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In the past, ranking for keywords was fairly easy. It could be complete junk content on the page, but as long as the keyword were stuffed in there a few times, the page would rank. Now with search engines algorithms advancing and much more content on the web, it’s much harder to rank and there’s a strict set of rules to abide by.
Keywords are the most important step in the SEO process. The keywords you optimize your website for can bring you hundreds of online visitors or zero. There are many factors that make up the decision on what to rank for.
What’s important to you as the business owner? Ranking for a specific keyword, or targeting the right traffic? Many times, businesses come to their digital marketers adamant about the specific keywords they want to rank for, and here’s why that’s dangerous-
Have they done the research to know that that’s the best ranking opportunity?
Often times the answer is no, and that’s ok. You’re busy running the business. As your SEO, it’s our job to do the research and provide you with the best approach to finding organic traffic that will ultimately convert to leads.
Let’s start with the keyword research process and what happens with the info after the research.
For this example, we will use Paula, the florist, to find keywords she should target for her new website. She decided her most important services the website should focus on is bouquets, wedding arrangements, and holiday wreaths, each targeting the east valley of Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler.
Once we have a starting point with services and cities to target, we can multiply, build upon and gather new keyword ideas.
Keyword Planner offers many different tools. One of our favorites is the keyword list multiplier. It allows you to enter all your services in one column and your targeted cities in another so all your keywords can be combined with each city you’re targeting.
The Keyword Difficulty tool by Moz allows you to get a second opinion on your search traffic. It’s important to use more than one tool in the keyword research process because it allows us to get a better idea of the real search traffic instead of trusting just one source.
This difficulty score compares the competition, and shows us how hard it will be to rank for. If the competition is too high, we can make judgements about whether it’s worth it to try and rank based off the monthly traffic it receives.
This tool covers all the bases. It’s great for getting more ideas on other related keywords you may not have thought of. It combines the keyword you enter with each letter in the alphabet to give you many more keyword combinations.
It’s also great for finding long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are geared more towards searchers intent. If the keyword is ‘floral bouquets’, an example of a long-tail keyword could be ‘where to find affordable floral bouquets’.
In most cases, long-tail keywords have less competition making them easier to rank for.
Once we compile a list of keywords that might benefit your website, we organize and prioritize the data into a spreadsheet, using a formula that takes search traffic, difficulty and other factors into account.
The idea is to find the highest searched keyword with the lowest competition.
These golden keywords are used for the most important pages on the site, like the homepage or main products/services pages. From there you can use the rest of the lower priority keywords to add new content or blogs that will rank for that keyword.
Once the heavy lifting has been done, it’s time to combine the keywords with your content calendar. Where many websites fail is that they never diversify their keywords. You want to branch out and offer more pages on the site to rank for many different keywords. That way each page on the site is valuable.
Each time new content is published on the website it’s an opportunity to rank.
Let’s say a low priority keyword for Paula the florist is ‘wedding arrangements and florists in Chandler’. It’s low priority because this keyword only gets searched 25 times a month. But it’s still something we can rank for because the search results don’t offer searchers what they were hoping to find.
By creating a new blog post about current trends in wedding floral arrangements we can optimize the content with calls-to-action leading back to a landing page all about their wedding pricing and floral options in season.
At the beginning of the post I mentioned why you should not tell the SEO what to rank for, but I take it back… well sort of. It may be a great keyword to rank for, but it could also be a lower priority and not the main focus. It is however, a good starting point when beginning the research.
Write down the top services/products you want to rank for, and the cities.
After that your work is done! I will begin creating a keyword strategy for your website that I will use throughout the campaign. After, we will have a piggy bank full of opportunities to grow the website and expand its potential traffic.
LocalWork Marketing is helping local companies rank organically for their desired keywords since 2008. We’d be honored to help your company generate more local traffic. Please Contact Us here. We are a SEO Company In Scottsdale AZ and if you’re in Arizona, we’d be happy to meet you in person. Look forward to connecting!