Keyword research is still a very important part of online content creation and web design, and it can translate into significant increases in traffic volume and conversion rates when you do it the right way. Part of the keyword research process includes what you do with your keywords once you’ve chosen them, which means there’s much more to the end-to-end process than spending time analyzing popular trends and basing your keyword choices on those trends.
Step One: Defining the Focus of Your Content
Whether you have a website with hundreds of on-site pages or you just have one landing page, you need to know what the focus of a page may be before you can decide what keywords may or may not be appropriate. A frequently seen recommendation in web design for marketing purposes is that each page on a website (or each landing page) should have one theme or be about one particular service, product, or idea. The reason for this is, in part, so all the components of the page can point to that theme and reinforce it. If you have several different things on one page that you’re trying to focus on, your page becomes confusing and cluttered and can chase visitors away instead of drawing them in.
Step Two: Choosing Content-Specific Keywords and Phrases
If your page is about mobile dog grooming services geographically limited to downtown Chicago, your keyword choices need to reflect that content in the most specific and relevant ways. Geo-targeted keywords and phrases can easily reflect that your page is about something that is offered or available only in a certain area. You would definitely want to include keywords that describe what you are offering (such as “dog grooming”), but you can be more specific with words or phrases that narrow down your page focus even further (such as “mobile dog grooming”).
Step Three: Using Conversational or Natural Language Keywords and Phrases
A person would not search for a dog grooming service by entering “exterior canine appearance improvement provider,” so your choice of keywords and phrases should be those that conform to the way people enter their queries into a search engine. You can find keyword analytics information online that will give you a better idea of how people are entering their search terms when looking for specific information, and this can let you know if your word and phrase choices are similar to words and phrases actually being used by searchers.
Step Four: Placing Words and Phrases in Your Content
Some web pages are so cluttered with keywords and phrases that there seems to be no actual content on the page, while others are practically devoid of keywords. You can place your keywords and phrases in your page’s content as many times as you like, provided the placement is contextually relevant and flows together with the surrounding information. You can also use keywords in your image tags, page URL, page title, META tags, headings, and subheadings, but avoid using keyword-stuffing tactics when doing so (like adding keywords in random locations and changing the text color to match the background).
When you do begin your keyword research, you should make an initial list of words and phrases that you feel are suitable for your content first. As you start researching the appropriateness of each word or phrase, you may find others that would work better or you might discover that some of your choices should be discarded. Take time with the process, review and revise your list, and keep your options open. Choosing the “right” keywords and phrases for your content can significantly improve your page ranking in search results and attract visitors in much greater numbers than ever before.