Finding profitable keywords for your website isn’t the most glamorous part of SEO, but it’s by far the most necessary. Keyword research is a dry, data driven task but it does provide a window into what your customers are looking for. They’re the written evidence of people’s curiosity and behaviours.
So how are the best keywords chosen?
It starts with having an idea of the general types of terms a potential customer is going to search for. Here’s an example to demonstrate, pretend you’re a plumber in Miami, there will be some pretty obvious terms customers will use such as “plumbing repair Tampa”. While that’s a decent keyword it’s also an inspiration for what we call “long tail keywords”. Long tail keywords usually have fewer searches but are better at conveying buyer intent. Using the plumbing example again a long tail keyword would be “best plumbing company in Miami”.
Why longtail keywords?
A couple of reasons, the first being that potential customers using longer phrases for search know exactly what they want and they’re pretty decisive about it. Ultimately they generate better conversions. If someone Googles the term “plumbing repair” you don’t know if they are looking for a plumber or instructions on how to fix their own plumbing. On the other hand if someone Googles the term “emergency plumber Miami with 24hr service” they are looking for a plumber now.
The second reasons longtail keywords are so valuable is they are easier to rank and they have less competition. It is far easier to rank three or four long tail terms than it is to rank for “plumber Miami”. Since they often convey commercial intent and they are quicker and easier to show up in the search results for longtails are the golden goose of keyword research.
Coming up with longtail keywords.
To come up with a set of longtail keywords of your own there are a couple of ways to approach this, many SEO agencies will use paid tools to do keyword research. This isn’t really necessary you can work without them and many keyword tools aren’t that great. To do it on your own, take your smaller keywords “plumber Miami” and try and come up with about 20 different longtails a customer might use to do a search. You can get some help or inspiration from the “related searches” found at the bottom of the results page.
Finding profitable keywords is the secret sauce to any SEO campaign and it’s a skill that every SEO agency should have in their arsenal of tools. If you’re still stuck on finding longtail keywords here’s a video that uses the Google keyword planner to help you out.