From Traffic To Sales: What Are SEO Keywords
With the ever-changing landscape of search engine algorithms, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. However, there’s one constant that has remained crucial to any successful search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy: Keyword research. Strong keyword research practices are the bread and butter of any established SEO agency, and for good reason too. Without a well thought of set of SEO keywords, no logical or efficient SEO strategy can be formed.
But, before we get into that, let’s first establish what SEO keywords are.
What are SEO Keywords?
In essence, SEO keywords are the words or phrases that users enter into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. For example, someone searching for life insurance plans might enter the keywords “life insurance Singapore” or “term life insurance” into a search engine like Google and Bing. These keywords are used by search engines to identify and deliver the most relevant content to the user’s search query.
In the context of SEO, keywords play a critical role when you are optimising your website’s content for search engines. By strategically incorporating the right keywords into website copy, meta tags and other content, you can work on improving your website visibility and rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.
What is the role of keyword research in SEO?
With that in mind, how do you know which keywords to go for? This is where keyword research comes in. Keyword research is the process of pinpointing and analysing the most relevant and effective keywords related to your business. This involves researching the search terms commonly used by your target audience. By analysing search volume, competition and other factors, you can determine which keywords are worth targeting in your SEO strategy and which are not.
The purpose of keyword research is to help you understand what your target audience is looking for, how frequently they are searching for it and to create content that matches their search intent.
Types of Keywords
There are five types of keywords that you need to understand when conducting keyword research:
1. Informational Keywords
Informational keywords are keywords that people use when they are looking for information about a particular topic. These keywords are often broad and generic, and are used by users in the awareness or research phase of the buying cycle. They may include phrases such as “how to”, “what is” or “why”.
These keywords are important if you want to create content that answers common questions related to your industry or products.
2. Navigational Keywords
Navigational keywords act as signposts, guiding users towards specific websites, webpages or online content they are already familiar with, or seeking out with clear intent. For businesses that have built a strong brand identity, incorporating navigational keywords is essential to maintain visibility and achieve a prime spot atop SERPs.
This targeted strategy not only bolsters the brand’s online dominance, but also enhances the user experience by providing a streamlined path for users to locate and engage with their desired website or company.
3. Transactional Keywords
Transactional keywords are keywords that people use when they are ready to make a purchase or complete a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or registering for an event. These keywords are usually short-tail keywords and include phrases such as “buy now”, “subscribe” or “register”. They are often used by users in the consideration or decision-making phase of the buying cycle.
By leveraging transactional keywords, you can cater to buyer intent more accurately, ultimately boosting your website’s ability to close sales.
4. Comparison Keywords
Comparison keywords are keywords that people use when they are comparing products or services before making a purchase decision. They are used by users who are in the consideration phase of the buying cycle. These keywords often include phrases such as “best”, “vs.”, or “compare”.
By creating content that adeptly weaves in these comparison keywords, you can showcase the unique advantages your offerings possess and help potential customers make well-informed decisions.
|5. Branded Keywords||Finally, branded keywords are keywords that include a brand name or a specific product name. These keywords often include the name of a company or product, and are used by users who are familiar with the brand or have heard of it through marketing or advertising.
These keywords are a vital consideration as they allow you to target and capitalise on your existing brand equity, ensuring that your online visibility is aligned with your offline reputation.
Keyword Research Techniques
To conduct comprehensive keyword research, various techniques can be employed, starting with:
1. Searching for keywords based on intent
The first step in conducting keyword research is to focus on the search intent of your target audience. This strategic approach enables you to better target your audience, aligning your content with their specific needs and goals. By focusing your efforts on discovering keywords that reflect potential customers’ intentions – whether it may be informational, transactional, or navigational – you can increase your chances of attracting engaged visitors who are likely to convert.
Additionally, search engines, such as Google, are constantly refining their algorithms to better comprehend and serve results closely aligned with user intent, thus emphasising the significance of this approach.
2. Search volume
Search volume refers to the number of searches made for a particular keyword during a specific time period. Widely sought-after keywords tend to have a high search volume but pose a challenge to businesses due to their highly competitive nature, making it difficult to achieve a top-ranking position in search results. Conversely, low search volume keywords present a more attainable target as they usually encounter less competition.
