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Finding the Right SEO Keywords

Ryan Bryant on September 22, 2017

Finding the Right SEO Keywords
How do I come up with good keywords? This is often one of the first questions a client asks the Levant team when we discuss Search Engine Optimization. If you're unfamiliar, keywords are often phrases and not just words, which can be a little confusing. However, they're specific search terms that make it easier for individuals to find your site on Google or other similar search engines.

Essentially, SEO keywords are the phrases you think people might be searching for in relation to your business or organization. It's helpful to search these terms first to get a sense of 1) what comes up currently, and 2) to look at the gray number showcasing search results under the main Google search bar. Are there over one million results for your ideal keyword? If so, there will likely be too much competition to bother utilizing those particular phrases. Under a million or less—ideally under 500,000—is the sweet spot for keyword utilization to give you a better chance at eventually landing on the first page. It's also important to experiment with multiple variations of your search phrases. For example, instead of just including Oklahoma City as a phrase, you should also throw in variants, such as OKC, Okla City, etc. to ensure you're getting the most comprehensive results.

When you're preparing content and keywords, it's also important to think about how you can best answer questions, give information, and provide value to your readers. Gone are the days when you can stuff as many keywords into your site as possible. This tactic, known as keyword stuffing, is frowned upon and can get your website blacklisted from search engines. Focusing too heavily on keywords can water things down, so to speak. A lack of clear, relatable content will not only turn off potential users/clients, but also Google may not recognize your content correctly.

You should also be checking out the competition. What else comes up when you search for your ideal keywords? Doing so can give you insight into your competition's web presence and assist you in getting an idea of how difficult or easy obtaining a higher ranking will be. Are there tons of paid search ads at the top and right side of the organic search results? Multiple paid ads are a good indicator that you're likely dealing with a keyword with great SEO value. The downside? Because of its value, lots of people are also likely interested in it, which can make it difficult to compete. This is where specificity is crucial. 

If you've got a product or service you want people to know about, being specific can drive traffic to your site. For example, you don't want your keyword to be car when the specifics reveal it's actually a 2010 green Toyota Camry. The specific terminology likely has fewer search results, which gives you a better chance at landing on the first page. Car lacks detail, and will provide searchers with anything and everything about a car sans the detailed information they're looking for. The more specific keywords typically have fewer results, which allows you to optimize your web content to rank higher and attract potential site visitors who are looking for exactly what you are offering. It's important to position yourself as a big fish in a small pond by using specific language. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up to be a goldfish in the ocean.

Want more info on Levant and how we can help your business grow? Take a look at our services and find out why we're the right fit for all your web design needs.

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