Search Engine Optimization, second only to creating a mobile responsive website, is the most common request we receive when kicking off a website project with our clients. Our great clients are all working to put their best foot forward online, and understand the need to stand out in a crowded market. But when they bring SEO up, we can tell instantly that they approach the topic with significant apprehension, combined with a dash of confusion.
While our clients understand SEO’s importance, they are barraged by various services and schemes that promise outrageous results only to be, really, advertising programs in disguise. We can see why they are confused about which way to turn. Or where to start, for that matter.
This is such a shame. SEO is complicated, true, but there are so many ways to leverage SEO to benefit your entire business once you understand how.
Looking at your website through the user’s eyes
First of all, it’s important to remember that the best way to be successful at SEO is to put your website users first. You want to build a site that:
- Loads easily, and prioritizes mobile phones when it comes to coding structure (since the majority of searches are now done on phones).
- Has a code structure that has been set up to be easily scanned by search engines and social media platforms.
- Uses images that load quickly, and a site structure that is organized intuitively.
- Has text and content that is easy to read, with lots of relevant detail and organized with titles and sections.
These all make the SEO algorithms happy because they are best for the user. But let’s take this logic a step farther: since search engines prioritize the user, the tools that support SEO prioritize information that matter to the user. So – you can leverage these advanced tools to provide strategic information for your business. A great example of this: keyword analysis.
If you haven’t used it before, keyword analysis is the process by which you research what search terms (aka keywords) users enter into the search engines. These keywords are the backbone of SEO. It is amazing how many users will use the same keywords when searching, so it’s very easy to start picking up trends. And there is a lot of data on them: it’s estimated that 91% of internet users are searching for something every day. Search engines catalog every single search, and sort those keywords by region and frequency.
Keyword Analysis benefits extend beyond the website
Again, let’s think about this. If you are a business that sells car parts, for instance, wouldn’t you want to know what car parts the general public is searching for? Keyword analysis is the way to find that out. If you are doing a lot of keyword analysis, there are great services to help you like Raven Tools and Moz Pro. But for small businesses, the free Keyword Planner from Google works just fine. You can run a report for free in just a few minutes to see how many users are searching for “windshield wipers” in any geographical area.
A business can use keyword analysis to see:
- What aspects of your products do users want information on most?
- Are there any product or service ideas that users are looking for that you don’t offer? These are perfect new product opportunities.
- Are there any seasonal variations on searches? You might want to adjust your product line and inventory accordingly.
- How is your brand talked about online? Is it positive or negative? Have any reviews been posted? This is an important step in managing your online reputation.
- Is there any misleading information about your products circulating? If users are searching with keywords that aren’t factual, you can work on correcting that information and head off any problems down the road.
- What topics might be most helpful to users on your social media accounts? You can build your reputation by supplying the information they need, when they need it.
- And, of course: does your website contain the information that users are looking for? Keyword analysis will make that very plain.
The bottom line: keyword analysis provides great insight into what users are thinking, and what they are getting ready to act on. It helps you get into the mind of past, current and potential customers to grow your business and serve them better.