It’s important for every business, no matter how big or small, to understand how traffic comes to their website. What keywords are people using to find your site? Are they coming to your site through Facebook, organic search, an email link, from someone else’s site or an AdWords campaign?
This information is key to creating a targeted online presence. More specifically it will help you:
- write website copy and blog posts that your target audience is looking for.
- create products and add services that your customers are more willing to buy.
- know what social networking sites to post to and the type of content your followers want.
- know what words aren’t resonating with your audience.
Whew! that’s a lot to think about just to get people (and search engines) to know you exist! I don’t want to overload you with a lot of information at one time so I’ll tackle these ideas in a series of blog posts. For this first one I’ll go over keywords.
You’ve heard that you need to use keywords so that your target customer can more easily find you online. But you’re not sure exactly what they are, which ones to use or how to use them.
Keywords are simply the words and phrases that people search on to find your website. Many people only think of singular words, but online a phrase is also considered a ‘keyword’.
So, if your studio primarily does kettlebell based workouts in the New York City metro area, good keywords for you would be fitness, training, kettlebell, workout, strength, NYC and New York City. An example of a phrase type keyword would be New York City kettlebell training.
When thnking of what keywords to use you’ll want to know what people are using when searching for what you offer. In the next section I’ll give you tools to find the right ones for you.
Finding the right keywords
Most of the time you’ll know what keywords to use. As in the example above, they’ll directly relate to your core products and services. But if you offer a variety of services, such as kettlebell training and nutrition plans, or have several types of clients, such as high shcool athletes and older business professionals, you may not know exactly what keywords are right.
Google keyword tool
Google keyword tool is the best place to start when looking for the right words. Once you’re on the site use the middle section (see screenshot below) to enter your keywords and other information. I’m going to show you a basic search. if you want to use the Advanced Options and Filters they are easy to figure out on the keyword tool page.
Using our example from the Keyword basics section, I typed New York City kettlebell training in the Word or Phrase box. Next I clicked inside the Category box, scrolled down and selected Sports & FItness. I selected Fitness from the options that came up. When I hit the search button I got 100 results of similar keywords. I took a screenshot of the top four.
What you don’t see here is that to the right are more columns of information. The Competition column shows words advertisers think have most value. The Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches columns show how often each word is searched.
The first one on my list had only had 110 local monthly searches, but the other three had between 4,000 and 5,000 searches. If you offer kettlebell training in NYC you can see that you also want to include ‘personal trainer’, but maybe not ‘fitness trainer’ since not many people were searching on it.
Click on any of the down arrows next to the phrase for options to get more information.
As I mentioned above, the competition column shows words that advertisers think have the most value so you want to pay attention to that. But pay attention as well to the monthly searches columns. For instance, the phrase ‘New York Fitness Club’ scored low on what advertisers thought had value, but showed up a whopping 49,500 times in local monthly searches!
If fewer advertisers are using the phrase, but a lot of people are searching for it, that may be an opportunity for you to stand out.
Your website analytics
Your website analytics is another way to figure out what keywords you should be using. Most people use Google Analytics but I personally use Clicky Analytics (aff link) because I find it easier to use. Whichever analytics tool you use will tell you what keywords people are using to find your site. Here’s a screenshot of a few that people are using to find my site.
If they relate to what you offer you know you’re doing it right. My services and blog posts are focused on fitness marketing, particularly social media. Aside from the ‘risk board’ entry, people are finding my site using the exact words I want them to so I don’t have to do much differently.
If you find similar results keep using these keywords to drive more traffic to your site. Take the words and phrases that are working well for you and plug them into the keyword tool described above to get even more targeted keywords.
If you’re finding that too many words not related to your site are popping up in your analytics, scale back on using them.
Now you know how to find the right words to use on all of your online sites. None of that will do any good if you don’t know how to use them. Keywords aren’t limited to just blog posts. Use them on your landing pages, product pages, blog posts and any other content on your website.
Don’t keyword stuff
Have you heard the phrase ‘keyword stuffing’? It means shoving as many keywords applicable to your business into one blog post, landing page or other online space. That used to be the way for Google and other search engines to notice you. But Google has been tweaking its algorithms so the updates over the past year have actually penalized websites that do this. Use these words sparingly and in a normal writing style to stay on the good side of search engines.
When writing use keywords that are specific to your business. Don’t use ones that are popular but have nothing to do with your business. Again, Google and other search engines will penalize you for it. But, more importantly, if you draw people to your website based on false pretenses, you’ll lose credibility with the audience you want to attract while not appealing to the people who found your site using words that have nothing to do with your site.
Over to you
Do you use the Google keyword tool or dive into your analytics to see what keywords people are using to find your site? Why or why not?
What questions do you have about finding and using keywords?