A Guide on Finding Your Perfect SEO Keywords
In the past, we’ve talked about finding and using powerful niche keywords that cater to your target audience. However, this approach can become difficult if your niche is:
Saturated by hundreds of other companies doing the same thing.
Taken over by another company whose entire brand contains your choice keywords.
Not very well known.
Creative or abstract, like artistry or philosophy.
One doesn’t have to despair if they fall into either of these categories. Sometimes, it’s not a matter of finding the “right” keywords, but rather the ones that “say” something different than what the competition is using. So how do we go about this, exactly?
Don’t Worry Too Much About Numbers, But Don’t Forget Them
Recently, I had the pleasure of trying to assist a local client with getting their product page to rank. At the onset, there were some special challenges:
Their top-ranking competitor had the choice keyword right in their URL and brand name.
The niche of the product in question was (and still is) highly saturated.
Local searches for said product only receive a nominal amount of monthly searches, according to SEMRush.
Since we’re located in Boise, Idaho, one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, I anticipated that these numbers would only increase over time, so I didn’t worry too much about hitting nondescript search terms that vaguely described the product, though I did make sure to at least include them 2-3 times within the article to flesh out the content along with making sure “Boise” appeared a few times along with product mentions.
Okay, so using “boise” for a local business seems like a no-brainer, so what about the top competitors eating up the SERPs?
Take a Look at Your Competitors’ Pages, and Do it Better
As a rule of thumb, I look at the top five competitors of a specific search term and see what their content looks like.
Many times, it comes down to chance, whether it be a lucky placement within the page’s body, or built into the brand and/or URL. No matter what got them there in the first place, you could take a look at items such as:
Whether or not they use proper header structure.
If they use alt image text and if it’s SEO optimized.
What keyword phrases they use throughout the body.
You’d be amazed how many times your top-ranking competitors may not be utilizing these three thoughts to their fullest potential, which leaves them ripe to be outranked. You can check header structure and alt image text by Viewing Page Source (Right-click on page and select View Page Source).
If you’re looking for something a little less involved, you can always…
Use Google’s AutoComplete Feature to Find New Ways to Answer Old Questions
That’s right. Whenever you begin typing in a search term, Google will attempt to provide the answer you are looking for by giving you likely search terms that use that phrase or term.
In this case, I was provided with suggestions that matched local competitors’ respective brand names, which didn’t exactly answer my question. To combat this, I then searched for similar terms that included keywords like “sale” and “best”.
What did I find? Highly relevant suggestions within my niche that were previously searched for by actual human beings! After taking note of these awesome suggestions, I was able to integrate these keywords into the article where appropriate, along with other relevant permutations of my original search term.
Now that you’ve accumulated some awesome keyword phrases that fit your product or service perfectly, it’s time to…
Back Up and Bolster Your Keyword Research Using Online Tools
Throughout the course of my work as an SEO, I’ve worked on projects of all sizes, from tiny ones on a shoestring budget to huge ones with endless money. To that end, I’ve become acquainted with all manner of online software to help with keyword research, like Moz, Majestic, and SEMRush.
The latter two require a monthly subscription to use, but Moz does offer a free version of their keyword research tools. Regardless of what SaaS (software-as-a-service) you choose, just note that Free options may limit the amount of keyword searches you can conduct, which puts the heat on you to find the best keywords faster.
That is why Google AutoComplete is such a powerful tool to use: it can provide you with real search terms that make sense. Its only downside is that it doesn’t provide you useful metrics like search volume and top organic competitors (unless you hit Enter and view the SERPs for each search term).
If you happen to throw down for a paid subscription to an SEO SaaS, you’re getting access to powerful search information that’ll allow you to find the phrases people are searching for the most, and identify trends in growing search terms.
So whether you’re a scrappy company on a limited budget or a burgeoning firm who could use some help with their SEO game, do some research and see which tools will provide you with the information that’ll serve your campaign best.
So how do you properly implement those keywords into your article without sparking Google’s ire? Well…
Use Your Keywords Naturally and Frequently, But Not Too Frequently
For this client, I had to ensure that the word “boise” appeared 2-3 times within the article alongside the desired keyword. Other keywords focused on nearby locales, the different types of product on offer, and the phrases that people would search for most when conducting product research.
For those who grew up in the 90’s, when the World Wide Web was publicly rolled out, getting a page to rank was not too difficult. Simply throw your keyword on the page multiple times to the point where it’s borderline unreadable, and you’re likely to be the first result users find.
Google’s Hummingbird update rocked the world of SEO when it began considering context before providing search results. Therefore, keyword stuffing became a strikeable offense, and the dot.com titans of the past began to tumble off the first page like flies.
So, yes. Keyword research is important for finding the best versions of the terms your target audience uses to find products or services like yours, but your page must read naturally and fluidly. To this end, remember that your headers are the best place for your top choice keywords, but the body should read like a friendly book that uses natural language, not stuffed with nonsense.
How Little Egg Solutions Can Help
We are a local Boise SEO firm that can assist you with: finding the best keyword phrases, implementing a winning header structure, and connecting you with your target audience by speaking their language in a manner that Google understands and favors. Contact us today to see how we can help your business rank!