As a digital marketing professional or small business owner, you know you have to stay ahead of your competitors, and in a world that continues to become more and more digital, ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, is crucial for driving organic traffic to your website. But how do you climb to the top of the results? You’ll need to master keyword research and analysis, the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. Dive deep into the world of keywords and follow these actionable steps to help level up your SEO game.
The Power of Keyword Research and Analysis
A successful SEO strategy develops after completing keyword research related to your industry. Quality research focuses on common words or phrases your target audience uses when searching for information online. Through this collection of insights and analysis of search intent and behavior, you can optimize your website to align with the needs and preferences of your target audience, allowing your business to rank higher than its competitors.
To complete high-quality keyword research, see yourself in your audience’s shoes.
Try to think of the words or phrases they most often would use to find products or services like yours. To take it further, include keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz, or SEMrush. These tools will help highlight the high-volume keywords where there’s low competition. They’ll also provide insight into search volume, keyword difficulty, and the related keywords your competitors may be missing allowing you to carve out your own lane.
Let’s say you run a small business that sells organic skincare products. Instead of targeting generic keywords like “skincare” or “beauty products,” you could focus on more specific long-tail keywords like “organic facial oil for dry skin” or “best natural sunscreen for sensitive skin.” These keywords may have a lower search volume but are more targeted and likely to attract users with higher purchase intent.
Avoiding Keyword Cannibalization
In short, you don’t want to make it difficult for search engines to choose which of your content to promote above the rest. Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website compete for the same keyword. Search engines recognize the competing content and may rank a desired page lower than one with similar content, so you start to compete with yourself alongside the other competitors in your industry.
Pay attention and conduct regular, comprehensive audits of your website’s content. If there are any instances where multiple pages are targeting the same keyword or keyphrase, create a strategy to consolidate the information onto one page or optimize each page to have its own unique keyword focus. Rewrite or reorganize content, update meta tags and URLs, and implement proper internal linking strategies.
Let’s say you have two blog posts on your website, one targeting the keyword “best organic facial cleanser” and another targeting “top-rated natural face wash.” Upon auditing, you realize that both posts have similar content and are cannibalizing each other’s rankings. To fix this, you can consolidate the content, optimize the title tags and meta descriptions, and use canonical tags to indicate the preferred page for search engines.
Optimizing Websites for Better Rankings
Optimizing your website’s content and structure with the right keywords is essential for improving your rankings on SERPs.
- On-page optimization: Cater your content to align with your focused keywords. Incorporate them in title tags, headers, URLs, and your content, but beware of keyword stuffing! Search engines that pick up on content written only for the purpose of ranking highly in SERPs will rank websites lower as a penalty. Optimize meta tags and descriptions to entice users to click on your links and create high-quality content that meets the searcher’s intent.
- Off-page optimization: Create high-quality backlinks from reputable websites relevant to your niche, highlighting your page as a thought leader with valuable insight into the industry. Use social media to share and promote your content, driving traffic and engagement to your website.
If your website sells hiking gear, you can optimize your content by incorporating keywords like “best hiking boots,” “waterproof backpacks for hiking,” and “top-rated camping tents” in your title tags, headers, URLs, and throughout your content. You can also create blog posts or articles that provide valuable information about hiking gear, such as “10 Essential Hiking Gear for Beginners” or “How to Choose the Right Camping Tent for Your Outdoor Adventure.” Share these articles on social media, contact relevant websites for guest blogging opportunities, and build high-quality backlinks to establish your website as a go-to source for hiking gear information.
Try It Out
Keyword research and analysis are the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. By understanding the search behavior and intent of your target audience, optimizing your website’s content and structure, and avoiding keyword cannibalization, you can improve your website’s visibility and rankings on SERPs, driving organic traffic and potential customers to your website.
Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact us today to learn how our digital marketing experts can help you achieve better rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website.