The internet has billions of web pages, and many of them are competing to be noticed by Google in order to move up the search rankings for that coveted page one of results. There are lots of SEO tactics and strategies that will help achieve this, and one of the most important is optimizing the page for the keywords you want to rank for. Here are some very simple ways to ensure that any, and all web pages on your website have the best chance of improving their ranking with the use of keywords.
The mystique surrounding keywords, and how best to optimize for them has led to countless theories and complicated strategies about how it should be done. In reality, optimizing a page for keywords is not that difficult, and only requires some very straightforward actions.
The first of these is to do proper keyword research to establish which keywords and keyword phrases you need to target to be able to challenge those sites which currently occupy the first page of results within your niche. There are numerous keyword research tools available, with the most obvious one being the free AdWords keyword tool that Google offers.
If you really want to dig deep, to the extent that you know what keywords your competitors are targeting, how highly they rank for those keywords, and where they are getting backlinks from, paid tools such as ‘Ahrefs’ can give you all that information. It cannot be stressed enough how important this sort of keyword research is. It can mean the difference between knowing exactly what keywords to target and then creating the content to match versus aimlessly creating content that achieves nothing.
A mistake many website owners make is they find one or two keywords they want to rank for, and then try to optimize for these. The problem with this strategy is that these keywords are the most popular or most searched keywords in their niche, so the level of competition is huge.
Imagine you were a lawyer in New York, and you tried to rank for the term ‘lawyer new york’. How many web pages do you think are competing for that? A quick Google search will tell you it is over 225 million, so the SEO work required to get to page one for that term is enormous.
A better strategy is to try to rank for keywords which are similar or have the same meaning, and also think of other keywords that someone looking for a lawyer in New York might type in the search bar.
Instead of ‘lawyer’, you have terms like ‘attorney’, ‘legal advisor’, ‘solicitor’, ‘councillor’, that you should also target and instead of using ‘New York’ within the search term, you could try boroughs like ‘Queens’, You could narrow it down further to the neighbourhood your business covers so instead of competing with all the law firms in New York, you’d only be going up against those in ‘Upper West Side’, for example.
Longtail keywords are phrases relating to the niche, which have less competition, and less search volume, but because of these two factors, they are easier to get to page one for in the rankings. A simple example of this would be in the fitness niche and someone who has a video course for building abs. The term ‘abs building’ has lots of competition which includes some of the biggest health and fitness magazines in the world, so trying to rank for this term is virtually impossible without a lot of time, and probably money.
A better approach would be to think of the sorts of phrases someone interested in a video course about building their abs might search for. Examples might be ‘best video course on how to build abs’ or ‘get six pack abs video course’.
These are just two of the hundreds of longtail keyword or phrase type searches that might be used. These have much less competition and the other advantage is that many of these phrases are what is known as ‘buyer intent keywords’, meaning the people typing those terms are more likely to be ready to buy a product.