Laptop on Desk with Google Search Page on the Screen

Every business dreams of ranking #1 on Google, and rightfully so. Having that top spot means more website visitors, in turn, more opportunity to make more sales.  But, anyone who knows anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knows achieving that number one spot isn’t exactly a breeze. So, how do you get on the path to achieving the infamous top-ranking spot?

Building your online presence begins with one very important step — keyword research. Keyword research is vital to the success of your Search Engine Optimation because it helps you figure out what users are searching for to discover your company, product, or organization. But, choosing the right keywords to target for your business can be a challenge. Follow the below best keyword research practices to grow your visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and boost your SEO success in 2020:

Step 1: Use Your Industry Insight

A great deal of keyword research involves getting to know your audience and decipher what words or phrases your audience uses to find your company or products. And, the best place to start is with you. Imagine yourself opening up your smartphone or laptop to search for your company or product. What would you lookup? How would you try to search for your business? 

Do you already have an idea of what your customers are searching for? 

Use the insight and knowledge you already have to create a preliminary keyword research list that provides you with a good starting point for your keyword research. 

Step 2: Find a Reliable Keyword Research Tool 

You may already know by now that there are countless keyword research tools to choose from, however, not all are created equally. Make sure to find a keyword research tool that not only works well with your process but also provides you with accurate, reliable data. 

Step 3: Search for Relevant Keywords

Once you have found a keyword research tool that works best for you, the next step is to actually start performing your keyword research. Begin by gathering data for the preliminary keywords you created. From there, look for other relevant keywords and create a master keyword list that you can then narrow down to select target keywords to integrate into your website content. 

Step 4: Choose Quality Over Quantity

We call this a step, but the truth is, “quality over quantity” is really a rule for just about anything and everything. And, keyword research is no exception to that rule.  So, what makes a keyword quality enough?

Search Volume

We will first start off by telling you what quality isn’t. A quality keyword is not it’s search volume. Yes, that is right, do not base the quality of your keyword primarily on the average monthly search volume of your keyword. Although you do want to consider search volume, it should not be the sole basis of choosing the keyword. 

Why not, you ask?

Ranking Difficulty

High volume keywords typically mean high competition. And if you are a newer or even just a smaller company wanting to compete against big companies who have been doing SEO and keyword research for years, you’ll just be fighting an uphill battle. So, typically, you’ll want to start off by targeting lower search volume keywords and work your way up to more competitive, higher-volume keywords as your website’s online presence grows. 

Long-Tailed Keywords > Short-Tailed Keywords

In addition to ranking difficulty, high search volumes for a particular keyword also indicates that the keyword is a short-tailed keyword or in other words, a very broad keyword. One of the main issues with broad or short-tailed keywords is that it may draw users to your website who aren’t interested in your company or product. 

For example, let’s say you are a personal injury law firm in San Francisco and you want to rank on Google for the term “lawyer” because it has an average monthly search volume of 750,000. Time has gone by and you started actually ranking for the broad term “lawyer” in your area. However, you are drawing people to your website who are looking for a business lawyer or an immigration lawyer. They may be looking or a lawyer, but your firm doesn’t provide the services the user is looking for. 

So, why is that a problem? When people go to your website and leave after going to one page, it indicates to Google and other search engines that your website and services aren’t giving the user what they need. In turn, the more people that bounce off of your site, the more it will damage your rankings and online visibility. 

In order to draw in more targeted, valuable traffic, you’ll want to select high-intent, long-tailed keywords rather than low-intent, broad keywords. A longer-tailed keyword is geared towards users specifically looking for what you offer. Back to the law firm example, if you are wanting to target a long-tailed keyword that attracts users that are more likely to convert, you’ll want to target something like “best personal injury lawyer in San Francisco.” Although this keyword may only have 5,000 searches per month, it’s also less competitive and ensures that you are capturing users that are actually looking for your services or product and are more likely to convert to a client or sale. 

Step 5: Understand Your Competition

The last step to choosing your keywords is understanding your competitors. What keywords are your competitors ranking for in general? Which keywords are included in other similar, successful content? This insight helps you target valuable, competitive keywords into your content to score that number one spot on Google. 

At RankScience, our Content Insights Tool offers a way to both optimize your content and analyze your keywords to stack up against your competitors, effectively helping you integrate keywords into your content that will maximize your SEO efforts.  

Learn more about our Content Insights Tool and try it out yourself for free here.

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