When it comes to building your keyword list, the right strategy is fundamentally important. Your keywords are like the building bricks of your house. If you don’t choose the right ‘bricks’, your website and content structure won’t be sound and you’ll potentially lose customers as they fall into the abyss of the world wide web.
Building a keyword search term list is all about Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. You want your customers to find you, right? Once you’ve done the background work in SEO, a lot of the hard work is done for you! Once you get the right terms for your business, you’ll find marketing your social enterprise a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to creating online ads or writing your content strategy.
1. Think like your customers
This seems entirely obvious but you’d be surprised at just how many business owners fail to do their market research and find out exactly what their customers are searching for. Firstly, how many different audiences do you have? What products and services do you offer? What would each customer segment search for in order to find you? Use tools such as Google Consumer Surveys, Google Correlate, and Google Trends to help you with your research and back up your gut instincts.
2. Organise into themes for your audiences
As most businesses are likely to have more than one audience, ensure you organise your keywords into themes. For example, if you were a business selling Fairtrade coffee to both the public and to wholesalers, you’d create themes such as ‘buying coffee wholesale’ and ‘local coffee shops’. Use 5 to 20 keyword search terms per theme. To give a further example, for the wholesale coffee theme could include keyword search terms such as ‘fairtrade coffee wholesalers’, ‘organic wholesale coffee’ and ‘trade price fairtrade coffee’.
3. Go specific, not general
If you have a website selling organic skincare products, you wouldn’t just want to use the general term ‘organic skincare’. This is a general term that has thousands of search results. You can do a simple search on Google to see the difference between very general keyword search terms and more specific search terms. You may want to go with something more specific, such as ‘Vitamin E organic skincare product’. Longer-tail search terms do better because there is less competition online for those particular terms.
4. Use a Keyword Planner to help you with ads
A Keyword planner is really helpful as you can search for keyword and search term ideas that are relevant to your product or service. It will help you narrow down your list if you’re planning to advertise online, or just if you want to secure the most competitive terms for your target market.
5. Using your Keyword list
Now you’ve got your list; what to do next? Well keep a copy of them somewhere you’ll always see them; these will be the basis of your online marketing activities!
When producing any online content, you’ll be using your keyword list. Your keywords ideally need to be included for the following:
- Page Title (Title Tag)
- Header Tags
- Image Alt Tags; and
- Text that is Bolded or Underlined
Depending on what content management platform you use, there are various SEO tools to help you in making sure that you are using keywords in the right places, like Yoast for Wordpress. Remember to be using your keywords in your social media content too; on your profile pages, post descriptions and copy.
Your Keyword list may change as your business grows and develops; that’s natural. Keep an eye on it and review it every three months. Your analytics package will be able to inform you as to which of your keywords are performing best at driving traffic back to your site.