SEO and Keyword Research
Targeting Specific Search Terms
I have been keeping very busy with the 30 logo challenge, but since the Google Digital Garage seminar last week, I have also been thinking about and researching on the topic of SEO. I have been looking into analytics and also keyword research. Based on my findings, I have compiled 3 simple tips on the subject.
People are talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – a lot! So you probably know that SEO is the actions you take to improve your online visibility. There is a lot to learn on the subject so I just want to break off a bite-size chunk for you here and talk about keyword research – in other words, learning what are the most popular search terms - or the ones that will get you the results you are looking for.
So let's get back to the basics - you have a website, and you want to direct people towards it. But where do you start? Well, you want to put yourself in the position of your potential visitor. On the other side, someone is looking for something on the internet. They open up Google (of course!) and they type in what they want to know. This search term (or search query) will give them a list of results. Sponsored links (using google ads) will show up first, but after that it's all about how your site is optimised.
In order to optimise your website, along with many other possible SEO related steps, you want to place the right terms on your page in the right places. That way, Google will scan your site and rank it highly for that search term. Ideally, the term will appear in your heading, and then again in the context of some useful information.
So how do you know what search terms people will use? There are tools out there and if you want to do some research, you can visit sites like Google Trends. It's free to use so may be worth a look. For example, I could search the term “graphic design Aberdeen” and will be given an overview of the current popularity of the term.
“Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for this term.”
This is not an accurate graph of how many times this search has been entered into Google but gives some insight into the trends of those searches. There are similar resources I have found like Ubersuggest.
But some believe that websites like this are inaccurate and not that useful at all. I have encountered a Youtube channel called Income School. They specialise in finding niche search terms and use these to make money through affiliate marketing. In order to do this, they look for terms that are being searched fairly regularly, but are not the most popular search terms around a topic. Because the terms are less common, they have less competition when aiming to rank highly on these search terms. They believe using search term trend websites is not that useful. I can certainly see their point.
So what are the popular searches on google? And what search terms will you tailor your website to target? Here are a few tips which I believe may help you find your way:
Common sense. What would you search if you were looking for your product or service? What questions seem reasonable to ask about a subject? These ideas are a great place to start.
Ask around. Do some basic market research. Ask your customer's, or anyone in your target demographic, what terms they would use. Compile some of these answers and most likely you'll do well to target the most common terms that come up.
Use Google's suggestions. This was a great tip from the Income School. Google will try to auto complete your searches in the search bar. And they are not likely to put suggestions in that are not being used fairly regularly.
Hopefully this overview was of some use. There is a lot more to learn on keyword research, popular search terms, targeting and choosing between the popular and niche search terms.
If you have any questions on the above or want to discuss you marketing strategy, branding or graphic design requirements, please get in touch.