You’ve decided to create a collection of articles for your business website. That’s great!
A consistently updated article collection is the best way to increase your website’s SEO. Read more about blog articles and how they help your website show up more often in search results.
You’re an expert in your industry – you have tons of education and experience to write about. But writing for the web is different. And how do you decide what to write about?
It’s not as easy as you might imagine.
You can pump out any old content you feel like, but in order for it to reach your audience, and appear in those all-important Google search results, you need to be sure your content is ready to be found by the webcrawlers that provide those search results in nano-seconds.
The best way to reach your potential customers is through the use of keywords.
Techterms.com defines keywords as “Words or phrases that describe content.” Sounds simple, right?
It should be simple: Your business is lawn care. Your keywords would be “lawn care location.” Or “location lawn care,” right?
While that’s a great start, keywords need to identify all the aspects of your business.
Those two keywords above are a perfect starting point. But how many articles can you write using that idea? Not very many.
Enter the world of Keyword Research
In order to find the right keywords to create articles around you’ll need to do some research.
Start with your customers:
Who are they?
Define your demographic:
- Who actually buys your services?
- What is their household income?
- Can you narrow them down by age, location, buying habits?
Knowing who you’re marketing to will help you find your tone and provide value to those people specifically.
What are their pain points?
What do they struggle with, and how does your product help them? Be specific and clear on the value you give customers with your service or product.
If we’re still talking about lawn care, we are giving them back their time – which can be amazingly valuable to business people, parents, and rental property owners (for example.)
Follow up with current customers.
Ask questions on your social media platforms, or through your marketing emails. Use your established networks to find out more about who your customers are, and how they use your products or services.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website or social pages. Notice what they comment on. Take their feedback and create articles focusing on their experiences.
Then focus on your intent:
Why will readers come to your website?
What can you write about that will draw in a local web searcher? What searches would your audience be performing?
Again with lawn care:
- How often should I water my lawn?
- Why do I have dead patches?
- How short should I cut my grass?
Brainstorm a list of questions you can answer, and that you provide services for. Give value to your potential customers. These questions (and their answers) become your keywords.
Do you want to educate, inspire?
Create how-to articles with your focus keyword. Use the questions you brainstormed above, and create an article full of actionable tips and techniques to help your audience manage their own lawns.
They will think of you later when your suggestions didn’t quiet fix the problem, or they are looking for further help with their lawn care needs.
Educational articles are great for brand awareness and increased web visits.
Or do you simply want to sell?
Give specific details on HOW your products will make lives better:
- You will give busy households back their time.
- You provide quality lawn care to increase curb appeal (this would be great if you’re targeting people looking to sell their homes.)
- And you are knowledgeable about pest control to help out with problem areas (so homeowners don’t have to do a lot of trial and error.)
Provide links to your products or services inside your articles. After the reader has learned how your product can make their life better or easier, they need a link to click to find out how to make a purchase.
Reverse engineer these ideas to find words and phrases users are searching for.
Use the search engines.
We’ve all seen it: You start to type in the Google search bar and it pops up suggestions of where you’re going with your question. Use that!
Start asking Google questions that you know how to answer. See what pops up in the auto-fill. Can you create an article around specific questions everyone else is asking?
This is an excellent technique to see what people are searching for right now. (Sometimes you skew the results based on your previous search history. Open an incognito or InPrivate window and do the search again to remove your search history.)
Go ahead a read some of the results, and decide if you can create a different (better?) article to answer these questions.
Analyze competitors content.
Visit other websites in your niche. Read what they are writing about.
Can you address the same issues, but in your own voice and with your own suggestions?
Use some of the keyword planning tools listed below to take a look at what your competitor’s webpages are already ranking for. Can you focus on those keywords as well?
This works for websites and Facebook pages. FB actually has a way to see how your page ranks against other pages in your area. You can add and change the pages listed to focus specifically on your needs. It’s a great tool for “keeping up with the Joneses” and having a finger on the pulse of your industry.
If you want to delve deeper into keyword research, there are many websites that can help you out.
Wordstream.com has a free keyword tool. Drop a keyword or website URL into their search box and they give you a list of related words ranked by search volume. This keyword tool can help you come up with more specific topics to write on under your main theme.
Soovle is a fun tool that shows you what users are searching for on different platforms. Type your keyword in the box and they will give you the top searches from Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon and a few others. Another great keyword planner that helps you see what people are already looking to learn about.
Neil Patel is a master in the world of SEO. He has an excellent collection of keyword tools inside this article: 9 Free keyword research tools to help plan your new site. Despite the title, the keyword research tools are amazing for any stage of website growth.
Being able to find the right keywords (and then rank for them in a websearch) is a skill. Like any skill, it can be learned, but it takes time.
Content writers and managers use keyword planning for every article they write. If you need help to find the right keywords for your business, consider hiring a writer experienced with web content.
(I am a writer with web content experience. View my portfolio for samples of my work.)
Have you used any of the keyword planning tools above? Or do you have a favourite way to find relevant keywords? Share them in the comments!