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Keywords 101: what are they and how are they used in marketing?

When you’re marketing your business, it’s essential to know how keywords work. Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re like most of us, you probably get up in the morning, stick a coffee mug into your coffee machine, press a button, and then sit back and enjoy your morning drop. You don’t think too much about how the coffee is made, you just enjoy it and everything it does for you.

Well, keyword search can be a little like your coffee machine. Need to find something? Know something? Go somewhere? Pop a keyword into a search engine and it’ll deliver the answer you need.

When you’re marketing your business, though, it’s essential to know how keywords work, for this reason alone: according to global internet research group BrightEdge, 68 per cent of all trackable website traffic is sourced from search, vastly exceeding all other channels like social media.

So, grab that coffee and sit back, as we take you through the basics of how you can direct that traffic to your website using keyword marketing.

What are keywords?

Whenever a person keys a query into a search engine, they use words. The search algorithm then takes these words and finds websites it deems to be the most relevant.

It makes absolute sense then, that every marketing strategy has a keyword strategy.

Keyword strategies should take in every part of your digital marketing that uses words – that includes blogs, news stories, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, and AdWords campaigns.

What is search intent and how does it relate to keywords?

Before you think about which keywords should be included in your marketing strategy, it’s important to know why people are searching in the first place. It’s called search intent and it’s important because customers who use the same word can have completely different needs.

Search intent can be informational, navigational, or transactional.

Say for example, you manufacture trampolines. ‘Trampoline’ would probably be the first keyword that springs (pun intended) to mind. Yet, someone who searches for ‘trampoline store’ is not searching for the same things as someone who searches for ‘trampoline repair’ or ‘trampoline injuries’.

When you understand why someone is searching, you can best decide which keywords to target and tailor each page to deliver the most appropriate response.

Why are keywords important?

At the very top line, keywords allow marketers to develop a marketing plan that drives traffic from search engines to their website.

However, understanding how keywords are being used by your customers also provides a valuable insight into what your customers want or expect from you.

For example, a cosmetics company that discovers the term ‘cruelty-free make-up’ has a high search volume may develop content that addresses concerns and uses cruelty-free related keywords.

Understanding keywords can also help with optimising additional ranking factors, including title tags or meta descriptions.

Additionally, keywords help you to track any changes to search queries over time. For example, last year people might have found you by searching for ‘garden services Footscray’ but after some marketing around the lawn maintenance part of your business, they might now find you by searching for ‘lawns Footscray’.

What are good keywords?

Defining what make a good keyword will all depend on whether you’re using keywords for SEO or PPC.

A good SEO keyword hits that sfet spot between keyword volume, competition, relevance, and intent.

PPC keywords should be chosen with the purpose of increasing brand visibility and website growth. With PPC, you bid on your keyword choices and that bid will determine where you rank in search.

What to consider when choosing keywords

Choosing the most appropriate keywords to use in your marketing can depend on certain factors, including:

Monthly search volume

Monthly search volume refers to the number of times people search for a particular keyword per month.

When you know the words people are using for search and the intent behind that search, your marketing can include more targeted content.

Keyword difficulty

Keyword difficulty measures how hard it is to rank well for a specific keyword.

The most common keywords with keyword difficulty are those that are frequently used by businesses across many sectors. Think: ‘marketing’ or ‘technology’. The lower the difficulty, the easier it is to rank for that term.

Intent and relevance

Ask yourself: How closely related is a keyword to a piece of content? Not understanding the customer’s intent can lead to delivering information they’re not looking for and they will leave.

What are some best keyword practices?

For best practice, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your keywords perform effectively. Try these tips:

  1. Avoid stuffing content with too many keywords. There’s no point in filling a blog post with keywords, if it turns the reader off and they don’t stay. Try to use keywords naturally.
  2. Target long-tail keywords. If you have a small marketing budget, try targeting long-tail keywords or phrases because there will be less competition.
  3. Strategically position your keywords – not just in the copy of the content, but also in your page titles, title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and headings.

Speak to the marketing strategy experts

The easiest way to incorporate keywords into your marketing strategy is to call in the experts who understand search the best.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne that can develop an evidence-based keyword strategy that will help your business grow its brand and achieve real bottom line results.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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