Can you name the top keywords searched for your business? Having just finished up a refresher course on SEO fundamentals, I wanted to share my biggest take away with you, our dealers, for ranking on Google: keywords. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it all comes down to being found online. And good news- Google actually provides some free tools to help you figure out what people are searching! Our in-house search services team has also contributed to our findings on keywords and how they can impact your business.
The goal of search engines like Google is to provide relevant and authoritative results to any inquiry. So when you’re aiming to get your website seen by customers and prospects, you need to make sure your content is both relevant and authoritative. Trying to source keywords completely unrelated to your products or services just won’t fly with Google.
To get started we suggest you check out your showrooms on your website and make a list of the categories of products and services you carry and from there list out every product within that category. You might even have some subcategories, such as compact excavators, under all excavators.
Google provides a Keyword Planner in its Adwords space (you will need a Gmail account in order to create an AdWords account to access this). Keyword Planner generates keywords for you based on your product/service and category. You can further customize the results of this keyword generator by specifying regions searched and including or excluding specific keywords in the results. When the results populate, you will find the keywords along with their relevance- including average monthly searches, competitiveness of ranking for that specific word, and the approximate dollar amount required to gain ad space, one of the first three spots on Google’s search results, for that keyword. Boosting your results through pay-per-click advertising is a great option if you have the budget to do so. Otherwise, including these keywords in the meta tags of your pages, as well as throughout the content, will increase the chance of ranking for those keywords that have lower competition. For more information on what meta tags are, check out this article here. Now when it comes to promotions, you should think about modifying your keywords to add a word like “discount” or “special” in front of the specific category or product type that is going to be on sale, this is an effective strategy to work into the ad copy itself as well.
Reminder: Search engines need content to understand the objective of your website, so meta tags can never work alone. Customer interaction is also key in gaining authority and traffic, and customers need clear content.
Tip: If the category you intended to submit isn’t populated in Google’s drop down search menu, you can still enter that category- obviously some of your industry-specific categories, such as skid steers, might not be the top categories Google lists to help users choose.
Using negative keywords will take your advertising strategy a step further. We all want quality leads, right? If you are running an ad campaign, utilizing the negative keywords search in Keyword Planner will ensure you’re eliminating keywords that will result in poor quality leads. No one wants to pay for an ad that generates the wrong kind of lead! For example, if you don’t sell compact excavators, you might want to add this to your negative keywords to make sure people aren’t clicking on your website under that keyword search and leaving disappointed.
Using the keywords you’ve chosen from Google’s Keyword Planner, you can dig up more information by entering these into Google Trends to uncover the popularity of a keyword over different periods of time, both plural and singular forms, again customizing by region, narrowing down by category (or industry), and selecting a specific medium, i.e. image, video, news, etc. In addition, at the very bottom of the Google Trends page you will find another slew of suggested topics and queries similar to the one you entered. All of this information should inform how you are either advertising on Google or supplying keyword meta tags in the back end of your website’s pages.
3 Easy Steps to Conquering Search Engines with Keywords
- Make a list of your categories, subcategories, and both products and services!
- Using Keyword Planner, play around with entering each of these products in their respective categories and write down the keywords with the best chance of ranking- remember you’re looking for higher relevance and lower competition! For example, enter wheel loader as a product, and loader as the category.
- Taking these keywords, enter them into Google Trends to further narrow down which keywords to use when writing content and in meta tags of the back end of your web platform, or to put dollars behind for quicker exposure!
Final Advice: It’s important to think like your customer when choosing keywords to include in meta tags and the content of your website. We call this choosing keywords with intent. What might seem intuitive to you on your side of the business might not be what your customer is thinking. For example, in the motorcycle industry, searchers are less specific when searching for bikes for sale. In the equipment industry, contractors in a specific region need a very particular product to get the job done, at a particular time in the year, so their searches tend to be more specific. Keyword research may seem daunting, but if you are willing to dedicate some significant time to it at the start, the maintenance is relatively simple. You’ll want to modify and update some keywords and content as you add to your inventory or run promotions. By including relevant, informative content on your website you are making sure the right searchers click on your website for their inquiries.
Feeling overwhelmed by keyword possibilities? Our search services team is happy to help! For more tips on keyword sleuthing comment in the section below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!