Keyword analysis is essentially a way of researching possible “keyword phrases” that may be able to get website visits. These phrases are things that people would search for in a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If you know what kinds of things people search for when they are looking for whatever product or service it is you’re selling, then you’ll have a better chance of drawing in customers to your website. But more precisely, what is a keyword analysis and how do you do it effectively?
What a Keyword Is
If I am a customer who is searching for a tattoo artist in my area, there are many different ways I might go about searching. I could ask friends, look up companies on Facebook, or even walk into ones I see around town and check out their work. However, using a search engine or a specialized site like Yelp to help me find tattoo artists is most likely the route I’d go. This is the same for many people; more and more customers are turning to the internet, specifically to search engines, to help them find what they need.
I could search “tattoo artist in [my area]”. Depending on where I live and how many artists are there, this may bring up a wide variety of businesses. I need to use specific keyword phrases or strings of words to narrow my search. Specific phrasing like “script tattoo artist in SE [my area]” or “best women tattoo artists in [my area]” is going to hone in on a more narrow field of results. By using keywords, I will better be able to find the tattoo artist that I want.
Why Analysis Is Important
So, people are out there searching for products and services on Google but why do companies need to analyze how they search? The reason for this is that without knowing what keywords people search for and then integrating those words and phrases into your website, you aren’t likely to rank highly in a web search and nobody will find your business.
If you are a new business owner, for example of a coffee shop, you want to be able to bring in new customers to grow your business. There are a wide variety of ways to do this but one way customers would find a new coffee shop is to see it when they perform a Google search. Just searching “coffee shop” isn’t necessarily going to put your business in front of the customer, though.
A customer is going to search for something more specific like “coffee shop organic San Francisco” or “local coffee in Portland”. The search engine they use is then going to look for relevant results that contain those keywords. Websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. that contain words and phrasings that are close to the search are going to rank higher and therefore, show up further up in the results. People don’t tend to go beyond the second page of search engine results so the higher you show up, the more website clicks you’re going to get.
How to Perform an Analysis
You now have the answer to ‘what is a keyword analysis?’. But how do you perform one? The keyword analysis process can essentially be broken down into three steps. First, you need to think up a list of potential keywords people could search to find your website, blog, etc. It is best to do this with other people, such as business partners, coworkers, established customers, or even friends if you are writing a blog by yourself or you have a small Etsy shop you run solo. Try to think from the point of view of the customer. When you search for something, what kinds of keywords do you use to get the results you want? You likely don’t use industry-specific jargon or overly complicated phrases. Customers search for things like “eye doctor near me open late” and not “optometrist near 50th ave and 1st st that is open past 6 pm”. Come up with as many possible keywords as you can.
After you have created your list, you’ll need to test how effective the keywords are. If people aren’t actually using a certain phrase to search, it’s going to be pointless to focus on including it on your website because that won’t bring you traffic. There are tools available that allow you to enter a keyword or keyword phrase and see statistics about that keyword. Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a good free tool to use. You can search a phrase and find out how many people actually use that phrase to search. You’ll also find out how competitive the phrase is. The more competitive, the more you’ll have to integrate the keyword into your site in order to rank highly. Google’s tool is also great because it suggests related keywords that might be better than what you initially searched.
Once you’ve figured out which keywords are actually going to be effective at bringing people to your website, you’re going to need to integrate those keywords into the site. Rewrite your blog content or webpages to include the keywords. You’ll want to sprinkle them all around, in links from one page on your site to another, in page headers, periodically throughout the body of the text, etc. The more the keyword is present on your website, the higher your site is going to rank in search engines.
After that, you’ll obviously want to watch how effective the keywords are over time. It will take a while to build up your rankings and start bringing in traffic. If you want to see how your keywords are working, you can run reports in Google Analytics that will tell you. The “queries” report will tell you your average ranking for each keyword. The “landing pages” report shows you how each individual page on your website is performing with search engines. Also, look at your over search traffic each month. If your search traffic is going up and you’re getting more leads through your website, your keywords are probably effective.
Keywords in SEO
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. This is basically using keywords to up your website’s ranking and visibility in an organic way. Using SEO is a free way to bring in new customers by making it easier for them to find you online. Search engines rank websites by how closely the words on the page match a searched phrase and also how often they appear. If someone searches “where to buy tulips” and your site doesn’t even mention tulips, the customer is not going to find you.
The rewriting portion of your keyword analysis is how to take advantage of SEO. When you add in the phrases people are searching for and add them in often, Google is going to see your website and being more relevant and it is going to rank it higher than other sites that don’t have content matching the keywords used in a search. You can’t pay Google to put your site higher up in the search (outside of paying for ads, of course). You need to write your website with keywords in mind and successfully use SEO to organically move your site higher up on the search list.
Keywords in Paid Ads
Another way companies take advantage of keyword searches is by purchasing ad campaigns on search engines. Google AdWords is an example of this. These are typically pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. The keywords used in these searches don’t necessarily need to appear on your website because you are paying to have an ad on the search results for specific keywords.
For example, if you are running a PPC campaign for the keyword “beach houses for rent in Oregon”, your ad will show up when people perform that search. You will then pay for each click a person makes on the link to your site. This requires a little more keyword analysis than the free way. You want to keep your budget in mind, as some keywords are more expensive than others, while still paying for the most relevant keywords possible.
These campaigns also often rely on “exact match” keyword phrases so as to not pay for irrelevant clicks. In the example above if you did not use exact match keywords, your ad might appear when someone searches “beach houses in California” because the term “beach houses” is in both that and your keyword.
Analyze Keywords and Bring in Customers
Whether you are using keywords for SEO or paid ads, they are one of the best ways of bringing in search traffic to your webpage. Businesses big and small, as well as bloggers, artists, and freelancers can benefit from using keywords to optimize their websites. By performing a keyword analysis and then using those to rewrite your site, you’ll be able to up the amount of traffic you get to your site and grow your business.