SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website/web page in a search engine's results. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search result list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users.
Properly optimizing your search engine ranking takes time and consistency. One of the simplest - yet most important - ways to improve your search engine ranking is to optimize the keywords within your website content.
Here's an easy definition of the term:
Keyword (kēˌwərd), noun: the search terms that are inputted into Google (or any other search engine) that searchers use to describe what they're looking for.
Google uses those search words (or keywords) to identify what people are looking for online. From there, the search engine matches searchers keywords with the keywords used within websites (like yours) to determine the ranking of search results.
When marketers refer to the term "long tail keywords" they are talking about a very targeted search phrase that contains at least three words. Long tail keywords are what searchers usually search for. Here's an example:
Long tail keywords: how to find a financial advisor; financial advisors in Atlanta, GA; tips from a financial advisor
The more specific you get with your keywords (and the more descriptive), the better your chances for ranking high in the search engine result pages (SERP) since you will most likely have less competition. You can tie this in with those local terms in your page title, url, tags, pages and blog posts.
Make sure you use your keywords in a natural and strategic way throughout your pages. For example, if you target the key phrase “retirement planning,” then include content about retirement, but also ideas & steps to increase your contribution, how to build a balanced plan with mutual funds or bonds.
If you're working on improving your SEO, optimizing the keywords within your website is the perfect place to start. The best part? You can do it in three simple steps:
1. Get in their heads
If YOU were searching for a financial advisor using Google, what words and/or word combinations would you use? Get into the minds of your audience. Think about the jargon they use, the problems they want to solve, their interests, friends, location, education and more. Assessing how your audience will search for you will help you find them.
To begin with, come up with 30 long tail keyword phrases that you want your website to be found under.
If you're having trouble getting in the mind of your target audience to find good long tail keyword phrases, Google can help. Begin typing your search terms into the search box, and let the search engine recommend some long tail variations for you:
2. Do a(nother) Google search
Once you've selected your keywords based on your target audience, type them into Google (yes, one by one) to see if you're already ranking for any of them. If you already rank for some of your keywords, pick a few new ones (first congratulate yourself - you're doing great!)
3. Put 'em to work
Now that you know how people will search for your website, make sure they'll be able to find you. Start with the homepage on your website and read through the copy to identify if and where you're already using the long tail key words. Make sure you use your long tail keywords in these places:
- Title tags
- META description tags
- META keywords tag
- Naturally within the body content
- headers and sub headers
- page content
- link text