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Those who are new to the practice of search engine optimization (SEO) might believe that attracting site visitors is dependent on luck. In reality, driving traffic to your website takes some know-how, and a few key tools to place your products or services in front of the right audience members.
One of the best ways to begin building your SEO strategy is to compile a list of possible keywords that people might use when searching for a website like yours, as well as any variations. Having a keyword list can inform your content strategy, as working these keywords into your blog posts can render your site more search engine friendly, ranking it higher in results.
Before diving into how to create a keyword list, it’s important to understand the role that keywords play in SEO.
SEO is the process of driving customers to your site from their internet searches.
For example, imagine that a prospective customer is in need of new shoes, and types “running shoes” into Google’s search bar. If you’re in the footwear business, you should include the term “running shoes” within your website content. When Google scans the web, looking for websites that are relevant to “running shoes,” your site will be included within the results.
Anticipating which keywords your audience might use in their searches for sites similar to your own empowers you to lead them directly to your site. This is where a target keyword list comes in handy.
If you’ve gone fishing, you know that different baits are needed for certain fish. The same concept applies to keywords and potential customers. Different users have different ways of searching for the same things.
Using the previous running shoe example, what if a different customer searches for “sneakers” or “gym shoes” instead?
This is why it’s important to compile a keyword list that covers various potential search terms that might apply to a particular product or piece of content.
So, how can you possibly generate an effective keyword list if there are so many variations and options?
Besides jotting down every possible combination of words that customers might use when looking for a site like yours, consider using tools that can help you determine which words to include in your content.
One of the most fundamental methods is typing a keyword (or a variation of it) into Google, and reviewing what automated predictions are generated.
You can also refer to websites that suggest content ideas based on a keyword of your choosing, like Answer The Public.
Additionally, there are various SEO tools available that let you preview how your page will display within Google search results.
Using a target keyword list can be a powerful way to direct potential customers and clients directly to your website. Make sure that keywords are used tastefully in your content. Overusing or “stuffing” content with too many keywords can actually be detrimental to your SEO, as search engines will view your pages as spammy instead of resourceful.
Anticipate the words and terms that prospective customers might use in their searches and work them into your content. Once they land on your website, make sure you present them with a visually pleasing and user-friendly experience that truly wins them over.
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