I won’t make you read the whole article to get the point that SEO starts with keyword research. That’s right Keyword Research, not meta tags, not title or header tricks, not link building, not even site map submission. It starts with Keyword Research. I have consistently found that our customers would like be at the top of google’s search page, but often have no clue what terms they would like to return first in… let me give a fictional dialogue, between DrIST Coach Consulting (DCC) and a fictional Auto Body Company (FABC), to illustrate my point.
We really need to improve our SEO and search ranking so that we can get more people to our website! (Sound familiar)
Awesome, we would love to help you with that. Do you have any idea which keywords people are using relevant to your line of work?
I just want to make sure that we return at the top of Google’s list when people search for us
Search for you how? Using your companies name?
Yeah that’s a good start.
Would you also like your customers to find you searching for other terms? Like maybe Local Auto Body Shops?
That would be awesome!
Ok well we need to start by identifying the terms that you think people might be using to find your company and then we also need figure out what terms are searched more often so that we can get you the best return on your SEO investment.
That sounds like a lot of work, I really just want to be at the top of Google when people search for the company
This is the part where our consultants refrain from slapping their forehead and repeat the above conversation.
Proper SEO within a website will help to direct potential customers/clients to pages which provide information which a potential customer/client finds relevant and useful. In other words proper SEO helps people find the proper website. Improper or SPAM SEO will never provide lasting results. It is literally Google’s job to make sure that hacked SEO rankings get demoted. This is why Google retains so many users; they help users find what they are looking for! It’s simple and brilliant; help people find what they want and they’ll love you for it. Ergo, help people who are looking for you find you.
Keyword research helps you to identify specific terms that you can use to target potential clients. Keyword research also lets you identify what terms are already highly competitive and what terms are less competitive. By targeting the less competitive terms you can increase your SEO ROI efforts. Let me ground that in a specific example. In the image shown above I am using Google’s Keyword Tool (available here) to research how often people search for the terms “SEO Consultant” and/or “SEO Consulting”. What I found very interesting is that these terms were searched for a fair number of times but other terms like SEO company were fair more competitive. This is great news for me if I want to develop pages that will be returned high on Google’s search rank for “SEO Consultant”. Because my site offers “SEO Consulting” and I am an “SEO Consultant” I don’t have to worry about users coming to my site searching for those terms and being disappointed. I just need to make sure that use the other tools discussed on this site to make sure my site is as SEO friendly as possible.