Keyword Research – The Tree Ring Digital Process
We perform keyword research to learn which exact words or phrases users are typing in when searching for your good or services. Then, we make sure these targeted keywords are used consistently throughout your site to let the search engines know that you provide these goods or services and that it would be helpful to users to see your site displayed in their search results.
Our process starts by researching and analyzing what everyday users are actually searching for. For example; are they searching healthcare or heath care? Are they searching assisted living or senior health services? The verbiage most commonly used to find your goods or services is not always what you would think, especially if you’re involved in an industry filled with terminology not familiar to “outsiders.”
We then implement our findings, optimizing each page with keywords specifically related to that page. Most companies will collect a group of keywords they want to use to optimize their website and then plug the same words onto every page throughout the site, but this is not helpful and can actually hurt your search ranking. Here’s why: as a user, if I’m looking for dishwashers, I want to show up on the dishwasher page of a retailer’s website, not their home page. If you try to optimize a page of your site for a keyword that doesn’t accurately represent that page, Google will know and will punish your site because it’s misleading to users.
DIFFICULTY TO RANK
We also look at how difficult it might be for your site to rank with certain keywords. Some keywords may be too broad or commonly used. Competition would make it nearly impossible for your site to rank if we attempted to use these keywords for optimization. If the difficulty is high, then we look at more targeted keywords or longer keyword phrases to utilize for your site.
Here’s an example of why difficulty to rank needs to be taken into consideration:
We had a client who wanted to rank under “nails Denver,” but we had to explain that it would be nearly impossible. The word “nails” is too broad; it can refer to wood nails, roofing nails, acrylic nails, nail painting, etc. You don’t want people showing up on your nail salon site when they’re looking for wood nails. This creates an unhappy user experience, which search engines recognize…another way to hurt your page rank. We recommended “nail salon Denver” as a better option. While still very competitive, it will at least start driving more relevant results.
HEADER TAGS AND META DATA
Once we know what keywords users are searching for, we can optimize the page titles, sub-headings, and meta details on each page so the search engines know what topic each page covers. This allows the search engines to display pages specific to a search rather than displaying the home page as a default.
Alt tags apply to images. Optimizing the images is an important part of our keyword implementation process for two reasons.
- Search engines don’t understand what an image represents; they just recognize when an image exists on a page. Alt tags tell the search engines what an image represents, how it’s related to the page/topic, and when to display it in image searches.
- Screen readers don’t understand image representations either. Having alt tags in place allows the screen reader to tell the user what image is there. It also meets ADA guidelines.
Anchor text applies to buttons and links, which we also optimize. Search engines consider the text is used to indicate links. For instance, phrases like “click here” and “learn more” are vague and don’t accurately indicate where the user will be lead when then link is clicked. This can hurt your search rank. We optimize anchor text to let search engines know specifically what the visitor will find upon following any links located on your website.
SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY URLS (SEFurls)
Finally, we optimize a website’s URLs…just one more location search engines like to see keywords. A keyword friendly domain name is a great start, but it still won’t cover all the keywords we’ll want to use to optimize the site. Keyword friendly URLs will help the search engines and the user know that the page is related to a specific topic when they are skimming search results.
- On June 24, 2016