Last week’s post showed how the WordPress SEO plugin Yoast tells you how well optimised your WordPress page is. This article looks in more detail at Keyword research for your WordPress website because it’s entirely possible to have a perfectly optimised page with zero visitors! To prevent this happening, you need to choose effective keywords. Keyword research is the process you follow to choose these keywords, and make sure they are the same as those your target audience is using. This is important, as there is no point optimising a page for words that no one ever uses. This article outlines five steps for conducting effective keyword research.
1. Define your business purpose
Ask yourself: What do you do? What kind of work do you want to be known for now and in the future? What makes your business unique? What is your niche? The answers to these questions will almost certainly suggest some good starting keywords.
2. Keyword research for your WordPress website – a keyword list
Using your business purpose as a guide, brainstorm as many keywords as you can. Remember – keywords can also be short phrases, e.g. ‘accountancy services’, ‘tax advice’. Google these keywords and look at the suggestions that appear at the bottom of the results page – this will give you more ideas. You can also use tools such as Thesaurus.com to find synonyms for your keywords.
3. Create long tail keywords
Now you have a basic list, think about how to make your keywords more specific. For example, limit them by market segment or geographic location: ‘accountancy services Newcastle upon Tyne’. Specific keywords like this are known as ‘long tail keywords’. They are less common, and often used by consumers who already know what they are want and are ready to buy. This makes them much more useful as keywords.
Two free tools that generate long tail keywords are Yoast Suggest and Ubersuggest. Type in your keyword idea to their suggestion box, and take your pick from the resulting list. A more in-depth tool is the Google Keyword Planner, primarily meant for Google AdWord users this can be used by anyone who has a Google account.
4. Test for effectiveness
The aim here is to get into the minds of your potential clients: What are they looking for? What search terms will they use? To test if your keywords are on the right lines, you can simply Google them. If the websites that show up are your competitors, then you are likely choosing the right words.
However, you will also want to select the best words to make you stand out from the competition. One free tool that will help you do this is Google Trends, which compares the traffic for different sets of keywords. For example, you can see how keywords using synonyms perform compared to each other, e.g. ‘accounting advice’ vs ‘accounting consultancy’. Another tool is Wordtracker. The free version only gives data for a limited number of keywords, but it shows the level of competition for each word, and provides the KEI – Keyword Effectiveness Index.
5. Create separate pages/posts for each keyword
Now you have a list of relevant, effective keywords, create a separate page or post for each keyword. The more important keywords, which are closer to your mission statement, should feature on pages higher up in your site structure. More specific keywords should appear further down your site structure.
There are more detailed activities you can do to improve your keyword research, but this should be enough to begin seeing results with Keyword research for your WordPress website. Happy researching!
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