A to Z of Business Storytelling: Keywords
SEO seems to be on everyone’s mind lately. And rightfully so. Today’s consumer lives online. But in such a vast network, it’s easy for content to get hidden. That’s why, when it comes to SEO, what you say is equally as important as how you say it with targeted keywords.
A “keyword” is simply defined as a specific phrase that drives traffic to a URL. SEO keywords range from a singular word to complex phrases and are used in website copy to attract relevant, organic search traffic. When used effectively, keywords act as a conduit for your target audience to find the most appropriate content on your website.
Don’t freak out – leveraging keywords doesn’t mean you need to learn a new language. At the end of the day, you’re still communicating with your consumer, just online. And effectively communicating with your consumers begins with knowing them.
No customer will ever put a detailed profile in the search engine, so thinking how he or she will search matters. You can think of it like this: a potential patient would search “is diabetes hereditary?” while a doctor might search, “T2DM treatment algorithm.” These two vastly different searchers using equally unique keywords will lead to endless search results, even though the general topic, diabetes, is the same.
So before establishing your keywords based on what you’d search, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How would you answer the following?
What inspires your customers to interact with you?
What story do your customers care about?
What service is your customer looking for?
With those answers in mind, you can start to craft traffic-boosting website copy – from headers to introductory coy to bolded phrases – that will attract your ideal audience.
Keep in mind, as with any other communication touch point, you must think holistically online. Search engines—especially Google—use synonyms and other related terms to figure out what your page is all about. This is called latent semantic indexing. Once a search engine has a keyword, it searches the rest of your copy for context.
It’s those supportive words that help you stand out. Think about it, the phrases, “how to run a successful business” and “local run clubs” both technically include the word “run.” But one I do regularly. The other, I’d rather avoid.
To use ourselves as an example, if we used our business name* as the sole keyword, we’d get a flood of traffic from summer-seeking Spanish speakers. Even though summer is definitely on our mind here in Cincinnati, we need contextual words like “content marketing” to connect with our target.
So go for it, fill your site with your top keywords so your customers can find what they’re looking for. But move forward with caution. An overuse of keywords does more harm than good. Just like a high-pressure salesperson deters purchases, excessive keywords or “keyword stuffing” drives customers away and ultimately hurts your online query ranking. Google bots will pick up on keyword overuse and ding you as “spam”, just like your clients would in a meeting. Remember, you’re still communicating with your customers. Ask yourself if your communication helps or hurts the user experience.
You can begin to optimize your site today with these 5 tips:
1. Search engines scan dynamic content, so focus on creating relevant static copy, including evergreen blog posts.
2. Prioritize title tags, which influence rankings and click-through-rate (CTR).
3. The most influential content for SEO is visible content. Emphasize keywords by placing them in the heading tag, early body copy, or bolded phrases.
4. Update video and file names on your site with relevant keywords, rather than a random default name.
5. Optimize with a big-picture perspective and take all pages into consideration, rather than building single-site silos.
Keyword integration is just the beginning of successful SEO. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, let us help you tell your story online with strategic keyword placement.
*Insert Google Translate: Verano = Summer