This article is the seventh chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Our series includes Identifying Your Marketing Problem (Step #1), Understanding Why Digital Marketing Is the Solution (Step #2), Creating a Digital Marketing Budget for Your Business (Step #3), Getting to Know Your Audience (Step #4), Examining Your Key Messages (Step #5), and Analyzing Your Existing Online Presence (Step #6). Additionally, you can download the full guide here for free!
Step #7: Creating a Keyword Strategy
After analyzing your online presence, it’s time to determine the best keywords to reach your target audience. However, before we delve into that, let’s talk about domain authority because it plays into your ability to rank for certain keywords.
Does Google Trust My Website?
Google trusts your website based on hundreds of factors. “Domain authority” is a metric that is used to measure that trust. It’s a number on a scale of 1 to 100, and the higher your domain authority, the more likely you are to rank for your target keywords.
Let’s use mailboxes as an example. If you Google “mailbox,” what appears at the top of the list? Big brands. Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon are a few examples.
Why are they ranking at the top? Because they have created websites that Google trusts. And you probably trust them, too! But you’re less likely to see Mom-and-Pop shops, even if they are trustworthy in your opinion. The reason is that their website has a lower domain authority than the bigger brands, which means Google trusts them less.
What they’ve done is target the user precisely for the search result they were looking for when searching for mailboxes. Narrowing down your keyword choices and getting as specific as possible is a great way to make sure you’re showing up in front of the right people, in the right location.
For example, if you’re a small to medium-sized business, trying to rank for the keyword “mailboxes” would be a waste of time. You’d be competing with national and global names for that visibility. However, using the keyword “residential mailboxes in Birmingham” may get you on the first page for local searches.
Choosing the Right Keywords
Along the same lines, we can sometimes get stuck in our business jargon and fail to realize what people are actually searching for online.
Going back to our mailbox example: If you optimize your website for the term “residential mailbox,” but people are actually typing “mailbox for my house” when they perform a search, then you could be missing out on potential customers. Fortunately, Google is pretty good at determining what people are really looking for—more on that in just a minute.
As you can see, it’s important to determine which keywords your target audience actually uses when they search for your products or services online—don’t assume you know. Then, narrow down your list to the ones you have a chance of ranking for based on your domain authority. Adding location modifiers (i.e. “in Birmingham”) often helps.
It’s also important to note that Google emphasizes user intent in search results, meaning that the keywords you choose should fall into the “natural language” category. For example, if you search “highest peak,” you will see search results for “highest mountain.” Google uses algorithms to determine what people are truly trying to search for (searcher intent) and adjusts the results pages accordingly.
This practice and the intelligence of these results will continue to increase in the years to come. That’s why it’s so important to find out what people are actually searching for, and to use the most natural language possible in your keyword strategy.
How Do You Find the Right Keywords?
You may already have an idea of the right keywords, so the power now is in utilizing what you think people are searching for and then determining what they are really typing into those search boxes—but how?
There are several free keyword research tools that you can find via your favorite search engine; however, they frequently fail to provide accurate information, which offers little helpful insight.
If you’re serious about improving your business’s visibility in search results, then you need to hire a professional with the right tools and the knowledge to implement keywords correctly throughout your website.
At Uptick Marketing, we utilize a variety of paid tools that are designed for agencies. We even look to see what your competitors are ranking for online. As a result, we can provide some incredible details, including: number of monthly searches, number of competing websites, keywords your competitors rank for, related keywords, and ability to rank. There’s more to that list, of course, but that gives you an idea of the kind of information we can find.
The Bottom Line
Knowing which keywords your ideal customers are searching for online and understanding which keywords you can rank for goes a long way toward growing your business.
This article is the seventh chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Download the full guide here for free!