SEO keyword typewriter metaphor

What Are SEO Keywords For? Two things every marketing manager should know.

If you’ve ever worked with a marketing agency to improve your Google web traffic, chances are you’ve heard of SEO keywords.

Identifying the right keywords lay the foundation for a successful SEO campaign. The right keywords should be realistic (you should be able to rank well for them), worthwhile (ranking well would improve your business’s performance) and should provide focus for all of your website content.The right SEO keywords should be Realistic, Worthwhile, and Focused. Share on X

Just like how a focused jetstream of water can cut through steel, a focused keyword portfolio will be much more effective at increasing traffic than casting a wide net for optimization. Good luck cutting through anything with a garden hose!

It is important to note that you are the expert within your industry and that you should always have the final say on which keywords you should optimize for. The role of your marketing agency should be to guide you through the SEO process with their expertise. If you’re left in the dark or don’t know which keywords your agency are optimizing for you, these are the questions you need to ask!

How To Identify Your Best Keywords

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the different words and phrases that describe your industry. Identifying your best keywords can a good exercise in identifying your business goals – which is also why we suggest that good website design starts with SEO.

Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the different words and phrases that your customers use to find your business. You’ll immediately recognize that some words come up more often than others, and include variations on each word. Which word(s) are the right ones? Use these filters to find out:

Keyword Search Volume

Using a tool like Google Trends, you can see which keywords are becoming more popular (or less popular) with time. You can also use more sophisticated tools like the Google Keyword Planner or even engines like SEMrush to identify the actual estimated search volume for your keywords.

Your most important keywords will tend to have greater search volume than the rest. Don’t fall into the trap of industry jargon! Even if your product category is “haute couture” clothing, you might want to optimize for “high end fashion” instead, if that is what your customers are searching for.

Keyword Relevance

Sometimes, the words with the most traffic aren’t worth optimizing for.

If you offer a unique product or service, using a keyword that is too generic may backfire. Or, maybe your product is easily confused with something else. If you’re selling flower print dresses, make sure that flower print isn’t one of your identified keywords – it’s just much too broad. Flower print dress or flower print clothing might be a better fit for you.

Here’s a tip – most one-word keywords aren’t worth optimizing for, because of the immense level of competition.

Keyword Competition

Do a Google search for your top keywords, and see how many results there are. You are essentially competing with every single one of those results, aiming for the top page. It would be great to rank for “clothing” but you’re going to have a hard time.

You want to have the perfect mix of relevance and volume, to identify the right keyword. The more narrow your keyword gets, the less competition you’ll encounter. When you’re optimizing for a keyword with fewer competitors you’ll rank higher, faster, and remain in the top spot for longer.

Conduct A Keyword Refresh

Times change and so should your keywords. Ask your marketing agency for your SEO keywords, where you’re ranking, and what’s next on the list.

There are two types of keywords – Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords. While your “primary keywords” don’t change, your “secondary keywords” could change between seasons.

  • An example of a Primary Keyword would be “women’s clothing”
  • An example of a Secondary Keyword could be “women’s leggings”
  • You could optimize your blog post for the phrase “find women’s leggings in Vancouver”

Primary keywords are keywords that drive a lot of traffic to your website, and are typically related to your best sellers or product category. Secondary keywords are generally related to the products and services that you would want to optimize for in the long run. In the example above, the phrase “find women’s leggings in Vancouver” is also a “long-tailed keyword” which are generally much more relevant in capturing your audience’s intent.

Once you’re confident that you have the right keywords, it’s time to do some basic SEO optimizations to kick off your SEO campaign. Congratulations – you’re well on your way to improving your website traffic! If you have any questions about keywords or any of the concepts we’ve raised above – ask us on Facebook! We’re always happy to help.