Keyword strategy is the root of every SEO campaign. It defines every single action taken to increase visibility on Google.
But what exactly is a keyword strategy? How is it developed? And what do you do with it?
What are Keywords?
Let’s start with the basics. By ‘Keywords’ we refer to the search terms Google displays your site as a result for. In fact, ‘search terms’ is often used as a synonym.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber working in Horsham. Your site might show up when someone in Horsham types in ‘plumber’. Or maybe ‘plumber Horsham’.
In these examples, ‘plumber’ and ‘plumber Horsham’ are both considered keywords.
How Google Decides Relevancy
But how does Google decide what keywords your site is relevant for? And how does it decide what order to show them in?
In basic terms, Google scans the content and metadata of your site to see which words occur most frequently. It also scans what words people use when linking to your site. With this information, it determines what terms your site is most relevant for.
How high your site is displayed is a complex (and secret) mix of algorithmically determined relevancy and authority. The latter is predominantly decided by who else links to it, and how authoritative they are on the subject.
By intentionally including particular keywords into the text on our websites, we can send signals to Google about which search terms our sites are relevant for. But how do we choose which words to target?
It’s a balance between relevance, opportunity and reward. Obviously we want to target keywords that attract the most searches, but ‘plumber’ is going to put us in front of lots of people who aren’t near enough to use our services. It also pits us against generalised information about and for plumbers, which will be difficult to beat.
‘Plumber Horsham’ might also put us against very established rivals who have put a lot of work into their SEO already, meaning it would take enormous resources to leapfrog them in the search results.
We might find that it’s better to be more specific and target something like ‘unclog drain Horsham’ that attracts fewer searches, but is highly targeted (probably everyone who googles it will need the service) and a relatively easy win.
What to Do With Keywords
Having chosen which keywords to target, we can now include them in on-site copy, metadata, blog posts, social media… Any text used to represent the company online will increase our site’s relevancy to those keywords in Google’s eyes.
We can even use them to help dictate the topics and titles of the content we produce on a regular basis – such as news articles and blog posts – ensuring maximum search impact for the resources spent producing it.