This is the second part in our series based off the Google Quality Rating guidelines. Come back next week for the second installment!
If you were searching online for a new job as a sales assistant, what would you type into the query field? You might use on of these choices:
- Career in sales
- Sales help wanted
- Hiring sales assistant
- Openings for sales assistant
- Sales assistant positions in [your location]
When you type in one of those queries (keywords), what results do you expect to find? You are hoping to find work places that are currently accepting applications, right? What you are not looking for is the blog of a disgruntled sales assistant working at Walmart or a job search site that specializes in health care positions. You want your intent (what you’re looking for) and the search results (what you find) to match up.
You need to think about user intent when choosing and implementing your keywords. That is one of the most substantial items that search quality raters focus on. If people show up on your site looking for one thing, and what they find is something else entirely, your website is not a good result for that keyword and will drop in the SERPs.
It’s tempting to use keywords that are almost guaranteed to do well, even if they aren’t entirely accurate for your website. Your site does well in the SERPs for that term, and it’s bringing in a steady amount of traffic. Not a problem, right? Unfortunately, the people arriving on your site from that term aren’t finding the information they need, so they quickly leave, and while the numbers look good, they aren’t doing anything for your website. No one is reading your content, signing up for your blog, or visiting your sales pages.
Instead of concentrating on the wrong keywords, put your effort into finding keywords you can rank for that really do match your website. Even if the keywords that best fit your website niche have a huge amount of competition, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Perhaps the most effective option is to use location-based search keywords. Instead of ‘marketing services’ use ‘Pittsburg marketing services’. That’s going to remove most of your competition almost immediately.
You can also specialize your keywords. Go back to ‘marketing services’. That’s a very general query, and it’s going to be very difficult to rank for. Narrow it down; marketing services covers a lot of ground. What specific services does your company offer? Use those services to direct your keywords.
Do keyword research for phrases that fit your website that you might not have thought of on your own. The best keywords have a high amount of traffic and a low amount of competition. Aim for a few of those, but if you can’t find ones that absolutely fit your site, skip it. It’s better to a handful of keywords that match your site 100% than it is to find 100 keywords that don’t match as well.
The keywords you choose matter, for both usability and SEO purposes. Ranking for keywords that aren’t right for your website will only end up hurting your site in the end.