Finding Relevant Keywords For Your Business
Whether you are building an online ads campaign or optimising your website for search engines, you need to know which keywords you are targeting. Finding the right keywords can save you money on click costs and inform what content should be on your website. In this article we’re going to cover some simple techniques you can use to find relevant keywords and how you can use those keywords in your PPC and SEO campaigns.
What is the difference between keywords and search terms?
While you’ll often see these terms used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings. The specific words and phrases that users type into the Google search box are known as search terms. Keywords are the words and phrases that you target with your ads or search engine optimisation efforts.
For example, “double glazing installer” is a keyword, but in reality, a user might search “Checkatrade double glazing installers near me”.
How to find relevant keywords
- Describe the product or service your business offers
The first step is to consider what service or product your business offers. What are all the ways that it could be described? For example, “double glazing” could also be “window glazing”.
- Consider how the average person would search for this
Consider your ideal customer and how they would find your business. Would they search for your business by name? Would they search for the name of a product or service you supply? Do they even know that your service is what they need?
Let’s follow on with our double-glazing example. Obviously, some users would just search “double glazing installers”, but others might instead be searching about a problem for which double-glazing is the solution. Therefore, a user might instead search for terms like “how to reduce traffic noise” or “how to stop heat escaping from my flat”. If you were only targeting the keyword “double glazing” you would not capture the traffic from these searches.
- Use Google Search suggestions for ideas
Keyword research tools are available but the information in these is often inaccurate. This can give you misleading data about search volume for particular keywords. In reality, you can make a huge amount of progress in your keyword research without ever leaving the Google search results page by using Google’s search suggestions.
When you type into the search bar on Google, before you click enter, you’ll notice that Google offers autocomplete suggestions for your search term. This can help you find popular search terms which include the words you have already typed. We recommend you do this on incognito mode so that your results are ‘fresh’ and not influenced by prior searches you might have made. For example, typing in “double glazing” suggests…
“double glazing installation cost”
“double glazing near me”
“double glazing repairs”
- Use “People Also Ask” suggestions
After you click enter on your search, scroll down the search engine results page (SERP). Often there will be a “people also ask” section with suggested questions. These are keyword phrases and questions related to your search topic that are searched by enough people that Google thinks it is worth putting answers to them directly on the SERP.
As an example, on a search for “double glazing” Google suggests that people also ask:
“Can you repair sealed double-glazed units?”
“Can PVC double glazing be repaired?”
“How much does it cost to replace a double-glazing pane?”
“Is it worth replacing old double glazing?”
These suggestions can form a great basis for so-called ‘long tail keywords” which are longer, more specific searches that tend to have less competition. Long tail keywords can also demonstrate a higher purchase intent. For example, “women’s shoes” will have a lot more competition than “women’s running shoes purple size 5”, even though the longer search term is more likely to lead to a sale.
While targeting generic terms is important, you should never forget about the importance of these longer, more specific search terms.
Now you have your keywords and search terms, what do you do?
If you’ve followed the steps above, you should have a list of keyword ideas you would like to target. Let’s look at how you can achieve this through either PPC or SEO.
Building a keyword list is a vital part of market research for advertising campaigns. This is because you can use your newly generated keyword list to form the basis of your PPC ads’ targeting. By showing your ads to people who are searching for keywords and questions related to your products and services, you can maximise your campaign’s effectiveness and ROI.
In addition to search keywords, most online ads platforms also allow you to add negative keywords. Your ads will not show on search queries which include your negative keywords even if they also include your targeted keywords. You can use these to exclude irrelevant searches and further refine your ads’ audience.
As an example, you could add “double glazing” as a targeted keyword, but also add “apprenticeships” as a negative so that you do not waste your ad spend on users who are looking for work rather than to spend money. With this combination in place, your ads would show for “double glazing installers near me” but not for “double glazing installer apprenticeships”.
If you would like to learn more, we have a whole blog about how to manage a successful PPC campaign.
Using your list of target keywords and search phrases, you can start to alter your website and add content which would be relevant and informative about those topics. For example, if you were trying to rank for “double glazing installers” you might add some blogs to your website answering different questions that people considering double glazing might have. Questions like “how double glazing can help you reduce your heating bills” or “do you need double glazing in your conservatory?”
These blogs will help signal to Google that your website is informative, relevant and authoritative, which in turn will help to increase your website’s rank in organic searches. However, always remember that you are writing a blog for a potential customer, not for Google. Just stuffing all your keywords in a blog won’t have any effect on your ranking if the content surrounding those keywords is not informative and well written.
If you would like to learn more, we have a blog about why SEO is important for small businesses.
We hope this has been a useful overview of some of the techniques you can use to find relevant keywords for your business, as well as some ways you can put those keywords to use.
Keyword research is just the first step in building and managing a successful PPC or SEO campaign. Knowing how to interpret results, optimise your web pages for lead generation and navigate the various ads platforms are all necessary to ensure your success.
If you would like professional help with this from PPC and SEO experts, speak to our team today.