Keyword research is basic to all things SEO.
We’ll use a football example to help you to understand keyword research. Quoting Vince Lombardi, “This is a football.” Understanding keyword research for SEO is basic to your success in search rankings. Yes, it’s tedious and sometimes frustrating. The thing is, most people think SEO is simple anyhow. But simple isn’t the same as easy. There is so much tech advancement going on now, search algorithms change daily. Ya hafta keep up!
Think about what you offer and why.
It may sound silly to suggest going back to basics, but I don’t mind looking stupid now and then for understanding’s sake. After all, Vince Lombardi used to begin his team’s orientation every year this way. He’d hold up a football, and declare to his team, ‘This is a football.’ And he was coach of the great Green Bay Packers! So I can be Captain Obvious once in a while.
What exactly do you offer? Is it a product? A service? SEO for either category is handled in basically the same way, and so is keyword research. Let’s say you sell footballs in Greenville, SC, to keep our example going. And you offer footballs for baby toys, kids’ playground teams, little leagues, high schools and college teams. That covers a lot of area. Do a search for ‘footballs’ and you’ll see that your keyword needs to be more specific.
Write content based on your keyword research.
Each of your product groups will require a different keyword. But you need a keyword that will help you stand out from your competitors. Right? A Google search for ‘footballs for babies’ yields ten pages of results, and a good share of those is Amazon! Next, let’s try ‘football toys for babies’. Again, the results show mostly Amazon and Wal-Mart. We’re getting nowhere with this, so it’s time to be more specific.
Searching ‘soft football toys for babies’ shows Target, Etsy and a company named AliExpress in China. Check out their featured image and you’ll see that their ‘football’ is what we call a soccer ball in the USA. Whether you deal in soccer balls or American footballs is pretty much a moot point, though. The challenge of setting yourself apart is the same, since both sports are so popular and so many manufacturers produce both kinds of balls. For now, we’ll continue to use the football with pointy ends to finish our example.
Now it’s time to get even more specific. Both ‘soft American football toys for babies’ and ‘soft brown football toys for babies’ show marginally better results. The monster companies still dominate, but we begin to find some others: Etsy, eBay, Pinterest, even craigslist.
Location centric SEO helps with search results.
‘Soft brown football toys for babies in Greenville, SC’ shows up with local stores. Your company could be among them!
But, now check this out: Dial back your search terms to just ‘football toys for babies in greenville sc‘. You get the usual big-box stores, but other things show up besides companies. Greenville craigslist, local kids’ stores, a mom-to-mom toy exchange, even the Greenville ABATE motorcycle riders’ annual toy run. Your company can get some free off-page SEO by contributing your cute little footballs to local toy runs, too!
Almost ready to write!
You have the keyword now that you want to use for this general category: ‘football toys for babies in greenville sc’. By the way, it’s really a key phrase but for simplicity, we’ll keep calling it just a keyword.
Keep in mind your audience profile when gathering keywords. Maybe that reminder should have come much earlier, but in any case, you can use it to decide on several alternate terms. Understand keyword research! People who look for baby toys are likely to be Millenial moms, or Baby Boomer grandmas. In this case dads and grandpas will most likely go straight to the NFL team they favor, so just wave as they surf by. Guys are so goal-oriented.
So, since most of your market is women, you may want to use some related terms as you write your content for this group. Here are some suggestions:
- soft football toys for babies
- plush football baby toys
- nerf footballs
- football baby rattles in greenville sc
- colorful soft footballs for babies
- non-toxic football baby toys
- easy to hold footballs for babies
- greenville sc football baby toys safe for indoors
You get the idea, I think. If there’s a football fan in the family, sooner or later there will be a football in the crib.
And now, a word about keyword stuffing.
Here’s the explanation.
Keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting your focus keyword in every paragraph of your content. It’s the same concept as eating a fun size candy bar every 5 minutes. The first 2 or 3 times you really enjoy the chocolate, but after an hour of gobbling candy, you’re most likely a little queasy. The search engine crawl spiders feel that way about keywords, and they’re soon ready for a nice apple instead. That’s why it’s important to change up on your terms, while staying on track — here the subject is footballs for babies.
It’s not necessary to use all of the alternate keywords you can think of, just a few will do. In a block of content 300-500 words long, plan on using your focus keyword twice and 2 other terms. That should be enough.
Understand keyword research. Your results depend upon it.
There are other considerations, like categories, tags, image alt text and descriptions, page titles, slugs and so forth. For now, though, I’m hoping you understand keyword research a bit better, and why it’s so important for each page or post. You’ve got the footballs for babies group under control, now you can go on to each product within the group.
Resist the temptation to use the same product description for all of them. That’s not only boring, but also, it instantly becomes keyword stuffing and the repetition will hurt your company’s search results.
Include a call to action somewhere on each page, post and product description, with a link. You can suggest, ‘contact us for assistance’ with a link to your contact page. Or helpfully send a reader to the playground group (include a link to it) by offering a package deal for 10% off the purchase of a plush football with a rubber one for outdoor use.
I could go on and on (and have, in the past), but that’s enough for now. Are your eyes crossed yet? Leave a comment and let’s connect.
Have a look at my SEO blog for other entertaining enlightenments!