When it comes to optimising your website, keyword and keyphrase research are a must for any business with a website and help form a solid foundation for your small business SEO stratergy. Although researching relevent keywords for your business may sound like a daunting task, it's actually a fairly straight forward practice that can help your website rise up through the search engine rankings and as a result, increase your websites online sales and turnover.
Businesses invest in letterheads, business cards, logos and of course their website, so optimising their website is a vital step and worthwhile investment to make towards enhancing your websites potential to drive targeted visitors to your website. Having someone that specialises in business SEO undertake this task for you can save you the time and can directly influence the future success of your small business website.
One of the first steps is gathering a list of what you think your keywords should be. This is quite often the first hurdle that trips people up as the majority of the time, people incorrectly assume what their keywords should be! On many occasions we see websites with keywords that are relevant, but are unlikely to be of any real benefit to helping generate traffic from search engine results. As an example, a bookshop might assume that the keyword "bookshop" should be their primary keyword, but in reality, how likely is it that a small bookshop based in Oxford would appear on page one of Google for the keyword "bookshop"? Quite unlikely with just basic on page optimisation! This highlights why it is important for people to consider what users might type into Google to find your business or service. "Bookshop Oxford" or "Oxford bookshop" are more likely search queries and will potentially help generate more traffic if these keywords were used instead of simply "bookshop".
There are a number of steps that you should make when researching your keywords for your business SEO:
- Gather Keywords – You need to consider which keywords or phrases someone might type into Google (or any of the search engines) to find your company or the services that you offer. Write a list of these keywords and then you can research their individual worth.
- Research Keywords – Once you have a list of what you think are going to be the most suitable keywords/phrases for your website, it's time to research them and see how many times they are searched for (search volume). At this stage, to help you determine which keywords/phrases may be most suitable for your website, there are a number of tools and resources that you can use. Keyword research tools give you the approximate search volume for your keywods, as well as helpful suggestions of related keywords.
Two useful tools for helping you decide your keywords are:
- Google Analytics – If you already have a website, it's quite likely that you have Google Analytics installed on your website to track visitors to your site. Google Analytics can help give you an insight into how people are finding your website and which search terms they are using in Google. Google Analytics
- Google AdWords – The Google AdWords keyword tool allows you to enter potential keywords and phrases to see what the "Local" and "Global" search volumes are. This information can help you determine which search words you should be using on your website are. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
After Researching your keywords
Once you have completed your keyword gathering and research, you should implement them into your website. Although Google no longer requires keywords to be embedded in the META information part of your websites pages, it is still good practice to include them and this will also help you ensure that both your META description and page content is optimised for these key words. We would suggest that you target no more than four keywords/phrases per page and try to limit keyphrases to three words or less.
Quick tips for implementing your keywords on your webpage:
- Include your keywords/phrases in the Meta keywords section of your page
- Try to include all your keywords/phrases in your Meta description
- Include your primary keyword in heading <h1> tags on your page
- Include your keywords/phrases in your page content