SEO, in many ways, is a juncture between business strategy and technical know-how. Your business strategy will determine the type of keywords that draw in your potential customers. Technical knowledge helps you find as many ways to use those keywords as possible, along with keeping on top of changes with the major search engines.
Where SEO strategies fall apart is when one side takes over the other. For example, a technical novice may try to compensate by focusing way too hard on the technical side, neglecting the keywords they choose. Don’t ever lose sight of a customer’s mindset when working on SEO— here are some ways to do so.
What Do They Want?
When a customer has an issue, and is looking for a business to solve it, they enter something into a search engine. What you need to do is figure out what they are searching for. To figure this out, try it out for yourself. It may be difficult to remove yourself from all the things you’ve already know about your business, but it’s important to try.
Hypothetically, let’s say that you ran a garage. In this case, you would want to play the role of a customer looking out for car repair. A customer will likely go to one of two paths for their searches. This would be either pairing the type of car with repair (Toyota Camry repair) the type of car issue with repair (Transmission repair) or both (Toyota Camry transmission repairs).
These are the foundations for your keywords, as they are the types of things a customer would enter into a search engine that are relevant to your business.
How Do You Respond?
Knowing these keywords, you now have a pathway to get your SEO started. Let’s go back to the garage example. How many of these things are mentioned on your site? Make a list of all the types of cars you service, and all the type of repairs you can perform. If you have a certain specialty, be sure to focus on that.
Note that there are different keywords you should use, and they may be suited for different parts of your site. For example, long-tail keywords are going to be a very important part of your strategy. These 4-5 word phrases are key. For example, the Toyota Camry transmission repairs keyword that we came up with earlier. Long-tail keywords like this should be put on the appropriate pages on your website so they rank on consumer searches. Of course, detailed keywords aren’t always easy to incorporate in a way that makes sense. This is why company blogs are so common and useful. As you think about keywords, think about things that people would want to learn about when it comes to those topics.
This exercise is a great way to put together the foundation of your SEO strategy, but when it comes to success, you’re going to want some outside analysis. The best way to do this is an SEO audit. With outside knowledge of what is and isn’t working, you are ready to build on what you’ve learned here to create a strong and effective site for your business.