Keyword Research (for your Important Words)

Spelling the Word ‘Smile’ in Scrabble

Choose Your Words Carefully

SEO professionals use “keyword research” to identify opportunities for your business. All search engines record the “phrases” that you type in — “donuts near me” — and make them available to professionals to find related terms that can help their business. and Google AdWords provide information on keywords that are searched online.

You should choose the words that you use to identify your business carefully because people see and hear things differently, and their completely self-absorbed when surfing online.

The Many Faces of Eve

Seven women named Eve type into their smart phone, “donuts near me.” The problem is that you don’t know the mind of your customers. Let’s suppose that there were 1000 searches for this phrase in your area. Here is what each Eve had in mind:

  • She wants to eat a donut
  • She is looking for Tim Hortons
  • She wants to buy a donut store (because I like baking)
  • She wants a maple-bacon donut.
  • She owns a competitive business, and wants to know who else is in the area.
  • She is an SEO consultant who is conducting observational research
  • She is new employee on a bus on the way to work and wants to offer a treat to the team.

As you build your website and you select your keywords, you need to think about how your website, its categories, images and pages can best help Eve. Hopefully, this brief example will help you to see that there are lots of opportunities and missed opportunities in keyword research. The position and placement of your website are determined by your ability to communicate the value that you offer to customers using keyword research that is tied to their interests. (At SEO conferences, we would use words like user intent. I think it’s better to think about the “many faces of Eve” or John and to find a way to serve both or just one.

Capture their Interest

I once worked for an old German man and he told me this joke about marketing and sales. He said that a man owned a small general store and big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot opened up on either side of him. His business was floundering and he could not think of a way out of his problem. One night, a solution came to him. The next morning, he built a really big sign over his store that said, “Enter This Way.”

Headings are an important part of SEO. You want to try to ensure that you have only 1 primary heading tag on a page, followed by secondary or tertiary tags. This helps the search engines to see your page like a series of Russian dolls — one held within the next. The largest doll is your primary heading. On this page, it is “Keyword Research” at the top.The second headings all attempt to support the idea.

Today, we have to play a delicate balance between speaking to search engines and writing for your customer. She is intelligent, impatient but passionately interested in what you do if you speak plainly in her language. Often, she does not want your marketing spiel because every other website says the same thing. But, your website is “authentic” and it speaks to her. She did not find you during a search for “donuts near me”; in fact, she found your website while searching for “Ukranian donuts” which you decided to carry on a trial basis dedicating a page to it keep your aunt Edna happy.

Are You Saying Enough to Keep a Teenager Engaged?

Many websites get got up in the idea of looking great and fail to realize that they need to say something for two audiences. First, your customer ranges from someone who is vaguely familiar with what you do to someone who knows everything. You need to make sure that you help both parties by writing enough to show your expertise as well as capture their interest.

When Google began in 1998, it was about as smart as a young dog. You would point to (or search for) a red ball and Google would retrieve it for you. In terms of SEO, you really did not need to know that much except what is a keyword and where to place those important words on the page — as often as possible.

In the last five years, Google has approached the intelligence of a teenager. It is actually reading this page and understanding it (similar to you.) And, just like you Google is deciding on the quality of the writing, the images on the page and how certain words link to other stories throughout this site. Google decides whether your website is boring or not by comparing it to 30 trillion other pages in its data set simultaneously. To keep a teenager engaged, you need to say something interesting! Fortunately, unlike many teens today, Google likes to read so the more you have on your website that is relevant to what you are trying to sell or discuss, the better.