What keywords should you use on your website to help new customers discover your business?
It sounds obvious, but most people who don’t already know your brand will discover your business by putting keywords into a search engine. And people ready to take action will typically use specific phrases with at least two, three or more keywords, often including a location.
A bit of time spent understanding what searches people are making can help with refining your on-page content, so that you stand a better chance of being found for their terms.
5 Step Crash Course in Keyword Creativity:
- Step away from the computer. Stop and think, use your experience, and brainstorm ideas – ‘If I knew nothing about my brand, what would I put into Google?’ Try it with colleagues, even customers and jot down the most interesting and popular phrases.
- Use keyword research tools, but not exclusively. We have written about Google’s free Adwords keyword Planner and others here. For the Adwords tool, put in your list of terms, select ‘exact match’ and check out the search volumes and competition rankings. Don’t assume the ones with the highest numbers will be the best – look for niche phrases that identify closely with your business (the human element), especially those with lower ‘competition’ scores. Take this information as a guide, as the results are skewed in favour of Google.
- Look for related terms – Google provides a helpful suggestions for related searches at the bottom of the Search Results page:
Or you can try to match synonyms by prefixing your search with the tilde (~) symbol. Learn how to use the tilde for related searches here. Again, when this takes you down a new path, get an idea of traffic for the most relevant terms using tools.
- Group your keywords into themes – As your list of keywords grows, start to collate them into Themes. Once more, this is largely a human thing – you might split them into brands, types, activities, locations… it really is up to you to categorise them appropriately to your business. Using an Excel spreadsheet is a very useful way of displaying the information.
- Look at your Google Analytics. It can be very tempting to look here at the start for easy keyword ideas. Don’t. Remember, these are keywords that you have already been found for. Compare these now with your home-grown research and look for correlations. Go to to your Analytics account, select a decent date range of a few months or so and visit Acquisition/Search Engine Optimisation/Queries: You can also used the advanced options box to weed out your brand name or try searching for specific keywords:
Check out the pages on your site that have visits for niche phrases and decide if the content could be enhanced further. Also use your Analytics keyword report to see what organic keywords are driving good quality visits already; the last thing you want to do is edit out top performing phrases from your content!
Use your head
The point of all this is that while keyword research does rely a great deal on logic, it still requires an element of creativity combined with common sense for successful outcomes. And when you are struggling to ‘think outside the box’ the best advice is to switch to an easy, unrelated task, giving your mind a rest and allowing the creative process to work in the background. That’s a licence to have a tea break, walk the dog, or go to the gym.