SEO in Plain Language: Keyword and Key Phrase Strategy

2018-06-13T15:09:33+00:00 March 9th, 2017|

Tell me more about keywords and key phrases. Shouldn’t this be super obvious?

Yes. Using keywords is obvious. But knowing which keywords are the most valuable is not obvious.  With the right keywords, you can climb Google’s search results faster.

This is the process we use with our clients.

  1. Learn what language they use to describe what they do. Most of the time it’s filled with jargon, technical language, and acronyms that nobody uses except for industry insiders.
  2. Learn what language their customers and potential customers actually use.
  3. Research which keywords and keyphrases have the most value for search results. This is a game of numbers! You want to find the golden keywords and keyphrases that real people are searching for, but nobody else is using for their website. We also consider “long tail keywords” that help people find answers to their very specific questions.
  4. Once you’ve determined which keywords and keyphrases have the highest value, you have to find elegant ways to incorporate these into the website. This is science (code) and art (writing copy.)

Here’s an example. A client of ours described what they do as landscape architecture, landscape design, and garden design.  After research, we found that very few people actually use these keywords when they search on Google.

However, ordinary people searched these phrases quite a bit: backyard ideas, beautiful yards, cool backyards, etc.  These keywords aren’t sexy or charming, but 1000s of people were using those to describe what they wanted, but no landscape architecture firm was humble enough to use those same words. Our challenge was to use that common language while still keeping the website sophisticated.

The result? Our client went from unranked on Google search results to Page 1 in less than 12 months.

Next: “How has SEO changed since it became a thing?

About the Author:

Matt Smith, MBA
Matt Smith is the creative force behind smithHOUSE, a Phoenix-based creative agency that focuses on the intersection of business, design, and technology. About Matt Smith.