Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimization - critical to the success of your online business.
Identifying the words and phrases people use when they search will assist you to understand what their intents are.
So, once you get it right at the very beginning of your content optimization, you’ll find your website attracting thousands of visitors every month.
But what I have discovered is that many people struggle to get it right. And some people don't even know where to start - they keep on wasting resources with little or no traffic.
So today, I am going to guide you on how to mine the golden keywords that'll attract traffic in thousands to your website.
What are Keywords in SEO?
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find information, solutions to problems or answers to their questions.
When people enter a word or more words into search engines, they're simply querying it—to go find and return the exact and relevant information or answers to what they're looking to solve.
So, when you optimize your web pages with keywords that are related to the problem your products and services solve, it will be easier for people to find you.
Those who do not know that your business exists can find you online whenever they're faced with problems that your products and services already have solutions to at that very moment they turn to Google.
You run a local business that provides plumbing services in Lagos. And you have optimized your website with Keywords like:
- "Plumbing services in Lagos"
- "Fix broken pipe"
- "Water heater installation"
- "Pipe leak detection"
- "Toilet installation or toilet repair"
Now, when someone is having a broken pipe for example and needs urgent repair, he or she opens Google and types -
- "Plumbing services near me" - or
- "Fix my broken pipe" - or
- "Where can I get a plumber in Lagos"
Now, I want you to pay attention to these keywords. It's obvious there is a problem that needs urgent solutions.
If this person is searching from within or outskirt of Lagos, your website will show up and he or she may choose to contact you.
You get what that means for your business…
- Increased exposure
- More customers and
- More money
These 3 things are what SEO does for your business.
Understanding Searchers' Intents in SEO
Keywords tell you what the searchers want, do, go, or buy.
From the word "fix broken pipe", you can tell as much that the person wants his broken pipe repaired.
But, a search of "broken pipe" may mean several things such as the person may be looking for images of a broken pipe or something else.
Because, the keyword is lacking a head term like: "fix", "repair" etc.
So, different Keywords convey different intents - and based on intents, there are 3 types of keywords I want you to know.
3 Types Of Keywords Based On Intents
Navigational: this type of search query is what people use whenever they want the search engines to take them to a specific page of a particular website or generally to a website.
Let's assume I'm seeking admission into the University of Lagos but I don't know the website URL - or whether it's ending with .net or .ng or .com—I have no idea.
What I would do is type the University of Lagos or simply "UNILAG" and navigate to the website.
Sometimes you may have an idea of the domain but want to navigate to a specific page directly.
Here's an example;
I have started my admission process but wanted to check my status. What I would just do is to type "UNILAG admission login portal", click on the top result, and that saves me the stress of looking for where to log in to check my status.
If you're in the e-commerce business, you'll always receive queries containing your brand term.
For instance, people who want to navigate to Jumia online store can use search terms like:
Jumia food delivery
2. Informational: A search performed by people when looking for answers to questions or researching to gather information around a topic.
This type of keyword often leads to how-to articles or guides.
If I want to host/migrate my WordPress site but don't know which one is better for me, I could go online to search for "best WordPress hosting company"
The intent of an informational search query may as well be to understand a specific product - what it does, how to use it or how to repair it.
- iPhone 7 specs;
- Plasma tv types and prices;
- How Paris look like or holidays in Paris.
Let's say I want to know…
- Signs or symptoms of malaria
- Types of keywords in SEO
- Real estate benefits
So the intent here is to gain information about certain products and services.
3. Transactional: Here, the searcher is looking to buy a product or subscribe to what your service offers.
A good example is…
- Plumbing service near me
- Car repairers
- Pizza home delivery
- Buy iPhone X
- Buy plasma tv
- Gift for Dad
- Gift for boyfriend
Intent can be both informational and transactional.
An example is, "where to buy gas cylinders".
The searcher wants to know where he or she can go and eventually purchase gas cylinders.
