choose your key words, the right way
Choosing the right keywords is the starting point of any SEO strategy. They are also decisive for the writing of your content. They are simply the words or terms that users will enter when making a request to a search engine.
These keywords will help you rank on search engines, gain traffic to your website, improve your content but also reach potential customers. And why are they important? They are the link between what people are going to search for and the content you offer to answer the identified need. It’s something that may seem abstract to you, but if you don’t choose the right keywords, you may miss out on your potential customers.
But where to start? We’ll explain it to you right after!
First of all, we advise you to write down absolutely all the keywords and expressions that come to your mind. This will help you to sort them out.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target
You know your target, you know your customers and who the potential buyers are. You need to know who they are, what they need, what their expectations and issues are. Then ask yourself what vocabulary they use and how they might formulate their requests. In short, put yourself in the shoes of an Internet user for a moment and show empathy.
Determine the different “stages” of Internet users
Also ask yourself which keywords could be used according to the stage of the user. Indeed, we can identify 3 different stages:
I am looking for information (the search volume will be high)
I want to compare…
I intend to buy (the search volume will be lower)
In fact, the more the Internet user is in a research phase and the more he will use generic terms, the more informed he is, the more precise his need becomes and the more precise the expressions he will use will be.
To start, brainstorm. Sit down calmly and write down all the words, expressions and terms that come to mind to describe your activity, your products and/or services and what you want to share. Keep your target audience in mind for this exercise. You will have a list of words and expressions that will be refined and completed later.
Think about the competition
Look at what your competitors are doing
There’s no harm in asking around! Look at what keywords your competitors are ranking on, it’s one of the best ways to optimize your strategy. This will allow you to take advantage of it. Attention, we are not telling you to copy! No, far from it. You can certainly get inspired, position yourself on similar keywords if it is really relevant, but above all you can find keywords that you had not thought of but also find some that are not yet used. This is a real competitive advantage!
Avoid expressions that are too general
Don’t be stubborn in trying to get referenced on keywords that are too general or generic and on which many companies are already positioned… For example, if you run a store specializing in the sale of women’s sports shoes, positioning yourself on the word “shoe” is not the best technique. The shoe market is huge and your chances of competing with the big brands or chains are slim. It is better to bet on more specific terms that will directly concern your target. Start with “women’s sports shoes” for example. Search engines are there to make life easier for Internet users, they will try to respond as best as possible to requests. Focusing on words that are too general means taking the risk of not being visible to the competition.
Remember that most Google queries are composed of more than 3 words!
The idea is to attract your customer, the one who will buy! It is not to have a large number of tourists visiting your site, they are just passing through and not really interested in what you do. What counts is to bring in THE RIGHT PERSON.
Find the right words
Be as close as possible to the customer’s request
We were just talking about general keywords. One of the most common mistakes is the use of words with several meanings. Let’s take the example of the word “table”. There are: living room table, coffee table, high table, multiplication table, garden table, bedside table, changing table, ping pong table, mixing table, massage table … You understand that if you position yourself on the keyword “table” you will find yourself drowned in a huge mass of information. Choose more specific keywords that are closer to your activity. An Internet user who is looking for a table for his living room certainly already has an idea of what he is looking for and will probably type in terms such as “living room table”, “coffee table”, “industrial table”, “wooden table”… Again, be as close as possible to the needs of customers. We return to this subject a little further with the principle of the “long tail”.
A search engine does a service to the Internet user. It will try to offer the best answer to his request. Google for example is very intelligent and will analyze your content by judging its relevance and logic. It knows your keywords, their synonyms, as well as the lexical field. In short, it analyzes your semantics! If the subjects you deal with have nothing to do with each other, Google will quickly notice it.
One page = one topic = one main keyword
And yes, everything must be hierarchical. The choice of your keywords counts a lot for the search engines. A page must correspond to an idea! You must choose a main keyword per page, then select secondary keywords that correspond to different ways of expressing the same idea. Then you will work on your lexical field in relation to the chosen keywords. Use synonyms for your content, so as not to be considered as spam and gravitate towards the universe of your keywords. Use “internal links” that send the user to another page of your website. This allows you to connect your pages to each other. We will come back to this subject of semantics in another dedicated article.
