In order to maximize the return on your SEO investment, it is important that you follow the correct formula for determining what your audience is searching for.
There are a wide range of tools available that can help you narrow down user searches to find specific keywords. Keywords are typically industry specific terms which your audience uses in Google or other search engine queries to locate what they are searching for.
In order for your site to rank near the top of the list when people search, the content on your web page must center around those keywords effectively. This process also allows you to weed out search terms that you do not want to be associated with by leaving them out of your content.
Here's how you can start researching your audience's search data to choose the best keywords available:
Your web hosting service may provide you with a dashboard from which you can view a ton of different visitor information for your site. The most important metrics on your dashboard will be clicks, impressions, clickthrough rate and your average positioning on Google. You need to understand the difference between each of these terms to fully grasp how your site is performing.
An impression is counted any time your ad appears after a user searches for one of your keywords. It simply means that your ad was displayed somewhere on the page.
A click means that the user actually clicked on the ad or link and went to your page.
Your clickthrough rate or CTR is the ratio of how many people clicked your link over how many actually saw it. This will give you a percentage of successful clicks.
Your average positioning on Google tells you where your site appears over a given period of time for your SEO keywords. Factors such as location can impact your positioning depending on how you use your keywords
In order to help you gather all of the necessary keyword data to make your SEO work, there are a number of free and paid tools available across the web. The Google Adwords Keyword Planner allows you to research specific keywords, but also returns a list of recommended keywords based upon related searches. It tells you how much those keywords currently cost for ad campaigns as well.
The Moz Keyword Explorer is another free tool which tracks search volume for keywords and can tell you how easy it is to rank with a given search term. Both of these tools are a great place to get started with your research and discovery.
Finally, the WordTracker Keyword Demand tool is another detailed SEO tool that provides long tail keywords as well as suggestions based on YouTube and Amazon searches. It ranks keywords according to competitiveness from other sites and gives you a more complete list of words to try.
Long Tail vs Short Tail
When it comes to choosing the most effective keywords for your SEO campaign, the question is how specific you want your search terms to be.
Long tail keywords are more specific, while short tail keywords cover a broader spectrum. For instance, the difference between searching for a "Chevy Corvette" and searching for a "1972 Chevy Corvette Stingray" is that the long tail version will provide a very tailored response, while the short tail will likely lead to a number of car dealerships selling new Corvettes.
Source: Neil Patel
There are benefits to each approach, and most companies choose to balance their use of both to maximize their SEO returns.
If you sell speakers and amplifiers, those two words may work effectively as short tail keywords and earn you a high number of clicks from all over the map, but the inclusion of brand names can narrow down your field to people who are searching specifically for your products.
Another common tactic is to use your city or state name in your long tail keyword to create location-specific search results. If you are looking to boost traffic globally, short tail keywords can help you do so.
If you are looking to earn higher conversions in your local market, long tail keywords are the way to go. However, you must also be careful not to make your long tail keywords too specific, as you will begin losing visitors who are not searching for complex terms.
There are plenty of tools and resources available to help you conduct your keyword research, and as you grow familiar with the different metrics used to analyze keyword success you can begin to focus your efforts on the keywords that earn you the best results.
Start by using one of these tools to create a list of recommended SEO terms and then do some additional searches to determine whether or not they are the right fit for you.