The first step in search engine optimization (SEO) is really to determine what it is we are actually optimizing. This means knowing the terms people are searching for ( known as “keywords”) that we want our website to rank for in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo.
There are a few key factors we should know when planning the keywords we want to target on our site:
– Search Volume – The first factor to think is how many people are really searching for a given keyword. The more people there are searching for a keyword, the bigger the audience you stand to reach.
Note: If no one is searching for a #keyword, there is no audience available to find your content through search.
– Relevance – Relevance seems straight-forward at first if we are selling enterprise email marketing automation software we don’t want to show up for searches that don’t have anything to do with our business, like “pet supplies” But what about terms like “email marketing software”?
This might intuitively seem like a great description of what you do, but if you’re selling to Fortune 100 companies, most of the traffic for this very competitive term will be searchers who don’t have any interest in buying your software (and the folks you do want to reach might never buy your expensive, complex solution based on a simple Google search).
Conversely, you might think a tangential keyword like “best enterprise PPC marketing solutions” is totally irrelevant to your business since you don’t sell PPC marketing software. But if your prospect is a CMO or marketing director, getting in front of them with a helpful resource on evaluating pay-per-click tools could be a great “first touch” and an excellent way to start a relationship with a prospective buyer.
– Competition – As with any business opportunity, in #SEO you want to consider the potential costs and the likelihood of success. For SEO, this means understanding the relative competition (and likelihood to rank) for specific terms.
So First, we need to understand who our prospective buyers are also what they are possible to search for. If we don’t already understand who our prospects are, thinking about that is a good place to start, for our business in general but also for SEO.
- What types of things are they interested in?
- What problems do they have?
- What type of language do they use to describe the things that they do, the tools that they use, etc.?
Once you have answered these questions, you’ll have an initial “seed list” of possible keywords and domains to help you get additional keyword ideas and to put some search volume and competition metrics around.