industry will help to ensure that the right customers are being driven to your door rather than just any customer. Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.
So, if you’re trying to attract customers who are in the business of commercial farming, you probably don’t want to use keywords that appeal to Grandma Daisy down the road. They’re both interested in lawn and garden tools, but proper keywords can help you pick out the right person.
Using the Right Keywords
Short-tail keywords, or keywords composed of very generic keywords, might seem appealing because they’re searched more often than long-tail keywords, however, they’re also a lot more competitive. So, unless you’re writing content for a large organization, like Apple or Macy’s, and consumers are likely searching specifically for your product, you don’t want to enter into a sea of competitors with big brands that have even bigger pockets.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, may not be as frequently typed into a search engine—think, “Egg” vs. “Poached Egg with Avocado and Bechemel”. By including more long-tail keywords into the content on your page, you’ll attract a larger number of customers who are likely to search for any combination of those long-tail keywords. People who already know EXACTLY what they want, and are ready to take action.
Are directly related to your business’s physical location. For example, if your business is a bakery in a popular neighborhood in Lexington, KY, you’ll want to include not only Lexington, but also the name of that specific neighborhood. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way, through product descriptions, blog articles, and generally having public content available that appeals to their targeted audience.
However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content. Even if you think they’re good keywords, it’s still too much, and your ranking will suffer.
Creating genuine content that is naturally appealing to your targeted customer base is a good place to start. Giving headlines and subheads that accurately describe what the article is about will also help.
There’s more that goes into it, but that’s just a few tips to improve keyword use in your quest for Search Engine Optimization.