According to Google there are almost a half billion keyword tools in their search results, ranging from free to hundreds of dollars per month. Yet most of these tools are useless - unless you have done the research on your perfect visitor before you ever head for the tools.
There are two things you must do before you ever look for your first keyterm.
- Define your perfect visitor (Read more about how to do that here
- Figure out what action you want that visitor to take.
The demographics that surround your perfect visitor are vital to your keyterm search and use. Where they come from can be a determining factor in what words you use. “Color” vs “colour” for example. Different regions of the world and even the same country often call the same object or idea by different words. If you want to sell bottled soft drinks in parts of the U.S. you need to refer to it as “pop”. (Don’t ask me why, I grew up in those regions and I STILL don’t know why Pepsi and Coke were called “pop” but they are.) Other regions call the same thing “soda”.
Age, as well as location also enters into what good key terms for your audience might be. Younger people tend to use words and phrases that befuddle older people.
Subject expertise also plays a role. Someone who has been investing in cryptocurrency for a couple of years will be looking for more technical keyterms than someone who is just about checking out what the noise is all about.
The best way I’ve found to hone in on your key terms may sound a little weird, but try it - it works! Sit down and pretend you are writing (or recording) your description or article or whatever your website is all about to one member of your perfect audience. Visualize that person - their gender, their age, their income, education and experience level. Even better, use a real person you might know who fits the visitor you want to attract.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Explain what your content is all about. Then, look at the words and phrases you used in that explanation. Those used most often will become primary key terms. Those will be the ones you will use in your research, and may also be the ones that you use on your website or blog or in your descriptions.
You see, when we “talk” to others, we almost automatically use a set of words that they understand and that resonate with them. Those words are also the ones that YOUR perfect visitor will be typing into the search box.
When you do keyterm research, no matter what tool you use, the vast majority of the tool programs will return things like how many searches were done on that term in a given space of time, and how many competitors are ranked for that term. Very few of those tools will show WHERE that visitor is from, or how old they are, or what their education or income level might be.
In short, you get raw numbers, from all over the world with very little (if any) background information on WHO is entering those terms into search. You might get a device breakdown or even an operating system breakdown from some of the tools, but even that information won’t really tell you as much as you want to know about that search visitor.
Yes it looks great to find a search term with a million hits last week. But you want that visitor to take some sort of action. Your odds of getting the desired action from someone who found you by using a much less popular search term - a term that resonates with them - is far higher than just using a “popular” general search term. Your competition will also be less so you will have a better chance of ranking higher as well.
I’d MUCH rather have a page that has 100 visitors with 40 of them clicking deeper into my site than 1000 visitors with 980 of them leaving my first page within 10 seconds. Google prefers that as well, and will reward me with higher rankings for that engagement and give me a not so gentle slap for the high number of visitors leaving quickly.
The more time a visitor spends on your page, or watching your video, or ENGAGING with your site, the higher your rankings. That engagement and time spent on page and on site send a signal to the ever present Google Bot that your site actually delivers the content that visitor is looking for - and that’s what Google and every search engine out there is looking for.
That brings us to the action we want from the visitor. There are many actions we might want that visitor to take. Buying a product or service, consuming our content, reading more about the subject, signing up for an email list or push notification.
Here’s something that many site owners and content creators don’t think about.
EACH PAGE CAN HAVE DIFFERENT KEYTERMS and BE RANKED FOR DIFFERENT KEYTERMS
You aren’t limited to just having one page ranked in Google, each and every page CAN be ranked. Let’s say you’re doing a blog on travel to ocean front villas. You can get ranked overall for travel (very difficult) and also ranked for each article on travel to Bermuda, travel to Cancun, travel to Whitsunday. Your visitor can come into your website at any point - not just through the front door, especially when a specific page or article is ranked. Many people spend a great deal of time working on optimizing their front page, and very little time thinking about the inside pages that can attract visitors who are further along in the search cycle and looking for more specific content.
Remember our dog food example in our last article? The potential buyer BEGAN their search with a very general keyterm, but when they were ready to take action, they used some very specific keyterms to filter that search into a much smaller group of sites. Your inside pages are much more likely to be able to use more specific keyterms, in a natural manner, than your front page. And those inside pages are more likely to get the action you want because they will pop in the “action phase” of the search cycle.
Here on Steem or Medium or WordPress, the action we usually want the visitor to take is consuming the content and leaving a comment. Well, here on Steem we want them to upvote, because we do like to be paid, but …
Ending your article with a question that can be answered in the comment section - such as “Do you know what the number one search phrase is on Google?” is a really nice touch that can stimulate that engagement. If the person commenting uses one of your search term in their response - Google Bot will LOVE you!
In summary, before you even begin to hit the keyword tools, spend some time figuring out WHO you want to attract to your content, and WHAT you want them to do when they get there. Only then will you be ready to tackle the nuts and bolts of search term research. (Which will be our next segment!)
And feel free to leave your answer to “What is the number one search phrase used on Google” in the comments.
Why Am I Writing This Stuff and How Will It Help Steem and Steemit?
I’ve been helping clients reach good rankings and teaching SEO for more years than I care to think about. Some of you may have taken part in Discord workshops and tutorial sessions I’ve had with various groups here on Steem. Because the blockchain is based on transparency and openness, it’s time to bring that training out from the private Discord groups for everyone on Steemit.
If we want Steem and Steemit to grow, we need to be able to compete for eyeballs on the traditional net in an effective manner. Thus, we need to know and understand SEO because it is the primary mover behind getting those eyeballs on our content. By breaking down SEO into manageable chunks of information, I’m hoping everyone reading these articles will be able to improve their own rankings and turn more conventional net people into Steemians.