How to find the most important SEO keywords for your business
In this post we’re going to look at the Google Search Console and how you can easily leverage this free SEO tool to find your most important keywords, reveal the actual terms people use to find your business online and the easy wins you can make right now to virtually guarantee higher rankings and more traffic.
Why keywords are important
The success of your website and consequently your business is directly related to the amount of clicks or traffic it receives.
SEO refers to the task of reviewing your website and optimising it so your site becomes more readily seen by customers. Optimising your website should, if done correctly, increase your website’s rating. Meaning when a potential customer conducts a google search your webpage is found on the listings of the first page not the sixth.
A key part of the SEO process is identifying keywords that when added to your website will drive your business website up the rankings. People looking for a particular service will often type similar keywords into a search engine such as Google. In this article we are going to discuss ways of identifying those commonly used keywords and combining them such that your business registers on the first page of an internet search.
Defining your most important SEO keywords the easy way
In very general terms keywords should be a collection of broad terms combined with narrow terms to specifically select out your business. For example if you run a beauty salon in London.
The broad term would be London and a narrow term would be beauty. The search Engine combines the two keywords and will list all websites that have a keyword London and beauty.
However, there are likely to be many sites that have these keywords. So to narrow the search even further we can add a third term, this could be a particular beauty procedure (dermal filler) or a more specific location (Mayfair).
Arguably the keyword beauty becomes redundant as we have dermal filler. So our final three keywords could be ‘London, Mayfair, Dermal Filler’.
However, Dermal Filler is very specific and would attract only people who wanted that specific procedure – Dermal Filling. So an alternate approach would be to retain Beauty and combine with London and Mayfair. These keywords would attract people who were interested in general beauty procedures around their geographical location – Mayfair.
Broad keywords vs narrow, which are best?
As you can see, the skill of selecting keywords is finding the right balance of words, both broad and narrow, so that your business comes top of the ranking.
There are a range of resources available to help you in this work, but by far the most powerful is the Google Search Console. It can both allow you to find keywords that your site is ranking for (i.e., keywords that people are already commonly using) and identify new keywords that could potentially improve your rating.
In this guide we will show you how to do this. There are three parts
1) Understanding the basics
2) Setting the parameters and identifying historical data and
3) Identifying Valuable Keywords.
Using Google Search Console to understand your keywords
The first step is to login to the Google Search Engine (GSO) and click on the button marked ‘Performance’.
This will bring up a table showing the Clicks/Impressions graph and above that are four boxes; Total clicks, Total impressions, Average CTR and Average position.
These terms show you how your site is performing in Google Search.
Total clicks is how many times a user clicked through to your site. How this is counted depends on the search result type.
Total impressions is how many times a user saw a link to your site in search results.
This is calculated differently for images and other search result types, depending on whether or not the result was scrolled into view.
Average CTR (Click Through Rate) is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
Average position is the average position of your site in search results, based on its highest position whenever it appeared in a search. Individual page position is available in the table below the chart.
Note: If you are receiving search traffic from other sites (Google Discover or Google News) you will find multiple performance reports separated into either Search results, Discover, or News.
These tabs will be found directly underneath the Performance tab. Click on these aforementioned tabs to obtain the relevant data.
Where to find the good stuff
Below the Clicks/Impressions graph are your website’s existing ranked keywords. These keywords are ranked for Clicks (how many times a user clicked through to your site) and next to that Impressions (how many times a user saw a link to your site in search results).
These terms are important as they give you valuable information on how your website is performing, and importantly how to improve it.
Refining your keyword data
However, before you analyse the information you need to set some basic parameters. Above the four boxes (Total clicks etc) are two lozenge-type buttons. The first ‘Search type’ should be set to Web. Usually this is the default setting, and the lozenge should say ‘Search type: Web’.
The lozenge next to it is entitled ‘Date’. By default this is usually set to three months (‘Date: Last 3 months’). It is sensible to get a longer historical view of the data and if you click on the Date lozenge you can select 12 or 16 months. Once you have selected your date range click Apply.
Exporting your info
To enable analysis of the data it’s customary to export the information to a spreadsheet format. First click the ‘Export’ tab in the very top right hand part of your screen. You will see a range of options to export to a range of formats, CSV, excel or Google Sheets.
Clicking on the Google Sheets option will allow us to export the data into the Google software for sorting and filtering of keywords.
Once you have exported your data file, open it up in the associated software package. In this case Google Sheets.
Filter for best results
Once opened the spreadsheet will have 5 column headers; Top queries, Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Position. The first step is to create a filter for the spreadsheet. On Google Sheets this is done highlighting all the data and then clicking on the Data tab and clicking create filter.
The second step is to sort your keyword table by the impressions column such that your high impressions keywords are at the top of the table.
Identifying your most valuable SEO keywords
Now you have filtered and sorted your data you can find it’s time to locate your most valuable keywords.
Find your page one ranking keywords
Your page one ranking keyword is the keyword that has your website ranking on the first page of a Google search. To find this keyword set a filter on the position column to values that are equal to or less than 10. The next step is to go through the list and identify keywords with a high impression rate that are relevant to your website.
After identifying the keywords, check for other words that are listed but are not on your website. It’s likely most of the keywords will already be listed on your website but if you can identify a few that are not used this could boost your rating further. These new keywords need to be included in your SEO process.
You can further identify key keywords by analysing the CTR. Hence your number one keyword will have a high ranking, high impression rate and high CTR.
Find your easy-win keywords
These are keywords that rank your website between the top 10 and 20 positions on a google search, i.e., page 2 of the search.
As before use the filter function to identify data but on this occasion, the parameters should be set to between 10 and 20.
Go through the steps described above and highlight the keywords that have a ranking between 10 and 20, a high impression rate and a high CTR.
Find new keyword opportunities
Adding new keywords can further increase that rating of your website. To identify such words, go back to your spreadsheet and remove all the filters. Then manually look for words that you have not highlighted already and are directly relevant to your business. Again, these words will have a high ranking, a high impression rate and a high CTR. After identification, you can incorporate these words into your website.
Using your new found SEO keywords
Now that you have all that information at your fingertips, the next step is to decide on the keywords you want to rank better for. This is up to you, but considerations might include how well you already perform for a keyword or search term, how many clicks you already receive for that term or how important (relevant) you think the keyword is to your business.
Create a list of these and you try to incorporate them into your website. Here are a few ideas on how to improve your website for valuable keywords:
- Go back to existing pages and look to re-optimise them by using the keyword in your text, image titles and meta data, (check out our free guide to onpage SEO here)
- Create blog posts or news articles targeting just one or two of the keywords from your list
- Create standalone landing pages for your most important keywords, with a focus on converting viewers into new customers
- Publish an FAQ page. FAQ pages are very useful for SEO because they allow you to focus on as many keywords as you like, answer real life questions and show your company as an authority.
- Use new keywords in your social media profiles and on your Google Business page. Where possible, with a link to the relevant page back on your website.
Want your website to rank higher for more of the keywords and search terms important to your business?
If you understand the importance of ranking above your competitors and growing your business online, but don’t have the time or skill set to do the work yourself, why not book a free online consultation with one of our bespoke marketing experts. We’ve been helping ambitious businesses succeed online since 2008!
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