Planning keywords to use SEO

If you’ve been reading our other blogs, you should know how important SEO is as a tool for attracting customers – and that keywords can be used to rank higher in search results. Check them out if you haven’t already, because the topic we’re covering today will make a lot more sense if you understand the basics first.

The art of planning keywords is a tricky one to master – you can’t go around slapping them onto your blogs, social posts or any other content randomly. If you create and stick to a keyword strategy, you’ll soon be flying head and shoulders above your keyword-less (and sad) competitors!

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Starting keyword research

Again, keywords are absolutely vital to performing well; did you know that 53% of customer search journeys start with them typing keywords into Google? If you can discover similar keywords (or even better, exact matches!) to what your audience is using, then you can use them in your copy and propel your content to the masses! 

So, you’re going to have to use keywords that are relevant to your customer’s needs, but they also must have a lot of people searching for them (also known as a high search volume). A little tip from us is to have authority over your subject area when you’re creating content – this will make it easier to become a trusted source, meaning your work will be promoted and the keywords will only add to its relevance. Make factual blog posts (and take a hammer to that fourth wall!), how-tos or other informational content, as this can be posted regularly and interspersed with keywords.

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How to research keywords

That’s all well and good, but we haven’t exactly answered the question yet – how do you research keywords? Well, it’s best to begin with a general overview of the topic at hand, no matter how broad. If you’re a landscaping company, this could be something like ‘landscaping’ or ‘garden maintenance’ – and these are your seed keywords.

These are going to have a lot of competition, so it’s not recommended to use these as your keywords. Enter these seed keywords into Google Keywords Planner (other keyword planners are available, but for the sake of simplicity, this will be our example) and see what results you get! Other keyword planners may not be free to use – you can also ask ChatGPT for keyword ideas, but make sure you check these over before using them.

Using Google keyword planner

When you are given the results, you should choose keywords that have low competition – this makes it more likely that your completed content will rank higher in search results. Keep an eye on the ‘Top of Page Bid’ section, too – this is how much advertisers have paid to get their ads on the top of the page in search results if someone were to search for that phrase. The more generic the phrase is, the more it costs for a top spot.

For both PPC ads and for choosing keywords to include in your content, choose keywords with a lower top of page bid. The lower the cost, the lower the competition; meaning using this keyword (as long as people search for it) will net you a high ranking on search engines.

google on a tablet but they're typing on a keyboard

How to use keywords effectively

So, now you’ve got your keywords, you have to include them in your content in a natural way. Keyword stuffing, now (thankfully) a thing of the past, was where keywords would be used in content repeatedly and unnaturally, leaving content almost unreadable. 

For content ideas, you should do some research of your topic area. Find out what people are searching for by putting your keywords into AlsoAsked or Answer The Public, and make content around that! Long-tail keywords (phrases rather than words) are more specific and generally easier to rank for – although they have less monthly searches, someone searching for these terms will be more likely to choose your result.

Keywords in content

When you’ve pared down your keywords and content ideas, you should create content with them! Make sure to include them in your text, but be careful not to overuse them, or you could be at risk of keyword stuffing! You can use them in social posts, website text, blogs – see more details below. 

Your chosen keyword or keywords should appear in:

  • The page title
  • The page subtitle or second heading
  • The body text
  • Alt text of images on the page 
  • The excerpt or snippet

Anchor text – this means the words you use as a hyperlink to another web page, like this. You can optimise your anchor text for SEO and keyword optimization in your content – so make sure the anchor text is relevant keywords – don’t just use ‘click here’ if it can be avoided.

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Planning to succeed!

Wow, we didn’t realise there was so much to get right about keywords! Hopefully now you have a better idea of how important keywords are, and some examples to get started doing your own keyword research.