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How to Choose Keywords for SEO Copywriting
SEO / 02 Dec 2021
Why is it that you know exactly what to Google when you need something, but when you’re choosing keywords for your business, you draw a complete blank? It’s a real problem, even for some agency clients with years of experience.
Fear not, friends. We’ve pooled our SEO copywriting expertise to give you our top tips for choosing the right keywords for your business and your SEO strategy.
Do Keywords Still Matter?
People often think that keywords are SEO. That’s not the case. Choosing and using the right keywords is a piece of that puzzle, not the whole puzzle.
Digital marketing is all about being ‘found’. Gaining and holding your ideal prospects‘ attention and building the all-important trust factor until they take that next step in your relationship – becoming a client.
Search engine algorithms are sophisticated, taking context, value, expertise, and credibility into account. A website that’s overstuffed with keywords but lacks value for a reader simply won’t rank on the search engine results pages.
Keyword research ensures your website is found by the right people, in the right places, for the right reasons. Keywords are like important topics that people search for when they think about your area of expertise and your work. Common questions, pains, and problems they’re looking to solve, and the information they’re likely to need.
1. Keyword Popularity
There are 2 main types of keywords: head term and long-tail keywords. Both serve different purposes, and a comprehensive SEO strategy uses both.
Think back to your last Google search. Chances are it was one of 2 types. Either a generic search like ‘SEO’, or something super specific, like ‘SEO copywriting services for agencies’.
The first search for ‘SEO’ is an example of a head term keyword. They’re usually 1 or 2 words in length, have a high search volume (110,000 searches a month) and generate heaps of results (circa 3.5 billion).
The second search term, ‘SEO copywriting services for agencies’, is an example of a long-tail keyword. Typically 3 or more words in length, they’re far more specific, have a lower search volume (10 searches a month), and generate far fewer results on the SERPs.
The critical difference between them is the intention behind the search.
2. Search Intention
Head term keywords are vague. Searchers often use them to explore a new subject or increase their knowledge about new things. They aren’t ready to buy. That comes much later. Reaching page 1 for a head term like ‘SEO’ would be highly competitive and expensive. It’s also worth considering how useful it would be. It would bring traffic to your website, but how much of that traffic is primed and ready to purchase? We’d wager, not a whole lot.
Think about it – if you google ‘SEO’, there are all sorts of things you might be looking to find out. Not all of them are relevant to your business activities. Head terms are a great place to begin your keyword research but don’t place all your eggs in that one proverbial basket.
Ranking for long-tail keyphrases is far more helpful to a business. Yes, they have a lower search volume, but by the time people search for them, they and you have a pretty good idea about what they’re looking to find.
For the term ‘SEO copywriting services for agencies’, the searcher is likely an agency looking for copywriting services, which by extension, needs a copywriter or are looking to scale their offering. They’re looking for a solution to a problem. Maybe their team is overstretched, or they’re currently unable to fulfil client demand.
You’ll have a far easier time creating conversion-worthy content for prospects using long-tail keywords than someone googling abstract terms.
Our advice? Write a list of all the queries and content themes for which you would want your business to rank. Cast a wide net at this point. We’ll refine your choices later.
3. Use Data to Improve Your Choice of Keywords
Once you’ve created a list of potential generic and long-tail keywords to use, the next step is refinement using data. Below are some of our favourite tools to assist with your research:
- Your website: Dig into your analytics to see what keywords visitors use to find you already. You may be surprised by the results.
- Google: Search your potential keywords and phrases. What results appear? What problem is the typical searcher looking to solve using this word or phrase? Check out Google’s related searches function to add ideas to your list.
- Ubersuggest: Create an account and analyse the number of monthly searches for your terms. See their keyword suggestions for more ideas.
- AnswerThePublic: Both are rich sources for finding potential keywords to use and assessing whether people are using your search terms.
- Google Trends: This nifty little tool helps you assess the popularity of head term keywords across a defined period. It also predicts their popularity into the future, so you can evaluate whether to invest energy in a keyword with a low search volume but with growth potential.
When choosing the right keywords, you’re looking for that perfect blend of value, popularity, and intention. When you’re clear on what you want to rank for, a happy side effect is that your key messaging and creative marketing planning becomes a whole lot clearer too.
Specificity Means Visibility
As we said before, there’s much more to SEO strategy than keywords. They’re a step in the right direction, but there’s plenty else to consider.
SEO copywriting and white label SEO services are our agency specialisms. If you’re after straight-talking, no-nonsense SEO for you or your clients, book your discovery call.
Copywriting / 30 Nov 2022