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4 SEO tips to improve your keyword research

Think of a topic or question. Now open your go-to search engine site to look it up. What do you see? Is your keyword search pulling up relevant links on the topic? Yes? Then those sites are on the right track to reach their audience: you.

Now look up a topic that describes your business. Does that keyword search pull up your business? No? Then your site needs a little SEO optimization assistance with reaching the right audience: yours.

Implementing more SEO keywords will help your company be found more easily. This includes blogs and online merchant sites, too, not just your main website. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.

Here is a four-part breakdown of why your SEO keywords are so significant in everything from your headlines to product descriptions.

Using the Right SEO Keywords: The Short and Long Of It

People search for web results in one of two ways: short-tail keywords (keywords composed of one or two words) or long-tail keywords (usually three to five words, or longer, as a phrase or question). When creating content for your site, short-tail keywords may initially seem like the way to go. However, unless you’re a major player, your site can be buried under plenty of other online merchants who also sell the same services or products.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords may help narrow down what sets your company apart from another company. For example, a grooming company that sells products for facial hair could be looked up as “grooming products” (short-tail keywords) or “grooming products for black hair” (long-tail keywords that narrow down both the products and the target audience).

For the latter search, here’s why that can be helpful and problematic. What if your company sells products for a larger demographic? When writing web content, make sure that you do indeed write SEO keywords that will reach niche audiences but also clarify it’s not the only kind of product you sell. In other words, don’t skimp on creating specific and detailed product descriptions, “About Us” pages, etc. But make sure your SEO Titles cover both (or all) groups to avoid Internet users scrolling past your site, believing your site doesn’t relate to them.

Does Location Matter for SEO Searches?

Location-based keywords are keywords that directly relate to your business’s physical location. For example, if your grooming products are located in a barbershop in Atlanta, you’ll want to include not only the city but also the name of that specific neighborhood. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town with residents who may not want to make the trek over to buy or visit. (If you sell online merchandise, this probably will not be a deal-breaker though. Once it’s in the mail or with a delivery carrier, it makes no difference where your home base is as long as you ship locally or nationally.) But don’t mention a city’s name or other SEO short-tail or long-tail keywords if it has nothing to do with your company.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Speaking of misleading customers, adding practically any keywords you can think of is referred to as “keyword stuffing.” If you’ve ever searched for a topic and keep seeing the same websites that have nothing to do with your product, that’s an example of a site that uses keyword stuffing.

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As with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, consumers will pay attention. They may also grow so frustrated with your keyword stuffing that they won’t visit your site even if/when you do have relevant products or services. Search engine sites also won’t appreciate it.

If search engines keep coming up with irrelevant search results, that can make Internet users not use that search engine anymore. This is why browsers like Google Chrome give users the option to “Send Feedback” in which they can report faulty links or comment on inexplicable results.

Skip the SEO Repetition, Let It Flow

Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way. However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content with keywords. Even if they’re good keywords, it’s still too much if the sentence does not sound like something a speaker would naturally say out loud. Less is more.

As long as you have made it clear that your company or product is affiliated with those SEO keywords and used it two to five times (not in the same paragraph but at least once in the first 100 words), that is enough. For longer posts, maybe consider using variations of those SEO keywords or keyword phrases but not the same ones repetitiously. Treat your keywords like seasoning: Make it appealing but don’t go overboard.

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