Keywords are one of the most critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). Choosing the right keywords can lead to increased traffic, conversions, and sales on your website. If you’re having trouble choosing the right keywords or not sure if you should define them as ‘exact’ or ‘general’, we’re here to help! In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting keywords and optimizing them for your content.
Step 1: Brainstorming
The first step in identifying the right keywords for your website is to think things through. Think about what your business does, the products and services you offer, or the content you want to create. It is useful to divide it into small groups or categories. For example, if you run an e-commerce business that sells clothing, you can create categories around denim, pants, shirts, dresses, and more.
Once you’ve defined categories or topics, start thinking about keywords or phrases people might use to find them online. Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, or Ahrefs to create a list of potential keywords. You should focus on long keywords (phrases of three or more words) because they are more specific and likely to bring in higher quality traffic, which is more likely to drive conversions.
Here is an example of long-term keywords for an e-commerce store that sells men’s dress shoes:
Comfortable Dress Shoes For Men That Keep You Standing All Day
Mens Dress Shoes For Wide Feet
Mens Dress Shoes on Sale
Stylish Dress Shoes For Men
Step 2: Analyze the competition
Once you have a list of potential keywords, the next step is to analyze your competitors. Examine the websites that rank for those keywords and see what they are doing to target those keywords.
Take note of the article titles, meta descriptions, and content of the top 5-10 websites. Analyzing your competitors will help you understand how to better optimize your content using these keywords. You may find keywords that are more interesting or unique than you initially thought, or you may discover that some keywords are too competitive to rank for without extra effort.
Step 3: Determine keyword relevance
Now that you have a list of keywords and have analyzed your competitors, it’s time to choose the right keywords for your content. You want your keywords to be relevant to your content or the topic you are targeting.
Your keywords should be used in your title tag, header tags (H1, H2, H3), meta descriptions, and throughout the body of your content. Google’s algorithm searches for relevant and useful keywords for your content. Make sure your content provides value to your reader.
Step 4: Exact Match vs. General Match
When setting up keyword targeting, you have two main options: exact match and broad match. An exact match means that your ad will only show if the user enters the exact phrase you entered in your targeting settings. On the other hand, the expanded match feature expands targeting to include variations of the phrase, including singular or plural forms, synonyms, and other related keywords.
Exact matches can drive more targeted traffic with higher conversion rates. However, since they are highly targeted, they can limit your audience size. Only search users who entered the exact keyword or phrase you specified will see your ad. Exact match targeting provides greater control and relevance, and forces your ads to show only to the most relevant users.
Expanded match targeting allows your ads to show to people searching for your target keyword and its variations. Ads with expanded match targeting can attract more search traffic and increase visibility. The downside is that it can generate irrelevant traffic and clicks from users who aren’t interested in what you’re selling. When using general matches, it’s essential to keep an eye out for keyword variations and exclude matches that don’t make sense to your business.
What’s best for your business?
Exact match targeting is recommended for small businesses or targeting niche audiences. Exact matches are ideal for small businesses trying to focus on specific products or sites. If you have a limited budget or limited service offering, exact matches can help you avoid paying for traffic from irrelevant searchers.
For broader business types or advertisers, Expanded Match targeting helps drive traffic and conversions to a wider audience. If you’re targeting a wider audience, broad targeting can drive more clicks and give you more data to optimize your campaigns. But with more comprehensive targeting options, you need to be vigilant to avoid irrelevant impressions and clicks.
Choosing the right keywords and picking an “exact” or “broad” match can be difficult for even the most seasoned SEO professionals. By breaking the process down into a few simple steps, you’ll be able to identify the right keywords and adjust your targeting to maximize your ROI.
When it comes to SEO, patience is a virtue. Search engines prioritize sites and content that provide value and relevance to the user. The results of your efforts may take longer than expected, but with the right strategy, your business can achieve its goals and drive more traffic and conversions from online search engine users.