It is incredibly valuable, to rank highly for keywords in your industry.
But if you are not an SEO (Search Engine Opimisation) specialist, you may not even know how to go about approaching identifying what terms people are searching for that your product, service, or experience, matches.
In my experience the SEO industry is fraught with danger, with people who don’t necessarily know what they are doing or charge an exorbitant fee without being able to promise anything in return, and you’re left trying to maintain trust in them over a long period of time without demonstrable results.
For whatever reason if you have come to the conclusion to just do the best you can yourself, this post is for you.
So here are a few simple tips so you can do your own SEO research without the need for an expensive consultant, and without delay.
Take these tips on face value. It is a very simple approach (almost overly simplified), and doesn’t replace paid tools that are available or even cover Google’s Keyword Planner which can be used in conjunction with these tips to qualify traffic volume and competition to rank.
So here goes…
Start by typing into Google the most important term that you can come up with relevant to your industry, product or service.
Let’s say you’re a distillery, in The Barossa (valley) South Australia. You might start at ‘craft beer Barossa’, ‘wineries Barossa’ or go straight to the heart, ‘distillery Barossa’.
You want to ignore the ads that come up first and the first few results you are likely to see, and below these are 4 to 5 or questions which Google presents as ‘people also search for’.
Write these and the initial question you searched for down.
You are already starting to build your list of important key phrases to potentially target.
Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you will find related searches.
These are the relevant related search terms which people are using which do not clearly present as a question and answer.
They are still relevant, write these down as well.
You now probably have a list of 10 to 15 search terms or phrases.
From these your goal is to identify three to four terms that you think provide the best value to target long-term.
For each of these three to four terms repeat the process we have just described. Search for it. Write down the ‘people also asked’ as well as the ‘related search terms’.
As you repeat this process you will start to form patterns in your head of the types of terms people are searching for, and how they align with your goals, your products or services.
You might end up with a list of 10-20 terms, as you cut very similar things out, cut out things that don’t resonate really closely with your business or for some reason really don’t align with what you are doing. This is fine.
10-20 terms is heaps.
There alone you probably have at least 10 blog titles to write against, if that’s your cup of tea. I digress…
After you have them, you need to start auditing your website to see if you’re using these specific terms, where, how, and how often.
You then need to start working on a plan to inject them into everything that you are doing on your website in the most organic way possible. As in, don’t just go and stuff them in everywhere you can.
I like to prioritise usability and answering the customer’s problems. Many agencies (some better than I at SEO) will have you sticking target terms in more frequently, everywhere. Whatever floats your boat.
Where should you consider putting them?
In meta data (titles and descriptions for pages, posts etc).
In blog posts. Write specifically to answer the key phrases and questions you find.
In general content throughout the website.
Best practice would be to know which page/s you are going to use to target which key phrases, and make sure content, titles, meta data etc all included the target key phrase.
My advice would be, if you can’t start doing that for some reason, doing anything will be better than nothing.
Maybe the easiest way to make a start, will just be writing a blog post targeting one.
That’s something you could do today.