It is critical in SEO to identify and connect with your target audience. As such, SEO professionals are given the difficult task of understanding the search language that is spoken by potential website visitors. That is, for a website to be optimized, it must be built with an understanding of the combination of keywords that potential website visitors will likely use when they search for something on the internet. This post provides insights into how some of the top minds in SEO find the best SEO keywords.
Attracting Visitors with Relevant Keywords
When I think about the relevance of SEO keywords, my mind takes me back to the first time I traveled to Korea. If you don’t recognize the correlation between vacation trips to Korea and SEO keyword relevance right away, don’t worry, you are not alone. The following anecdote should help connect the dots.
I was living in Tokyo at the time, and used a Japanese travel agency to arrange my trip to Korea. As is common for travelers from Asia, I was assigned to a large tour group, which meant that I was required to fly to and from Korea with the group and that a bus would shuttle us between our hotel and the airport. I filled my itinerary with all the touristy things that are suggested on the most popular travel blogs. The places were beautiful and the food was amazing!
On the morning we were scheduled to leave Korea, the travel agency gave the group members an option to visit a marketplace that they told us was a “unique cultural experience.” In my head, I was imagining the bright colors of traditional Korean clothing, delicious foods, smiling faces and maybe even some background music. When we pulled up to the marketplace, I realized it was less of a marketplace and more of a cold back alley. It was dark, dirty and the souvenirs that were being sold were the same overpriced, cliché items that can be found at almost any tourist trap. I felt duped, and others in my group expressed that they felt the same. Needless to say, our group bought few, if any, souvenirs from the marketplace.
In my story, the keywords that the travel agency used to persuade members of my tour group to visit the marketplace were contained in the phrase “unique cultural experience.” Those were not relevant keywords, as they did not accurately reflect the content of the marketplace, and as a result, the travel agency was not driving the right visitors to the location. Likewise, when conducting keyword research to find the best SEO keywords, the goal shouldn’t be to drive any and all traffic to your site, but rather to attract visitors who are interested in the content you provide. Semantics and the probable intent of visitors are two areas that all SEO professionals should be focused on when finding the best SEO keywords. Click here for more information on SEO keyword basics.
Choosing the Best SEO Keywords
In choosing SEO keywords, the following are some questions that you should ask yourself.
- Are the keywords relevant to the website content?
- Will visitors find what they are looking for on my site using these keywords?
- Will they be happy with what they find?
- Will this traffic help me accomplish my goals?
If you answer yes to all of these questions, you are on the right track. Add to that a good understanding of what some SEO professionals call “vanity keywords” and you are well on your way to narrowing down your target audience. To explain the concept of vanity keywords, they are terms that have a high volume of searches every day (e.g. shoes). While vanity keywords may be popular, research has shown that they make up less than 30% of searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in more unique and often more specialized searches involving long tail keywords (e.g. Air Jordan Size 12), which generally have better conversion rates. For more information on vanity keywords click here.
How Do I Know That I Am Using the Best SEO Keywords?
Search engines have equipped SEO professionals with a number of tools that are helpful in conducting keyword research and measuring the effectiveness of keywords on an existing website. A few popular SEO tools are Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Bing Adcenter and KeywordDiscovery.com. Sites like these vary in features, but often share key SEO metrics, including search volume estimates, related terms, search trends, common usage and phrase combinations, competitive analysis, traffic forecasts, and ad cost estimates. These SEO tools are helpful in narrowing down effective keywords. Do me and your potential visitors a favor, don’t be the person that makes keyword decisions based on information from one source. There are plenty of SEO tools out there for you to use, don’t become one yourself. (Cue the laugh track!) Click here to learn more about keyword research tools that SEO professionals use to find the best SEO keywords.
By putting into practice the above tips, you will be that much closer to becoming fluent in the search language of your target audience.
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