You’re Not Alone
How many of you have ‘nodded, smiled and agreed’ in a conversation about SEO before? All the while secretly hoping there’d be no questions directed your way. Well don’t worry, you’re not alone! ‘SEO’, ‘keywords’ and ‘Google rankings’ are popular buzzwords, but are often backed up by a lot of hot air, smoke and mirrors.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re not important strategic marketing tools, they absolutely are! I’m just saying there’s quite a wide variation in the quality of advice and expertise that people provide on these subjects. So it’s important to know who to listen to. After all, it just takes one new Google algorithm to put a spanner in the works of your whole strategy.
Don’t Be Fooled
According to one of our expert partners Semrush, SEO is defined as the art and science of persuading search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo), to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.
However, you must be wary of anyone who promises they can guarantee ‘number one on Google’ or to ‘get your business on the first page.’ Unfortunately no one can guarantee this, as your rankings also depend on what your competitors do (or don’t do), which is obviously something you can’t control (unfortunately).
What good SEO will always do however, is deliver you organic (free) website traffic by encouraging a search engine to show your content to its users in their Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Role Of Keywords
For starters, ‘keywords’ is a slightly misleading term. It should really be ‘keyword combinations’ (but I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily). This is because what we’re really looking for are combinations of words that your target audience is likely to use when searching (essential info for a good SEO strategy). Check out our earlier blog for even more in-depth info on keyword research.
Our partner Semrush, offer a Keyword Magic Tool that allows you to find out what your customers’ ideal keywords and phrases may be. All based on your market and your competition. Once you’ve identified your keywords (or key search phrases), you can build these into your SEO campaign.
Ah but what if my competitors are use the same keywords I hear you ask? Well, if your competitors are doing their job properly, they’ll be selecting the same keyword phrases as you. So, a smart SEO strategy also uses ‘keyword difficulty’ alongside search volume, to develop a strategy that balances opportunity with the ease of ranking.
Playing The SEO Game
This is where Semrush’s expertise really comes to the fore. They’ve developed their own Keyword Difficulty (KD) score, to show you how much SEO effort it might take to organically rank a page in the top 10 results on Google using a certain keyword. These scores are the safest way to play the SEO game.
Using keywords with low KD% scores will help you find the ‘low hanging fruit’ for your campaigns. The higher the percentage is, the harder your competition for rankings will be, and the more work you will need to do before seeing results. It’s a great indicator of where should be spending your marketing budget.
So not only will you be see an increase in organic traffic to your website. You’ll also be able to sound like an SEO expert in those previously awkward conversations. Just don’t start promising anyone top three rankings on Google!