How to Choose Effective SEO Keywords for Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Imagine your ideal customer: they’re a person looking to solve a problem and your business has the solution. If they’re like most people, your potential customer will open Google to find what they need. Now imagine that your product or service is one of the top results of their search. What would that do for your business?

When you have a digital marketing strategy with solid SEO keywords, you don’t have to imagine! Selecting effective keywords is a powerful way to be discovered by your ideal customer and provide them the solutions they’re looking for. 

At LeadPoint Digital, we’re experts at search engine optimization, or SEO, and pride ourselves on our practical strategies that get results for our clients. Keep reading for our top tips and to learn how we used them to rocket a US cycling sock manufacturer to the top of the search results.

1. Understand Your Audience

Getting to know your ideal customer is the first critical step in finding effective keywords. It’s important to define your ideal customer by answering some key questions. Who is looking for your product or service? How old are they? Where do they live and work? How are they searching for products? When you answer these questions as the start, you might find that the keywords you currently rank for and the keywords your audience is using are two different things. That’s good to know!

In the case of our sock manufacturer, we focused on passionate cyclists who cared about quality and performance. Understanding their needs helped us with the next step.

2. Generate a List of Potential SEO Keywords

Google processes 5.9 million searches per minute and a good SEO strategy is designed to help you make your mark. Once you have a good idea of your audience needs and behaviors, it’s time to generate a list of potential keywords that people are searching for. Try to get inside the mind of your ideal customer. How much knowledge do they have about your industry? Do they use keywords related to your product or related to their problem? For example, if you run a cycling sock business do people search “best cycling sock,” or “most comfortable sock for cycling?”

You can complete this step by running a Google search and checking out the “People also ask…” feature, bouncing ideas off a colleague, or utilizing your favorite keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush Keyword magic tool.

3. Complete a Competitor Analysis

No search engine optimization strategy would be complete without a competitor analysis. Knowledge is power and knowing what keywords your competitors are using defends you from falling through gaps in the market. A traditional competitor analysis identifies what keywords your competitors are using and how effective they are. 

Your favorite keyword research tool should have features that help you find and aggregate this information. You can then take that information and do a SWOT analysis for your company. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that you’ve found? 

4. Conduct Keyword Research

You’ve generated a list of possible keywords and filled in the gaps with competitor analysis. It’s time to use your keyword research tool and take a deep dive into metrics so you can move forward with confidence. There are several components to keyword research and analysis you’ll want to keep in mind:

A. Search volume: this number tells you how frequently a keyword is searched. A high number means a high number of searches while a low number means the word isn’t searched often.

B. Keyword competition: this tells you how much competition there is for a keyword. Or, put differently, how difficult it is to rank high with a specific keyword. 

You’ve probably noticed that keywords with high search volume tend to have high competition too. High search volume may be appealing, but remember that your competitors are also using this word. Using a lower search volume word means less competition and a high chance you’ll have a top ranking in search results. An effective strategy balances volume with competition. 

5. Consider Keyword Intent

Intent brings us back around to empathizing with your ideal customer. In digital marketing, it’s important to analyze the customer’s intent so you’re on the same page. Common categories of intent include:

A. Know: a person wants to know something

B. Go: a person wants to go somewhere 

C. Do: a person wants to do something, like use a web tool or purchase an item.

D. Entertain: a person wants to watch, play, or listen.

Intent lets you know where your customer is in the buying cycle. Are they in the awareness stage, the consideration stage, or the decision stage? When you have this information, you can speak more precisely to your potential customer. 

One of the simplest ways to check intent is to use the search engine results page (or SERP) for your keyword. For example, say you’re checking “custom cycling socks,” and it brings up primarily sock companies. Your customer has a do intent and is in the purchasing stage of the buying cycle. But if it brings up “benefits of custom cycling socks” then your customer has know intent and is in the consideration stage of the buying cycle. 

6. Short-Tail vs. Long-Tail SEO Keywords

Short-tail keywords are short, 1-2 search terms like “bike socks” or “custom socks.” Where long-tail keywords are entire phrases like, “what are the best bike socks.” Contrary to popular SEO advice, we recommend focusing on short-tail keywords. Selecting about 20 short-tail keywords can speed you to the top three spots in the search rankings. 

When you focus on short-powerful keywords that are aligned with your ideal customer’s needs, you’ll likely find that your business starts ranking for additional, non-branded keywords too. That’s what happened in the case of our sock manufacturer. When we focused on a select group of 20 powerful keywords, not only did they rank in the top 3 for those keywords, they also began to rank in the top 3 for 202? other keywords that weren’t part of the targeted strategy. The success of targeting created a positive ripple effect!

7. Weave Your SEO Keywords into Content Seamlessly

Once you have selected and vetted your keywords, it’s time to put them to use! The question is how. Savvy buyers can spot awkward keyword stuffing a mile away and it damages your rapport and trustworthiness. If your SEO strategy sacrifices user experience, then it’s not a realistic strategy. 

Instead, opt for natural language in all your content that utilizes your keywords the same way a human would. Weave them into your content in a way that aligns with your brand voice. Focusing on 1-2 high-impact keywords per page will not only keep your content user-friendly, it will also drive results. Remember, selecting the RIGHT short-tail keywords can boost your rankings for non-targeting keywords as well.

8. Monitor and Adjust Your SEO Keywords Regularly

Keywords are not a set-it-and-forget-it part of your marketing strategy. Digital marketing and SEO is a dynamic and constantly evolving landscape that requires frequent assessment. The best keyword strategists set aside time at regular intervals to review their keyword performance and make necessary adjustments based on their findings. 

This is where your keyword research tool comes in handy. You can review your analytics and make data-informed decisions about which keywords to emphasize, retire, or add to your strategy.

Work with LeadPoint and Get SEO Keywords that Convert

Developing a robust keyword strategy takes time, patience, and experience. If you run a business, you know that those are premium resources! That’s why we recommend working with digital marketing experts that can keep your SEO at the top of its game, freeing you up to run your business. 

LeadPoint Digital specializes in search engine optimization and advertising, content marketing, and website design. We leverage our deep understanding of online behavior to create effective strategies that drive results for our clients. In fact, LeadPoint helped the sock manufacturer achieve a 175% increase in rankings for targeted keywords in just six months! If you’d like an SEO strategy that converts, let’s talk! Contact us to learn more about how we can help. 

Posted in SEO

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