If you want your site to make money for you, then you need visitors.
Website visitors are known as ‘traffic’. Like a siren, Google lures many web site owners with the call of its free traffic. I mean, if your site can rank number one on the first page of Google, for a keyword that brings a rush of ideal customer prospects to your site, then you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, right?
Well, ok, it’s not quite as simple as that. There is a lot more involved. But the process all starts with getting that traffic to your site.
So how do you get this free rush of daily new visitors?
It all begins with keyword research…
Don’t Shoot In The Dark!
When you create a page on your website, you should base it on a single keyword or keyword phrase. This then lets Google know what your page is about.
So ideally, you should work from a list of keywords that you know your ideal customer is searching for.
Makes sense, right?
Well, do you know about the famous 80/20 rule? The idea that you should do what gets you the most ‘bang for your buck’?
Don’t aim to reinvent the wheel here! Don’t shoot in the dark and hope you’ll ‘hit’ something. If you can find out the exact search terms they use, then you can laser focus your efforts (what is known as ‘Search Engine Optimization’).
You need to know exactly what search terms and phrases to optimize your web pages for, and you’ll be one step closer to getting a steady stream of the right traffic from Google, for free.
So the question is…
Which Words Does Your Ideal Customer Use When Searching?
When your potential ideal customer searches Google for your product or service, what do they search for? That’s the crucial question.
Funnily enough, people don’t search using straight-forward terms.
Let’s say that you sell handmade candles. Let’s make up a fictional character called, ‘Sherry’, for this example. Sherry is your ideal prospective customer. Sherry is probably more likely to type in, ‘pretty handmade candles in glass votive near bristol’, than just ‘handmade candles’.
How on earth would you know that? And then, how would you know which search phrases are used more than others?
You research it.
You just need to know what to look for and which tools to use …
What To Look For? Time To Brainstorm
Let’s begin by brainstorming all the things related to your business and what you offer. Here are some ideas:
- Your type of business
- Your location
- Your products and /or services
- The solutions or benefits that your products/services provide
- Things that the customer might think they should search for that you can help with. For example, you may be a dietitian who’s aware that people tend to look for certain medicines to solve their diet problems when they’d probably be better served by seeing you. In this case, you’d list the health supplements that they look for.
- Is there anything else pertinent to your business, products or services?
This step is very important because quite often, it’s keywords or phrases that are closely related to your main search term (but not your actual search term) that are the most profitable.
So keep your eyes and mind open. And make sure you add to your list as you come up with ideas over the next few days, weeks and months.
Here are a few examples (keywords in bold):
- Mechanics in Birmingham that offers MOT certification and hand car washing services.
- A wig maker in Newark that creates customized wigs and hair extensions. Will do home calls.
- A hairdresser in Adelaide that offers hair cuts, blow dry and color for men, women, and kids. Also specializes in weddings.
Once you’ve brainstormed, use different combinations of these words with the tools below, to find even more search terms. Don’t be afraid to use 3, 4, 5 or more keywords in your phrase. The more specific your search, the less likely you’ll have much competition from other sites.
5 Easy Keyword Research Tools
1. Google Instant
You’ve searched for things on Google, right? Well, have you ever noticed that if you type in some search terms at the top of your internet browser, Google will make some suggestions? Here’s an example below:
By simply typing in ‘mechanics birmingham uk’, Google has shown me five more suggestions.
Let’s just take a step back here for a moment. Google wants to make your search experience amazing. They want you to come back. And since they know you want to find what you want at lightening speed, they offer you suggestions.
Google won’t make random suggestions. Those suggestions will be based on their search data. They’ll only be showing you the top searches for phrases that have your keywords in it.
So, if Google is suggesting a search phrase, they’re definitely worth taking notice of.
Go head, do a search for your terms and note down the ones that are relevant to your business.
2. Scroll Down To The Bottom!
Have you ever noticed that Google suggests even more related search terms at the bottom of your search page? Try it and take a look.
Here’s an example of what I got when I searched for ‘accounts sheffield uk’:
3. Use Related Phrases
Google doesn’t like you to stuff your page with the same keyword or keyword phrase over and over again. It used to work a few years ago but nowadays, it is much more savvy. Now it will take one look at your page and mark it as ‘spam’. And Google doesn’t like spammy pages. Full stop.
What it does like are related keyword phrases. Or in other words, it looks for synonyms and closely related words.
Take a look at this example:
I searched for ‘hairdressers london uk’ and this is what came up. What’s interesting is that Google made certain words in bold (which I’ve highlighted in yellow). Those words are related to your search.
Take a look at the third listing – it doesn’t even include the keyword, ‘hairdressers’!
So what can we learn from this?
Use Google’s search to look for words they format in bold. Then make sure you sprinkle these related words and phrases in your content.
Let’s continue with my hairdresser example: If I was trying to rank for ‘hairdressers london uk’, I would be sure to include the following (based on what Google marked in bold):
- hair salon
4. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Google actually has a free keyword research tool called the ‘Google Adwords Keyword Planner’.
It’s meant for people who use their paid advertising service, Adwords. But anyone can use it. Just set up a free account if you don’t already have one.
This particular tool is useful because you’ll get estimated traffic figures for your search terms.
Don’t forget to search for your related keywords and phrases too.
Yes. You read that right. Amazon.
Amazon is a search engine too. For products.
Amazon’s job is to get you want you want, fast. So it’s worth taking note of what it shows you. It’s data will be compiled from customer searches. So, type something into the search bar and note the drop-down suggestions, just like Google Instant in #1 above.
Amazon is especially helpful if you sell products, but can also give you ideas if you’re a service provider.
For example, say you sell door locks. Take a look at all the sections that I’ve circled that might give you a few ideas for keyword seaches. Even if you’re a locksmith, this could give you ideas too.
3 Tools To Optimize Your Content For Google
Once you have a list of keyword search terms then it’s time to create your content…
Important! Please don’t stuff your page with same keywords. Google is wise to this and will consider your site as spam. Instead, use a good WordPress SEO plugin to make sure you have just the right sprinkling of keywords, keyword phrases, and related search terms to make Google happy.
We recommend the following SEO plugins for WordPress (and if you’re not using WordPress on your site, why aren’t you?):
- The most popular free SEO plugin for WordPress
- Offers a free plan
- A premium plugin that comes free with Rainmaker (our preferred WordPress platform of choice, which we use to run the MFO site). Funnily enough, Scribe comes free with Rainmaker, which costs less than Scribe on its own!
Remember to focus on one search term or phrase per page if you can. And sprinkle on some of those synonyms!
You can find out more about these plugins and how best to use them, in our WordPress Plugins For SEO article here…
Keyword Research: It’s Not Sexy But It’s Needs To Be Done!
Listen, I hear you loud and clear. Keyword research isn’t exactly exciting. But that doesn’t change the fact that keyword research is vital. So it should be one of the first steps you take.
Don’t scrimp on this stage of the marketing process and definitely don’t guess! If you guess, you could work for years and years and not have anything to show for it. I’m not kidding.
And let’s not forget that Google is getting smarter and smarter. Think of Google as a big computer that can read your articles, posts and pages. It knows exactly what your articles are about and what you are thinking.
How does it work? Yes, it’s scary but it works. That’s not the point!
So it’s over to you.
Laser focus your efforts and find exactly what search terms your ideal customer is using. Then install one of the SEO plugins on your WordPress site and start creating amazing content based on those search terms.
No more shooting in the dark. 😉
Sorry, access to this special content
is for ‘Owners’ only
Owners log in
Not a member of
the Owners Club yet?