SEO, or search engine optimisation, is one of the best ways for you to raise your business’ profile online. And as we talked about in our previous blog post about SEO writing, keywords are essential to your SEO strategy, boosting organic traffic to your website. Today, we’ll take a closer look at keywords. You’ll find out what makes a good organic keyword, where to find them, and how to best use them. Let’s get started.
What are organic keywords?
Organic keywords are strings of words you can use in your website copy to attract website visitors. For example, if you sell shoes, you might want to target a keyword like “running shoes” and add it to product descriptions, URLs and meta descriptions. This way, when people search for running shoes on a search engine, your website is more likely to appear on the first page of search results.
The internet is a crowded place, and it can be hard to stand out. Utilising long-tail keywords is one way to optimise your content. The keyword “running shoes” is very broad and highly competitive - lots of businesses will be fighting for the top spot for a keyword like this, including multinational companies with in-house SEO teams.
However, if you make your keyword more targeted and “niche”, you’ll have less competition and are likelier to appear at the top of search results. For example, you might want to target something like “eco-friendly running shoes” or “running shoes for wide feet”. There won’t be as many people searching for that specific keyword variation, but it’ll be much easier to get to the top and get the searchers’ attention. Longer keywords like this are known as long-tail keywords.
Something else you need to consider when building your organic keyword list is search intent. This means the reason someone searches for a specific keyword on Google. Are they looking for more information about a topic? Comparing options? Are they ready to buy? Being able to answer this question will help you create irresistible website copy.
Search intent is something you can find on many paid keyword research tools, but you can also use common sense to guess this. For example, someone searching for “how to start running” is likely still in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, while someone searching for “best running shoes” or better yet, a specific running shoe model, is closer to being ready to make a purchase.
Someone still researching a topic more broadly or comparing their options would benefit from educational content, such as “how-to” articles, while someone who’s ready to purchase likes to see solid product page copy, and perhaps even a discount code.
How to find organic keywords
There are a couple of ways to use Google to find keywords. Landing Pages, which sits within Google Analytics, is a good place to start. You can find it by navigating to Reports > Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages. When you click on Organic Search, you’ll find a list of search queries your website visitors used to find you on Google.
This can be a good way to find out what you’re doing well and put more effort into keywords that are already bringing in organic search traffic to your site.
To find out gaps in your keywords list, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool is for building PPC campaigns on Google, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use it for organic keyword research. You can find keyword suggestions by typing in a phrase, website URL, or category. You can also save your new keywords to custom lists.
Paid keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz will help you find out the same thing alongside additional information like related keywords, top-ranking content for your keywords, suggested word counts, and more.
How to use keywords to drive traffic to your website
One of the best ways to use your organic keywords is in SEO writing for blog posts. Since we covered this in our last article, we won’t go into depth about this topic here. Here are some additional tips for using organic keywords to boost your organic traffic.
Optimise existing content
Creating new, keyword-optimised content is hugely beneficial. However, revisiting your existing content shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
If you’ve already created a number of blog posts that are well-written and informative but aren’t bringing in traffic, you could try optimising them around a keyword. Alternatively, you might find that one of your blog posts is doing incredibly well, so you write more blog posts on the subject and turn the original one into a pillar page.
Optimising your website for keywords should be something you do on an ongoing basis, updating content regularly to reflect search trends and your business as it grows and develops.
Similarly, you should regularly inspect the copy on your product pages and check your meta descriptions and other metadata. You can add keywords to almost everything on your website - just make sure you use them naturally and in places where they accurately describe the content on that page.
Avoid keyword stuffing
Make sure you avoid keyword stuffing. You should always use your keywords in a natural way. If you try to add it to every sentence, your copy will seem spammy and lower in quality. Keyword stuffing is penalised by Google, leading to lower rankings in the SERP (search engine results page). A good rule of thumb is not to use your primary keyword more than once or twice for every 100 words.
Create original content
It can be tempting to reuse content from elsewhere on your website, such as product descriptions, in your new keyword-optimised content. You might even find some great copy on your manufacturer’s website. However, reusing copy from elsewhere on the internet is penalised by Google. So while it’s more work, in the long run, it’s worth it to invest your time into creating original content.
Boost the readability of your content
Keeping your user experience in mind when writing your content will support your SEO efforts. Your content should be structured in a way that engages your website visitors and allows them to get the gist of it quickly. Some tips for writing effective and efficient copy include:
- Writing informative, keyword-optimised subheadings
- Opting for short paragraphs
- Utilising varied sentence length
- Using active voice
- Adding relevant internal and external links
- Using bullet points