There are a number of ways that users can get to your site. They could be direct traffic and type in your domain name. Users could follow a referring link from another site. One of the main ways users can get to your site, and the one that site owners so highly covet, is through Google. How can we help get more users to our site through Google? Proper keyword usage. That leads to an important question – how do you determine the correct keywords for your site?

One possible problem with keyword research for some business owners, myself included, is that we might be too close to our businesses. I’ve mentioned before how I used to only refer to Full Scope Creative as a web development company. The problem with that, is that no one really searches for web development companies. They search for web design companies. I had the right idea, but just the wrong wording. For me, I needed to step back a little, and see what my clients and prospective clients would look for when Googling for services offered by Full Scope Creative. For a lot of my clients, that is often step one. Step back and make sure that you’re using the right phrasing. How do you know if you’re using the right phrasing or keywords? I like to start by asking my clients. We did this recently with a new site we launched. I had the owner of the business ask a couple of his current clients what they might type into Google to find a company such as his. The results were a little surprising. That business owner was using a keyword close to what his clients were, but still just a bit off. At the end of the day, we’re not going to buy from our own businesses. In a way, our opinion might be almost irrelevant. Again, we’re simply too close to the business or we are the business. We need that outside view of our existing clients to really get dialed in. 

Another helpful way to see what the best keyword might be for your business is to look at your competition. For example, on a site we launched last week for Midwest Travel Club, we originally had “travel advisor” as his main keyword. After looking through other websites of competitors of his, we realized that none of them referred to themselves as travel advisors. I spent a lot of time getting to know Midwest Travel Club and I know that the word “advisor” really fits him much better than the word “agent” does. Pete Monfre, owner of Midwest Travel Club, helps to set the destination of your trip, the travel plans, the hotel stay, the amusement, the travel back home, everything. He is more of an advisor than anything. But again, that quick look at his competitors and we can see that it’s pretty obvious that no one searches for “travel advisor,” searching instead for “travel agent.” Sometimes with SEO, we need to reverse engineer our success, and look at what other businesses and sites in our industry are doing and make adjustments as needed.

Since most of the search engine referrals are going to come from Google, using Google as a tool to help us identify keywords is never a bad idea. SImply go to google.com, and start typing in your keyword one letter at a time. As you type Google will autofill the search bar with possible searches you’re looking for. How does Google know what to put in there? It is all based on what other users are searching for. If Google is going to tell us what common search phrases and keywords are, we might as well listen. Another site we recently did was for MVMT Performance and Rehab, a physical therapy clinic in Green Bay. When I go to Google and type in “physical thera” I can see “physical therapy” show up right away. We were fairly certain that “physical therapy” was going to be a main keyword for the site. As I was typing that out, we could see that “physical therapist” shows up right after it. We knew that “physical therapist” might be an important keyword for the site as well, but after seeing it show up so quickly on Google we knew we needed to incorporate that into our pages as well.

There are also several tools available online that you can look into for finding the perfect keyword for your business. One that we like to use at Full Scope Creative is SEMRush. With SEMRush, you can view the keywords that past users have used to find your site through search engines. This is another great way to be able to look at what your users have done in the past and get feedback from existing clients. We might think that our keywords are one thing, but SEMRush will tell us exactly what has been used. If any of those keywords make sense for your site, there’s no reason not to include them in your site content. You can also look at your competitors sites and see what keywords those sites have had users typing into Google to bring them to their site. Again, a key to SEO is reverse engineering success.

Every business owner should always be asking what the best keywords are for their site. Once we know those perfect keywords, we can use them in our page content and help increase our search engine ranking and draw more users to our sites. Direct traffic and other sites linking to ours is always helpful, but the one that is always so sought after is the traffic from Google. Using these perfect keywords is a great way to increase that number.