A Content Writer’s Guide to Website Keywords

When it comes to choosing website keywords, it isn’t just about finding the phrase with a high volume. Read on to learn what to consider when choosing keywords.

content writers guide to website keywords

Wondering how to choose your website keywords?

Did you know the advent of Hummingbird, Google’s newest algorithm overhaul, has changed the face of SEO? Before Google released it, keyword stuffing was still a popular technique. A lot’s changed since then.

Google has been working to combat black hat techniques, rolling out 500 to 600 algorithm updates a year. Most of those updates are small tweaks, but a few, like RankBrain, will change the landscape for years to come. With it, Google began AI to their algorithm recipe.

How does this affect you?

In all sorts of ways. The primary being your approach to keywords needs to change. With Hummingbird, Google now understands the context of keywords and links. They even understand topics.

When you’re ready to learn the modern approach to keyword research, read on.

Finding a Niche Topic

If your old approach began with you heading to Google Keyword Planner (GKP), throw it out. GKP focuses all its efforts on a single keyword, and build out from there. We’re going to expand your horizons.

Let’s say, you own an online business which sells primarily hiking boots. You head on over to GKP to see if you can find any ideas for target keywords. When you get there, you plug in the word hiking boots and come up with the following:

  • Girls’ hiking boots
  • Men’s hiking boots
  • Brown hiking boots size 11
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • And so on

Notice how each of the above builds upon the core keyword “hiking boot?” That’s the way GKP functions. But you don’t have to be limited by that narrow-minded thinking.

Yes, you’re building content to get more customers, but that’s a process. Marketing is a process. The buyer’s journey is a process.

A large part of that requires building trust. You want potential customers to read one article. Then you want them to come back and read another and another.

That’s the way you build brand recognition. It’s also the way you build trust and set yourself as an authority in your field. When you do that, customers will be flocking to you.

The best way to do that is to think non-linearly. This is where we lowly humans have the advantage over our silicon counterparts. Take a look at the list of keywords we came up with when we saw hiking boots:

  • Mountain climbing
  • Camping Trips
  • Athletes foot
  • Hiking backpacks
  • And so on

We can still take these and plug these into GKP to come up with a variety of longer keywords. Even though these keywords are only indirectly related to the wares you sell, they’re directly relevant to the needs of your audience. That’s why they’ll read them.

The more you understand your audience, the better you’ll be discovering appropriate topics and keywords. Think beyond what you sell. Think about what your potential customers want.

Research Tools for Website Keywords

Please don’t think we’re suggesting you avoid using the fantastic tools that are available. No. Take advantage of those powerful resources, but don’t rely on them alone. First, take a look at the big picture.

Who is your audience? Narrow that down with laser precision. The more you know about them, the easier it’ll be to build content they actually want.

That builds trust and authority, as well as leads to higher conversions. In turn, you receive a bigger paycheck. Everyone wins.

Are there holes in your competitors’ content? If you don’t know what kind of content your competitors are dishing out, it’s time to learn. With services like those offered by Semrush, you can see the type of content your competitors are pushing out.

Then you can cheat. Look for areas they haven’t covered but are still relevant to your subject. You can also pick a few of their most popular posts and steal their core keywords.

After you’ve done that, it’s time to skip over and utilize some of those keyword research tools. Here’s our list of favorites:

With these tools, you can discover longer keyword phrases like those listed for GKP in the previous section. You can also discover a variety of metrics:

  • Average monthly searches
  • Amount of competition
  • Number of clicks
  • Number of Impressions
  • Average cost per click
  • And so on

This information is essential. But these tools shouldn’t be used until the middle of your keyword planning process. If you also plan to use Adwords for your advertising campaign, we’ll walk you through the process in our Ultimate 2018 Google Adwords Guide.

Lesser Known Strategies

Here are a few strategies the pros use to help them through the process. Remember, the less linear your thinking, the more keywords and topics you’ll come up with.

Forums and boards

There’s no better place to start your audience research than the places they hang out. Forums and boards are where they go to complain, get advice, and share solutions. If you want to understand your audience read what they’re saying.

They’ll tell you exactly what they want to read about. The above are two popular sites outside your typical social media channels.

Idea Generators

These sites are idea generators. Punch in your subject, and the site will return some inventive alternative topics and keywords.

You can also use the following sites to discover related topics and keywords. In Wikipedia, type in the subject. Then look at the content listed by section.

Do any of the section headings offer new ideas? If not, head to the bottom of the page to the “External links” section. See any new ideas here?

For the Google Search Results, you’ll need to punch your query into Google. After you reach the search engine results page, scroll all the way to the bottom. What you’ll find is a section titled “Searches related to” your topic.

What’s Next?

Once you get the hang of this new approach to finding website keywords, you’ll never go back. Start with your audience and think non-linearly. It’ll revolutionize your process.

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