LEARNING THE ROPES OF SEO: A STARTUP GUIDE (PART 2)

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    Any SEO progress that is made without keywords is incidental.  Extending from the first blog post in this series, we learned the ultimate goal and purpose of SEO: to rank highly for keywords that relate to your business and your audience.  Once that happens, your website will increase in views.

    What are those keywords for your business, though?  Keeping our imaginary business that sells lighting fixtures online, we dive into some examples and strategies for quick and effective keyword research.

    Keyword Research Made Easy

    Take the opportunity to bookmark Google’s keyword tool, which will come in handy.

    Place relevant words and phrases in the tool, which will generate keywords along with the corresponding competition, global and monthly searches, and local monthly searches (for location-based businesses) for that term.  These results will help you learn more about the SEO landscape in your country.

    Put together a list of primary keywords that describe your business, products, and services.  For instance, if your lighting fixtures include popular brands, you would want your website to register highly for “BRAND lighting fixtures” search terms.

    Also, don’t be afraid to look for keywords that are related to your industry but not your products or services.  For example, a great blog post on DIY lighting could generate website visits and establish your business as a thought leader in the industry.  This strategy could do wonders for gaining a following, making it well worth the effort.

    Compile the tens or hundreds of keywords in a safe place.  You will target these with your website, blog posts, guest posts, social media posts, and much more!

    Long-Tail Keywords and Low-Competition Keywords

    While “lighting fixtures” is searched for on Google 673,000 times each month, ranking highly on that term could be a daunting task for a company with a new web presence.  Why not set immediate sights on keywords that are a bit less competitive – while keeping an eye on your big goals?

    This is one of the best strategies for newer companies and blogs.  Over an extended period of time, you might be able to make ground on the highly-competitive, high-number searches.  Even making it to the second or third page can be worthwhile.  However, this can take time, as your main keywords are obvious and likely conquered by your competitors (and their large budgets).

    Turn your attention to these related keywords:

        • “diy lighting:” 49,500 searches
        • “diy lights:” 49,500 searches
        • “ambient lighting:” 33,100 searches
        • “brand” lighting: Several brands from 1,000 to 9,000 searches

    These keywords all have low competition, according to Google.  With a little bit of work, that imaginary business could rank well for these terms, gaining an impressive boost in traffic.

    Here are a couple of additional points from Juan Pablo Castro that can help you generate effective keywords:

          • Long-Tail Keywords: Longer phrases are searched quite often.  Experiment with synonyms, words like “best” before and after a main keyword, and plurals to mix things up.  Maybe your business should use terms like “wholesaler” or “retailer.”
          • Urgency Keywords: This is an excellent point from Castro.  Taking our thematic example, perhaps “same day delivery” or something pertaining to shopping would be appropriate.  This would be well worth the time, as these terms reveal that the searcher is looking to buy.

    That’s All

    Place these keyword lists in a safe place, such as a spreadsheet.  You can even consider organizing your keyword lists in terms of priority, competition, and category (location, promotional, product/service, entertaining, etc.).

    These will help you create content that incorporates keywords in the title, content, and subheads that will get noticed by search engines.

    Stay tuned for the final part in the series, which dives into content marketing approaches that will have SEO value.  We will also look at viewing your progress in a simple-to-use analytics solution.

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