3. Keyword difficulty
As a metric, keyword difficulty encapsulates the level of competition associated with ranking for a specific keyword, considering factors such as the number of websites targeting that keyword and the quality of their backlinks. Keywords with lower difficulty scores often present greater opportunities for online visibility, while high difficulty keywords will require more effort and time to rank.
Additionally, analysing your competitors’ keywords can provide you with valuable insights into the keywords that are driving traffic to their website. You can use keyword research tools to do your own SEO competitor analysis and, in turn, refine your target keywords list.
Keyword Research Tools You Can Use
There are several keyword research tools that you can use to conduct keyword research, and each tool has its unique features and benefits. Here are some popular keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Planner: This is a free tool provided by Google that helps you identify relevant keywords, search volume, and level of competition. It also provides keyword ideas and allows you to filter keywords by location and language. Keyword Planner is easy to navigate, so even those who are new to search engine marketing can use it without much hassle.
- Ahrefs: This is a paid keyword research tool that provides extensive keyword research data, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and competitor analysis. It also comes with additional features like content analysis and backlink research.
- SEMrush: This is another paid keyword research tool that provides keyword research data, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and competitor analysis. It also offers other features like site audit and backlink analysis.
- Moz Keyword Explorer: This is a paid keyword research tool that provides search volume, keyword difficulty, and SERP analysis. It also includes additional features like keyword suggestions and competitor analysis.
- Ubersuggest: This is a free keyword research tool that provides keyword ideas, search volume, keyword difficulty, and SERP analysis. It also provides additional features like domain analysis and content ideas.
Next Up: Keyword Mapping
Once you have identified your target keywords, the next step is to map them to specific pages on your website. Keyword mapping is the process of allocating target keywords to specific pages on your website to optimise them for search engines. The goal of keyword mapping is to create a logical and well-organised structure for your website’s content that is easy for search engines to understand and index.
Why keyword mapping is important
There are several advantages to mapping keywords to pages on your website, including:
- Improved relevance: By assigning the right keywords to the relevant pages, you ensure that your content aligns with user intent, making it more likely that users will find what they are looking for on your website.
- Better site structure: A well-organised keyword map helps you create a logical site structure that is easy for search engines to crawl and index, thus improving your site’s overall SEO performance.
- Eliminate keyword cannibalisation: Mapping keywords to pages can help you avoid keyword cannibilisation, a situation where multiple pages on your website target the same keyword and compete against in SERPs.
How to generate a result-driven keyword map
To create an effective keyword map, follow these best practices:
- Conduct keyword research: Start by identifying a list of relevant keywords that users may search for when looking for products, services, or information related to your website. Use the above keyword research tools to uncover potential target keywords based on search volume, competition and relevancy.
- Analyse your website’s current content: Review your website’s existing pages to determine which keywords they are already targeting. This analysis will help you identify content gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- Assign keywords to pages: Once you have a list of target keywords and a thorough understanding of your website’s content, map each keyword to a specific page. Assign primary and secondary keywords to each page, ensuring that they align with the page’s topic and user intent.
- Optimise content: After mapping keywords to your various pages, optimise your website’s content by incorporating the target keywords in essential elements like the title tag, meta description, headings and throughout the body copy. Remember to maintain a natural writing style and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Monitor and adjust: Regularly monitor your website’s performance in search engines to see if your keyword mapping efforts are paying off. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track organic traffic, keyword rankings, and user behaviour. Based on your findings, you can then make the necessary adjustments to your keyword map and content optimisation strategies.
Now that you know what SEO keywords are about and how to go about your keyword research, you are now ready to optimise your online content. Ultimately, a well-planned keyword strategy is an indispensable component of successful SEO efforts. By investing time and resources into crafting a well-rounded approach, you can have a powerful SEO foundation that supports long-term growth and success in the competitive online landscape in Singapore. To yield better results, you can also tap into the potential of long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy. For this and other tips and tricks for choosing SEO keywords, check out First Page’s guide to the best free SEO resources available online.