If you’ve been involved with search engine optimization (SEO) for more than a day, you’ve probably already figured out that everything revolves around keywords. From title tags to anchor text, the entire SEO process is centered on key phrases. That means you have to be well-equipped to select the best search terms for the right pages (or articles or blog posts) or you might come up short.
Call me picky, but closing your eyes and blindly pointing to keywords on a screen is not my idea of professional-level keyword selection. There are specifics you want to consider before opting to use certain search terms in the content you write.
The broader the key-phrase, the further away from the point of decision your reader is. That means you’d be better off (in most cases) to use broad terms on your Home page, About us page or other top-level pages. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, broad key-phrases don’t convert as well as more narrow ones. As you span from broad to long-tail, you’ll want to look for opportunities to include those key-phrases on pages with a tighter focus. Although it applies to all forms of copywriting, eCommerce copywriting is a good example of what I’m talking about.
Think about what happens as you click through a website. You start at the Home page which offers general info about the company. Next you may click to the Services page or, on an eCommerce site, to a category page. These are a little more specific. Then you could click to a specific service or product that interests you. As you move through the site, you get more and more focused. So should your keywords.
Here are a few examples:
“Microwave Oven” – Very broad. Possibly use on a Home page, a blog post with general information about microwave ovens, etc.
“Stainless Steel Microwave Oven” – Great for a Category page specifically about the various stainless steel microwaves offered. Too narrow for a Home page because your site offers lots of different types of microwaves, not only stainless steel.
See how the search terms are applicable of the product itself? Whether in a broad sense or a very narrow one, they describe what’s being sold because you’re dealing with a consumer-based target audience. If you were approaching a B2B audience, you might have gone with key-phrases like “microwave manufacturer,” etc.
Which types of search terms you use will also depend on your business model. For example, if you operate a niche affiliate site, you’ll want to focus on niche key-phrases (as the name implies). Going after broad keywords on a niche site is rather an oxymoron, you know? If you run an information-based site that generates revenue from AdSense ads, you may need to concentrate on broader search terms in order to pull in more traffic to the site. There are lots of other scenarios that could determine the types of phrases you’d want to focus on.
As you scour your list of potential key-phrases, remember these 3 strategies. Running your options through the 3 filters above will make your selection process easier and more effective to boot!