[This blog post is part of the Ultimate-Guide-to-Launching-a-Wordpress-Powered-Website-For-Your-Small-Business Series. Check out the rest here!]
One of the most important tasks that is often overlooked which you should do before building your WordPress Website is keyword research. In order to driver traffic to your website you will want to make sure to target the correct keywords. The correct keywords being search terms that users are actually looking for, that is typing in Google’s search engine (or other search engines for that matter).
To go about doing keyword research wisely, you will want to decide upon which keywords you want to target. The effective use of keyword research can mean the difference between a website that climbs the search engine listings, has thousands of visitors each day and generates an excellent revenue and a website that goes unnoticed.
If you are a local business, such as a roofing company, you will want to focus on terms that are related to your local area plus the search term. For instance, “Edmonton Roofing” or “Edmonton Roofer.”
In order to do this you can use Google’s Free Keyword Tool, which will give you a fairly accurate idea of the amount of search volume you can expect. In order to access Google’s tool go to https://adwords.google.com and you will be brought to a screen which looks like this:
Some things to note when using the tool. Enter your keywords that you want to do keyword research for in the box titled “word or phrase.” In case you want to narrow your search results down you’ll want to check the box “only show ideas related to my search terms” keep in mind that when doing this you will keep a much shorter but possibly more targeted list for your keyword results. Personally I would leave it unchecked for the first search and see what results are displayed and narrow it down further from there.
You’ll also want make sure that if you are targeting a specific location, as I have with this search term example of “Edmonton Roofing” that you select the specific region under the “Advanced Options” menu as displayed below (since I’m from Edmonton, AB, Canada, I made sure that I chose “Canada” for my search results).
Also note that you can even narrow down your search results according to certain devices, for instance, if you are wanting to see the search volume for mobile devices you can simply select the appropriate menu item from the drop down menu “Show Ideas and Statistics for”
There is also a keyword research filter for Competition, Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. Since I’m using targeting a local niche, I tend to leave the setting at Local Monthly Searches as I want to get an idea of what search volume I can expect for a local business owner.
You’ll then have to fill out a captcha form in order to see the tools search results (however, if you have create a Google Adwords account you won’t have to do so) upon which you should get a page that looks like this (However there will be more results as I took a partial screen shot of the page):
You’ll notice from this example that there is a strong search volume for “Edmonton Roofing” and a fair amount of search volume for “Edmonton roofer” and “Edmonton Roof Repair” but no registered search volume for “Edmonton Roofing Company” or “Edmonton Commercial Roofing” thus the last two keywords would be a waste of time and money to target (I hope you’re beginning to see the value of keyword research).
However, upon further investigation I have discovered that for the keyword “roofing in Edmonton” there are 3600 local searches and for “Edmonton Roofing Companies” there are 390 searches, so these two terms would be worthwhile to go after (I say this based on the knowledge of what a roofers profit margins are and what the conversions of traffic could be).
Various studies have shown that the top three websites in the search results get 90 percent of the clicks, and that the number one search result gets 50% of the clicks so based on the keyword research done here an Edmonton Roofing Company could expect to get approximately 6125 monthly visitors to their site.
In in the online information niche, most marketers expect to get a 1% conversion, so a roofer could expect to get about 60 extra jobs a month. Again, based on the profit margins for a roofer this is would be a good seo campaign to implement (while I haven’t yet tested it, I would hope to get a higher conversion rate than this but 1% is staying on the conservative side).
That being said, Google’s Keyword tool will only show you the search volume, it will not show you how hard it will be to rank for that term nor what the strength of the online competition looks like. For that, I highly recommend that you use the keyword tool, Market Samurai. I’ve been using Market Samurai since 2006 and find it to be an invaluable tool. You can get a Free 7 day trial by visiting the Market Samurai Website and downloading a copy of the software. You won’t be disappointed. Below you’ll see a screen shot of the kind of data that Market Samurai provides:
That being said, there are other Free Tools Available such as SEO Books Keyword Tool. SEO book is a website that was started by Aaron Wall. The website started out as an SEO ebook but has evolved into a full blown SEO membership resource website with a forum and a large knowledge database on the latest SEO strategies (as well as timeless strategies that still work) and a plethora of SEO Tools. The SEO Book Keyword tool is powered by Word Tracker, a premium keyword service that will help you better identify keywords to target in your niche.
When doing keyword research it is best to use several different tools. The value of using multiple sources is that you can get a more realistic idea of the amount of traffic that you are going to encounter by comparing the results from the different resources.
Factors to decide which keywords to target include a high enough search volume that will justify the investment to implement an SEO campaign. You do not want to target keywords that do not have any search volume. For instance, do not try to simply think of words off the top of your head and then try to rank for them. Make sure that the keywords that you are wanting to target are search terms that people are actually typing into Google search engine. I can’t stress this enough as if you start to build your site without doing keyword research you could waste a lot of time and money.
You will want to look for 5-7 keywords to target as you will want to use these keywords as your blog categories on your WordPress website. You will then be compiling articles that are related to those search terms that you have chosen. For instance, I have built the site at www.edmontonroofingpros.com and the keyword categories are “Edmonton Roofing Tips,” “Edmonton Roof Repair,” “Edmonton Flat Roofing” and “Edmonton Roofing Companies” All are keywords that local Edmonton residents are typing into Google in which an Edmonton Roofer would want to target. The search volume is high enough and the competition low enough that it would be profitable to start an SEO campaign.
So what keyword tools do you use or do you have any questions about keyword research? If so please leave a comment below.