Transactional intent keywords can also be to inquire of a service which can lead to a later purchase. So is not every time you get instant intents like "buy now".
Some keywords have high intent that could lead to conversion. So pay attention and understand the reason why people are using a specific term on search engines.
Keywords — Advantage
Beyond getting an idea of words to use for your content optimization, keywords research will provide you with…
- Brand association.
- Word association.
- Direction and what to prioritize in your marketing strategy.
- Questions people ask to develop topic ideas
- Location and how to geo-target for your local business.
How do I Know the Keyword That's Right for me?
Keyword research is nothing hard but direct information - typed by people to find the required information.
Therefore, the information you gained from keyword research, can then be used to develop content around your products and services - including marketing strategy - to capture your target audience.
There are many tools you can leverage in your keyword research. Some are free and some are paid.
But, most free tools will only show you a few keywords and parameters that can help you with your decision. A tool you can easily use to build your keyword list might be missing from the free package.
So if you have the budget, go for a paid tool but if not, a good place to get keywords ideas is Google keyword planner - and it could even be all the things you need without needing to spend a dime.
And if you want to take that a step further, another pretty cool tool is Ubersuggest which is completely FREE.
So, let's take a look at Ubersuggest.
To get started...
click this link to the keyword tool.
you'll see a page like this:
Now, enter any keyword you want to use to optimize your content, select country and hit search.
In my case, I want the tool to return keywords ideas around SEO Copywriting within Nigeria only.
Why is Keywords Research Necessary?
I know you're wondering why SEOs can't talk about search engine optimization without mentioning keywords.
After all, a keyword can be anything.
But, if you build a keyword list that users are not familiar with, your business will suffer - because no one will know that your business exists - not even Google bots.
With a wrong set of keywords, your business will be outside of what the searchers are looking for.
Because, if search engines cannot match any of your Keywords to user's queries, they aren't going to rank you for those queries - instead show competitors who're using the right Keywords.
How do I Place Keywords in my Content?
Your "Contact Us" page: can contain something like this: Got a "broken pipe"? Your "plumber" is a step away. call us now!
Have we stuffed keywords here?
Content: You've got content written to solve common problems that people might be facing in their homes as regards plumbing. All you need to do is to strategically place the keywords around while substituting them for related words or phrases and synonyms—LSI Keywords
Take a look at the image below; I pulled it from Google search results. It ranks first after videos.
The keyword is "shower water pressure"
See how the keywords appear natural and flow with the message that's being passed to the audience.
What is Keywords Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an SEO technique, considered spamdexing, in which keywords are loaded into the content on a web page - including image alt tag or backlink anchor text in an attempt to deceive search engines.
For example, let's use the keyword "iPhone" in this copy:
Your iPhone is now in your pocket. You can order your iPhone today and the iPhone is at your doorstep tomorrow. Our iPhone is original directly from the iPhone company. This iPhone is affordable And there's no other iPhone that beat our own iPhone in the market.
Do you see that? Does it make any sense to you?
Keywords are meant to flow naturally in any content. But when you stuff your content with too many keywords—all to gain ranking, it'll make no sense to readers and you might just be calling for a Panda penalty.
And Google is clever at detecting that - it's just a matter of a few days; you rank today - and the next day, you're penalized.
Stay clear of keyword or key phrase stuffing. You don't want to ruin all the efforts that have gone into your SEO.
Summing It Up...
Now, I'm sure you know what keywords are and why they are critical to success for your business.
An important part of SEO is knowing what people are searching for -
- the words ( keywords),
- the patterns with which they search, and
- the association they're using - to optimize your web pages according to their needs.
The more you listen to your customers, the more benefit you'll get from keyword research.
So, if you're not using the right Keywords, start now!
Don’t forget to always look into the intents behind those keywords you're building before you slot them into your content.
Remember keywords can be:
Our next guide in SEO will help you to better understand all of the types of keywords you can use to your advantage.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I'll be glad to help!