Singular or plural?
It will depend on what you want, but in any case, know that it is not the same thing! You will not be positioned in the same way on search engines. Do the test with any word, type it in the plural in a tab in private browsing and type it again in the singular in another tab in private browsing.
Avoid terms that are too technical
Your customers may not be familiar with the vocabulary specific to your business. Always try to put yourself in the shoes of Internet users, because they are the ones who are doing the talking.
Don’t forget your objectives
Your keywords also depend on your business strategy. Do you want to shine in your city? Have a local visibility? You should use keywords related to your location. You are a young company with ambition and you are not afraid to confront the big brands? You will still have to focus on specific or “easier” keywords in your early days, while you make your mark.
Think: monthly search volume and popularity
Monthly search volume
This is a monthly estimate of the number of times a keyword is searched.
As you can see, it is important to take into account the trends and the way people search. Some tools allow you to know this data either by giving you the volume directly, or by giving you indicators like “low” or “high”.
The popularity of keywords
Be curious to see which keywords are popular for your field of activity. For example, you can open a private browser page, enter the first words that come to mind to describe your business and look at all the suggestions the search engine offers before you even hit “enter”.
This already gives you an idea of the most searched related searches by Internet users.
For these two data, the free tool of Google “Keyword Planner” integrated in Google Ads in the “tool” section, will be very useful. If you don’t already have an account you will have to create one. Goole Ads is a paid advertising tool, that’s why you will be asked to launch a campaign and enter your bank details. But don’t panic, you can pause this campaign and not pay anything. Then you can use the keyword planning tool for free.
You can also use Uber Suggest which is also a great tool.
Use the principle of the long tail
We talk about “long tail” keywords to designate a set of expressions not much used by Internet users but which once gathered can represent a significant share of traffic for your website.
These are therefore less competitive expressions that will allow you to position yourself intelligently in the first results of search engine pages (SERPs).
Why use the long tail?
As we said above, what interests us is to attract the right person to the right place. The goal is to convert your visitors! This means: lead them to where you want them to go on your site. This type of keywords is supposed to represent you at best, therefore describe accurately your activity, your products, your services and therefore your content. A user who finds exactly what he is looking for on a web page will be more inclined to consult the other pages of your website, consult your blog, read your content and maybe even place an order. If on the other hand they clicked on your website and your content is not what they expected, they will not spend time on your site and this will impact their reputation! Honestly, don’t you find it annoying when you click on a link and finally its content doesn’t match your expectations?
This plays on your bounce rate (number of visitors who left your site without having consulted other pages). It is analyzed by Google’s robots. A bad bounce rate means that your content is not relevant to the user’s request and therefore you will be penalized. This proves the importance of answering a query with precision. And one of the best ways is to use long tail keywords.
We prefer to warn you, you won’t be at the top of the results list right away. SEO takes time and effort over time. Optimizing your content and keywords is a long-term job to get results.
Once your keywords are integrated into your site, do not stop there, continue to analyze from time to time your positioning on these keywords. This will allow you to readjust your choices if necessary. Habits and languages evolve. Keywords that are very efficient today may not be tomorrow. To know your position in relation to the keywords, open a web page in private browsing and do a search on these words. Then see where you are in the results. Be careful to also take into account the voice search which is developing strongly! Queries are not formulated in the same way in writing and in speaking.
8 free tools to help you :
Finally, here are some tools that can help you!
Google Trends (discover the search trends related to your activity)
Ubersuggest (popular, it allows you to generate keywords and optimize your content)
Google Keyword Planner (keyword planner)
SpyFu (see what your competition is doing)
Yooda Insight (analyze the competition)
Semrush (analyze keywords, your ranking in the SERPs and your competitors’ SEO)
Answer the public (identify questions asked by Internet users based on the words or expressions you choose)
Keyword Tool (good alternative to Google Keyword Planner)
Obviously there are other free and paid tools whose analyses are more complete, it’s up to you to see which tools suit you best!