The “why”of keyword research
You have a small business website for a reason, right? To attract customers and win business. But what good is a business website if no one ever sees it?
For any website to be successful it must generate traffic. There are many potential traffic sources available (email, social media, and YouTube to name a few), but only one consistently puts you in front of prospects at precisely the moment they’re looking for you: search engines.
Unfortunately, competition for search engine traffic is fierce and winning clicks is no easy feat. To succeed you’ll need strategy, patience, and a little thing we call search engine optimization (SEO).
What is a keyword?
A keyword is essentially any word or phrase you use when searching with a search engine. The search engine does its best to match your words with the words on websites. The mathematics involved are complicated (and way over my head), but the first link you see in the search results should be the best match for your keyword, followed by the second best, and so on and so forth.
What does this mean for your business?
In order for you to be deemed the best match for you customers’ keywords your website must use the same words they do. SEO involves the strategic placement of keywords throughout your website (and on external websites that link back to you). You can discover which words and phrases you should be optimizing for by conducting keyword research using a tool such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
Keyword research and website copywriting
As previously mentioned, search engine optimization means using specific keywords in specific places on your website. Your web developer might populate some of these for you (e.g. URLs, title tags, page descriptions, and image alt tags). But one facet of SEO that confounds many webmasters is the proper usage of keywords in website content (i.e in the text that your customers actually read).
Some writers make the mistake of overusing keywords to the point of incoherency. Others completely ignore keywords, missing an opportunity to improve their website’s search result rankings. But the Goldilocks of SEO copywriting is to use keywords as often as they make sense, and no more.
A few tips for writing with keywords:
- Use keywords in headlines and subheadings.
- Use keywords in bullet lists.
- It’s okay to use variations of and synonyms for your keywords.
For the the best results hire a professional SEO copywriter to write your content for you. Writers in this niche specialize in creating targeted, marketable, SEO content that is tailored to your business and your audience.
This article was written by SEO copywriter and Internet marketer Alexa Steele. Also known as The Website Wordsmith, Alexa can provide you with search engine optimized content for your website, blog, syndicated articles, landing pages, and newsletters. You can find more on SEO and Internet marketing on Alexa’s blog.