HOW TO CREATE KEYWORDS FOR SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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PORTFOLIO

Struggling to find two pennies to rub together or just plain curious about how the whole thing works? You can do your own keyword research by following any reputable online guide. We’ve written a guide on how to do keyword research and analysis with free tools, as have the team over at Moz.

One of the writers at Exposure Ninja recently confessed that she was having trouble getting her blogs to rank for a particular client. To make matters worse, someone else had also written a couple of blogs for the same client’s site and their content had started ranking! The first writer — let’s call her Alex — was distraught.

The first thing to look for is ads. In Google, these are marked with either the “Ad” tag or the “Sponsored” tag. Google will always display paid-for ads above other results, so it’s worth assessing the ad landscape before you commit to creating a big piece of content.

What Is a Keyword?

When planning content, it’s useful to think about your target reader and their stage in the buyer’s journey. A manufacturer of ergonomic keyboards might decide to write a blog post about RSI that is targeted at potential buyers in the awareness stage. That blog post might end by asking readers to signup for a newsletter which includes special offers aimed at those in the decision phase.

“In terms of SEO, [keywords are] the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines” (Moz).

This might seem obvious from a distance, but it illustrates the importance of identifying the correct content format for your target keyword. And it goes beyond choosing either text, video or sound. Consider whether your content is best expressed with graphs, lists, tables, charts, maps, infographics, lots of images — or very few. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo to help you identify the best performing content formats in a given industry.

Choosing the right keywords for your content is half the battle when it comes to attracting organic traffic to your website. (The other half of the battle is creating killer content!) But don’t be daunted! We’ve divided the task into six easy-to-follow steps.

Ready to begin? Here’s how you can choose the right keywords for your content in six easy steps.

Think about the typical journey that takes a potential customer from hearing about your product to making their first purchase. For many businesses, especially those that sell high-ticket items, most people won’t make a purchase the first time they hear about your website. Instead, they might go through a number of different stages, such as awareness, consideration and decision. In marketing jargon, this is known as the buyer’s journey.

Think about the Correct Content Format for Your Keyword.

Search intent is an important part of keyword research because it enables you to plan your content in such a way that it meets your users’ needs. If we go back to the previous example, our “buy gold-plated iPhone X” searcher most likely doesn’t want to read a blog post at this point! They want to be directed to a product page which includes everything that they need to know about making a purchase, including prices, specs and shipping information.

The second thing to look at is the websites that are organically appearing on the first page of Google for your target keyword. Is this page dominated by brands with enormous marketing budgets? If so, it’s unlikely you’ll take the top spot with your very first blog post.

Any keyword-related task starts with one fundamental activity: keyword research. Before we get stuck into the nitty-gritty, let’s have a quick refresher on what we mean by keyword.

A content schedule is useful for two main reasons:

Plan Your Buyer’s Journey.

The final step in the process is mapping each target keyword to a specific page on your website. The best way to keep your ideas organised is via a simple content schedule. You can view and copy Exposure’s Ninja’s free content schedule by using this link.

For those with a sizable marketing budget, it makes sense to commission an SEO agency to carry out your keyword research. SEO professionals do keyword research day in day out and will have bought expensive software licenses to get more technical information. SEMRush, Ahrefs and Majestic are all great tools for conducting keyword research, but they can be expensive. Any agency worth its salt will start each campaign with a dedicated keyword research phase.

During the consideration stage, the potential customer starts to give their problem a name and research possible solutions. To stick with our unfortunate office worker, they might see a doctor for their wrist pain and discover that they have RSI.

While doing your keyword research, it’s important to think about the search intent behind each query. SEOs sometimes divide keywords into different categories with navigational, informational and transactional being three common examples.

I promised to take a look for Alex and I soon discovered the problem. While her written content was excellent, as always, she simply hadn’t included enough images in each blog. The client sold clothes and in that particular industry, a picture outranks a thousand words. For searchers trying to learn about fashion, excellently written content without supporting images just doesn’t meet their needs.

It may take time for these changes to your site to have an effect on your search engine ranking. Keyword optimization is a long-term, ongoing process, and ranking depends on many factors, including how visitors interact with your site.

Search engines look at where keywords appear on your site, and they prioritize some areas over others. Here are good places to add your keywords, in order of importance:

Here are some things to keep in mind:

It may take time for these changes to your site to have an effect on your search engine ranking.

If your site is already established, use these built-in tools to see the keywords your visitors already use:

When will I see results?

For best results:

This guide offers tips for making and refining a list of keywords to highlight in your site’s content.

Here are some ways to see whether your keyword strategy is having an impact over time:

While Squarespace has many built-in features that optimize your site for search engines, the words you use in your site content have a big impact on how easily people can find you online. To rank well in search results, it’s important to include keywords (text) on your site that matches the search terms people use to find sites like yours. Using those keywords strategically helps search engines see your site as relevant to the people looking for those search terms.

Your keyword strategy should be an ongoing and ever-evolving project. As time passes, continue to check your rankings, replace low-performing keywords, update your content, and track your competitors and visitor activity to ensure your site stays relevant.

To start, create a list of keywords people might be searching for to find sites like yours. Don’t hold back at this stage; you’ll refine the list in the next step.

To get started, think about the keyword, and consider:

Keywords fall into two categories:

Here are some things to consider:

Although these can certainly drive traffic to your site, they don’t contribute to your site’s SEO. Even if you’re doing a paid search campaign, it’s a good idea to optimize your site so your organic ranking performs well.

Step 3 – Add keywords to your site.

If you don’t have anywhere on your site that directly relates to a keyword or phrase you want to rank for, you can use it as inspiration for adding more content.

Paid search is when you create ads that appear in search results. In Google, for example, these appear at the top of search results for specific keywords, with a label to show that it’s an ad.

These areas don’t affect search engine ranking, but do help in other ways:

Use the list that you created in Step 1 to figure out which keywords to prioritize. Usually, you’re looking for keywords that are:

SEO strategy falls outside of the scope of Squarespace Customer Support because search engine technology frequently changes and everyone’s marketing needs are unique. While we’re unable to provide specific SEO advice through email and live chat, there are other ways you can get more SEO help:

Step 2 – Refine the list.

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