Gone are the days when you could simply go to Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and in a matter of minutes, have a list of viable keywords to choose from for your website or blog writing. Choosing keywords isn’t quite as easy as it used to be, but it’s not as difficult, either. While we may not have our favorite toy tool to generate a list for us in the blink of an eye, we find that we don’t actually need as many keywords as we used to. Confused yet? Let’s see what we can do to clear that up, shall we?
Choosing Keywords – How to
When Google stopped making the Keyword Planning Tool stop showing all the data it used to, SEO folks the world over could be heard howling. Plus, you actually had to go inside Google AdWords to find it. Google did this because the old school way of choosing keywords no longer applies. “College tuition” and “university tuition” are now considered almost one and the same, interchangeable, because of their relevancy to the topic. Keywords are chosen today on their relevancy to the content, not just to how many people use them to find the content. So, where do you go when choosing keywords? Try the following:
- The Google Adwords keyword planner is still a great place to start. It’s not the one-stop shop it used to be, but it’s still handy.
- A Google Suggestion tool, like this one. There are many to choose from, so the next time you are choosing keywords, check some of them out to find the one you find most helpful.
- Customers, site visitors, and social media fans. Why not go to the folks doing the searching for ideas? They can tell you what they’ve used to find your content, as well as what they use to find content on related topics.
Choosing Keywords – By the Numbers
For a Word Nerd like me, metrics and scores and number “stuff” can be pretty boring, sometimes scary, and always NOT up my alley. But when it comes to choosing keywords for my content, well, I’ll suffer with them just as long as I need to. Here’s the numbers you’ll need to suffer with, too, when choosing the best keywords for your firm’s content.
- Volume – You CAN find this in the Google Keyword planner in AdWords if you know HOW to look, and not just WHERE. Google isn’t really hiding this info, it just thinks sometimes that it a.) knows better than you, or b.) is waiting for you to be more specific. Remember those keywords you got from all those other sources? Those really juicy specific ones? Plug those back in to the planning tool and watch what happens. The Volume metric appears as if by magic! A good high volume means that LOTS of people are using that search term.
(Sidebar, if you please…..many of you probably stop at this point and choose the ones on your list with the highest volume. DON’T! Continue on with a few more “numbers” and you’ll be choosing keywords that are better suited to your audience and your content.)
- Difficulty – Now, this one is kind of made up, as you will be the one making this decision. Evaluate your keyword choices for how difficult, on a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 5 or whatever, that it would be to ACTUALLY rank for each keyword. The best way to gauge this is to run a simple search test. Plug in each keyword and check out the magnitude of the sites and pages on the first page of the SERP. The more major, heavy hitters you see in that SERP, the higher your difficulty rate better be. That doesn’t mean you CAN’T try with those keywords, but you’d better be choosing keywords (or at least the majority of your keywords) that actually have a chance of scoring in the rankings.
- Opportunity – You can’t JUST consider the top ten results in the SERPs anymore. You’ll be losing clicks to paid ads, Ask.com and Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, and maybe even YouTube videos. Look for these traffic thieves, too. When you see a lot of them, your Opportunity score (again, on a scale you prefer to create) had better NOT be 10/10. The more thieves you see when choosing keywords, the more keyword choices you may have to make to avoid fighting for traffic with them.
- Value – This is a score that basically looks at the worth of the business this keyword would bring to your firm. Imagine the type of searcher that would type in that keyword. Now imagine how valuable that searcher would be to your firm if they became a client. Choosing keywords based partly on value is smart business, because you will be targeting the type of people who will benefit your business the most. Rock-bottom deal-grabbers and tire-kickers need not be bothered with, because you can tailor your content around the top dollar clients that you want and need.
Choosing Keywords – It’s Up to You
it’s time for you to get busy and take it away. Drum up a good, solid list of keywords and then get busy creating content around them. If you need help, remember, we’ve got your back here at Best Legal Practices. Give us a yell and we’ll come to your rescue!