Any strategy of natural SEO requires, first of all, an important work on the keywords that best define your professional activity or the theme of your site. And for good reason, because search engines, whether they are Google, Yahoo or Bing, rely largely on the keywords contained in a page to make it appear in their results. And for the place allocated to be the best possible, it is not enough to stuff the latter with key expressions.
Generic, brand name and long tail, what is an SEO keyword?
The keyword or key phrase is the basis of any SEO optimization of the site itself (on-site referencing).
Indeed, every day, billions of pages are published, modified or updated. These normally contain quality editorial content that allows them to appear according to the terms typed by internet users in their preferred search engine. This is called a request.
The work of specialists in SEO is to identify the terms related to your activity and able to :
- allow visitors to find a product or service you are marketing
- find the information they need on your site
- find your company
- Among the most relevant keywords are obviously your brand, but also all those for which you are a distributor.
Keywords or generic terms
The keyword or generic term has a very broad scope, such as ” SEO ” or “advertising agency” for example. The results for such queries are frequently in millions. However, they are fundamental because they accurately describe your professional activity. On the other side of the coin, they are often very competitive and require a lot of effort to be well positioned on the front page.
The long tail
Unlike the keyword or phrase, the long tail is more like a piece of a sentence. This is what has been called in natural SEO since 2004.
Example: if “sports shoes” is a key phrase, “men’s sport black and yellow scratch shoes” is a long-tailed request.
The latter is obviously more precise, but also much less competitive. It is, therefore, easier to position yourself there, but also to benefit from an even better-targeted visibility. Internet users arriving on a site thanks to the long tail are therefore logically more likely to become prospects or potential clients.
How to find the “right” keywords and define your SEO strategy?
Keywords or “keyword” are therefore essential to the development of any good natural SEO strategy. But how do we find the most relevant ones? What criteria must they meet?
What criteria should be met by “good” keywords?
Beyond the simple SEO aspect which is far from negligible, a “good” keyword is one which is the perfect compromise between four imperatives :
- have a maximum of monthly requests
- be as competitive as possible
- best define the company’s activity or the site’s theme
- to trigger an intention on the part of the user. This intention can for example be commercial (online sales) or informative (request for an estimate, contact, subscription to a newsletter, etc.)
- Keyword stuffing, a practice to be avoided
- A text containing as many keywords as possible is therefore essential to maximize the chances of appearing on the first Google page. Not scrupulous of Google guidelines, some did not hesitate to fill their pages with terms in order to artificially improve their SEO performance.
This technique is known as ” keyword stuffing”, or the accumulation of keywords. Rather than providing quality content to their visitors, with a balanced insertion of important terms, thus harmonising the editorial and technical, keyword stuffing enthusiasts form whole paragraphs of keywords or city names (for the local SEO)
However, since 2011 and the deployments notably of Google Panda and Google Penguin, such practice black hat systematically incurs a penalty of SEO. At best, this results in a very large loss of positioning or even a total crowding out of the serps.
Keywords in urls: is it important?
As early as 2010, Google indicated that the insertion of keywords in a URL could be of interest from an SEO perspective.
However, this possibility should not become a keyword jam in a URL, as the search giant can then interpret it as spam and a desire to manipulate search results.
Without neglecting this opportunity, Google was already making it clear at the time that it is far more sensible to offer interesting and well-constructed SEO and commercial content to its visitors.
Since each company is unique, it is obviously not possible to go into the details of a keyword audit here. However, in broad terms, this systematically includes :
- Use phrases rather than a single word. Indeed, internet users are essentially typing queries in the style of “SEO New York agency certified Google Partners” rather than simply “SEO agency”. On the other hand, the conversion rate of an internet user into a customer or prospect is more important when the latter has made a specific request.
- exploit statistics and other data in your possession (Google Analytics, etc.)
- analyse the research volumes and the competitive aspect of the selected terms
- analysis and competitive intelligence
- track the evolution of the search volume for given expressions to anticipate trends. A reactivity that allows you to take advantage of emerging markets
And don’t forget to cover the rest of your potential audience. Familiarize yourself with the location of your business. Simply add a part of your physical location (e.g. city, town or region) to your best keyword choices. Targeting even more targeted customers, your company will surely benefit from a region-specific SEO keyword optimization. And don’t forget to spend time for your local ads both on Google and everywhere else to get an even higher ranking in the SERPs to start dominating your local market once and for all.
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