As part of our July focus on search engine optimization, we put together a 10-step tip sheet entitled the ‘Simplified SEO Roadmap.‘
The idea being that, while SEO is a seemingly daunting subject for those of us not well-versed in algorithms, search engines and web crawlers (No? Not you either?), its misconception as a far-too-complicated area of modern marketing has lasted far too long.
Like any other platform or tactic in the digital marketing realm, SEO is in fact very easily learned and executed. Time and time again we’ve seen the smallest of brands and earliest of startups make enormous inroads in their search rankings by simply learning and implementing the fundamentals, and growing from there.
Just as if you were doubling down on your LinkedIn Business Page as a key piece of your marketing mix, it would take a few weeks to lay the groundwork and see some early results and return, before further iterating and adding onto your plan.
As diehard digital nerds and skill-building providers, we are on a mission to debunk the myth that SEO is reserved for a select few, and that it’s the one area of your marketing strategy that should in fact be outsourced to a genius, for an unknown amount of time, for a small fortune of cash, for promises of *Page 1 search placement… (*but only with the most random search query that no potential customer would actually use.)
It’s time we all stepped up our search game, spoke the language of SEO just as we do the Instagram and the Facebook, and firmly establish our footing inside the golden gates of search.
Step #1 in the Simplified SEO Roadmap has to do with keywords, and the research that goes into ensuring you’re using the right ones. Keywords are the backbone of SEO, and not to be overlooked or ignored one moment longer.
But first things first. What exactly are keywords, anyway? And long-tail vs. short? What the actual SEO are we talking about here?
Quite simply, keywords are the words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. A website that is ‘well optimized for SEO’ speaks the same language as its potential visitor base with terms that tell the search engine what your site is about, and in turn help connect searchers to it.
A long tail keyword is a search query that falls within the ‘long tail’ of the search demand curve. These are keywords with a low monthly search volume, but higher probability of conversion (i.e. click-through) thanks to their specificity. They are generally longer, more detailed phrases rather than individual words.
Short tail keywords, on the other hand, are search queries comprised of no more than two or three words, and refer to broad topics rather than specific ones. For example, ‘running shoes’ is a short tail keyword, while ‘best women’s running shoes for summer’ is a long tail.
The ‘research’ side of the keyword puzzle is the practice of identifying terms that search engine users enter when looking for products, services or general info.
Keyword research is an integral piece of SEO, because we need to understand the questions, pain points and solutions people are experiencing and seeking prior to being able to implement those same words and phrases into our web content.
If we do this well and often, we are effectively optimizing our site to be seen by search engines, and then ‘served up’ in search results to potential customers.
And while we’ve been talking about these tools for eons (and you’re likely to have heard them tossed around as well, while adding them to your ever-growing and increasingly overwhelming list of ‘marketing must-do’s’), the fact is they are now more important than ever.
Companies around the globe continue to expand their online presence while barriers to entry and international markets are reduced or erased, leading to increased competition across the board. Getting seen in search, like social, is becoming harder for the average business. Utilizing the right keywords throughout our website, social channels, and content on the whole is ever more imperative, and the key to showing up when queried.
Lo and behold, we’re going to scale this peak together through our July Masterclass, called ‘Killer Keywords: How to Find and Implement Them in Your Content Mix.’
Not only will it walk you through the best (free!) keyword research tools of our time, but we will demonstrate the process of locating and mapping the ones you should be using. Finally, we’re going to activate them live. This includes dropping them into our content calendars as blog titles and social posts, sliding them onto our websites as page titles and descriptions, and swapping them into our existing site imagery as file names and alt tags.
Join us for a game-changing SEO workshop on July 22, and leave with a keyword map that highlights the top search queries you need to be addressing in the months ahead, plus a plan for continuous search ranking rise from there.