• Joanna Pelletier

3 Quick Tips for Improving Your Keyword Research

By now, you know that implementing keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URLs are key strategies for improving your SEO ranking. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.

Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.

Commit Yourself to Ongoing, Monthly Keyword Research

If you think about it, the Internet is very similar to a living being. It’s always growing, changing, and evolving. Its needs are different and fluctuates at every stage of its evolution. That fluctuation will also cause your keyword rankings to fluctuate, and a time may come when specific keywords don’t work as well as they did in the past.

This is where you have to be ready to commit yourself to spending a day or two each month to keyword research, performance tracking, and implementation. Keyword research is an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business, customers, and your industry. Focusing on keywords that are specific to your business, customers, and industry will help to ensure the right customers are coming to your door. Sure, we want to increase our customer base, but we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.

Use the Right Keywords

Short-tail keywords, or keywords composed of very generic keywords, might seem appealing because people search for them more often than long-tail keywords. These types of keywords, however, are also a lot more competitive and more difficult to rank for. So, unless you’re writing content for a large organization like Wendy’s or REI, 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, “Cheese” vs. “Beschamel Cheese Sauce Recipe”. 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.

If you’re a business with a physical storefront, location-based keywords are also worth a look. Location-based keywords are keywords that directly relate to your business’s physical location. For example, if you own a bakery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, you’ll want to include not only Chicago, 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 as many keywords as possible to your website page content is called keyword stuffing, and it’s a huge no-no in digital marketing circles.

Less is more, dearheart, and page content quality will always win over how many (It’s like that saying about boats and ocean waves if you catch my drift). The best thing you can do is to choose one relevant focus keyword for your page and add it to your URL, title tag, headings, and the first 100 words of the page. My favorite words are the ones that blend in with the rest of the copy in a natural way.

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