Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine?
How would you like to get your website to be the one that shows up on search engines when your ideal client runs a search for what you do?
Here’s another stat. Around 47% of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content created by a company before booking a sales call?
So if you’re not focusing on creating marketing content for your business, just think about how much business you’re losing.
Let’s talk about keywords
It’s a BIG topic, and it can be really confusing, to understand what keywords are, how to find the right ones, and then how to use them in your blog content.
So, let’s start with what keywords are:
- Keywords are like clues to what your article or blog post is about.
- When Google and other search engines crawl your website, they read the content for an idea of what you are writing about.
- The keywords are the big markers that let the search engines know what your blog post is about, and – more importantly – who you are writing for.
- Google’s job is then to match your content to the people who are looking for it on their search engine.
There’s a bit of art AND science to how this works – and we’re going to look at how you drop those keyword hints to Google in just a moment.
In essence though, the more relevant your content is to a specific topic, the more likely that Google is going to show it to people who are searching for that topic.
Now we have an idea of what keywords are, overall.
So let’s get more specific.
Keywords are split into 2 main categories.
Short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
And if you haven’t heard those terms before, don’t worry – I’m going to break it down.
Let’s start with short-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords are made up of only 1 or 2 words. As a result, they’re very broad, not specific and likely to be highly competitive.
The plus-side is that they generally have lots of traffic. And that can be a trap for some people, as we’ll see in a moment.
For example, a short-tail keyword is something like ‘virtual assistant’.
Now, virtual assistant as a term, is huge, right? And it’s likely getting a whole heap of traffic.
That keyword – virtual assistant – on its own, doesn’t tell us anything about the intent of the person using that search term.
When someone types ‘virtual assistant’, are they looking to learn how to be a virtual assistant, or to hire a virtual assistant, or just find out what a virtual assistant does?
Those 3 angles are actually 3 very different people.
So, you can see that as a keyword, it’s very broad.
And so, to focus on that as a keyword in your marketing isn’t going to get you very far.
Which brings us to long-tail keywords.
And this is where it gets interesting.
Long tail keywords are kind of like short sentences.
They are usually phrases that have some sort of intent – the search terms are often a question that someone is looking for an answer to.
By focusing on long-tail keywords, you start talking directly to your ideal client.
Now, the cons of long-tail keywords, are that they tend to have a lower volume of search traffic.
But – as they’re so niched, and less competitive, you have a much better chance of ranking for them.
And by being consistent, over time it adds up.
Let’s go back to this idea of being a virtual assistant.
You want to focus on those topics that your ideal client is searching for.
Maybe things like:
- ‘What does a virtual assistant do?’
- ‘How much should I budget for a VA for my launch?’
- ‘What can I outsource to a VA?’
But, to be honest – taking this VA example a bit further, you probably want to niche down even more.
What sort of services do you offer? Get specific. And then write content around that, using the long-tail keywords.
For example, if you’re a VA who helps entrepreneurs with launches (to go back to the earlier example) – then your content needs to focus on the benefits, pain-points and transformations of an entrepreneur who runs regular launches.
Now when coming up for your ideas for blog posts – while your 1st instinct might be to write lots around the idea of ‘virtual assistant’, because that’s how you identify – there’s a good chance that the people you want to work with don’t even know that ‘virtual assistant’ is a term.
In fact, what you will end up writing about is all sorts of tangential and related topics that probably don’t include that keyword at all.
Your keywords are the clues for search engines.
You want to focus on long-tail keywords.
So, the next question you might have is – ‘how does this come together on my website?’
The first thing you need to focus on, is writing relevant content. For humans.
When picking your topic, have an idea of the keyword or keywords you want to rank for – but then, put that aside.
Write an article talking directly to your ideal client. Create content that answers their questions and adds value.
Then, when you’re finished, you can go back over the blog post, and layer on a few SEO optimisation tricks.
- If you’re on WordPress, install the Yoast plugin – this will help you to put your information in the right place
- Use the keyword in the slug of your blog post (the URL – or the bit after the back-slash…for example www.yourwebsite.com/long-tail-keyword)
- Use the keyword in the Title Tag
- Use the keyword in a couple of headings
- Use the keyword in the 1st paragraph
- Use variations of the keyword throughout the article (synonyms etc, and related topics)
- If it makes sense, use them in the Alt-tags of your images
- Write a meta-description that outlines what the blog post is about