It’s an age-old SEO question: should you focus on high-volume/low-competition keywords or keywords that your target audience is actually searching for?
Unfortunately, most places you read will tell you that you should focus on the keywords with a lot of searches and no competition. And while it’s true that high-volume/low-competition keywords can be a good starting point for your SEO strategy, they shouldn’t be your only focus.
Don’t be fooled by high volume/low competition keywords
Sure, you may think that a keyword with a high volume and low competition is the perfect keyword to target. But just because a keyword has a high volume doesn’t mean your target audience is actually searching for it.
For example, let’s say you own an online store that sells women’s clothing. You might be tempted to go after the keyword “women’s clothing,” which has a high volume and low competition. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that most searches for this keyword are from people looking for general information about women’s clothing rather than people looking to buy something.
Look at the keywords in this image below. Unless you’re selling those “ashton women’s clothing,” what’s the point in going for it?
On the other hand, a keyword like “women’s clothing store” has a lower volume, but it’s much more likely to be searched for by people who are actually looking to buy something. So even though it has fewer overall searches, it’s actually a better keyword to target from an SEO standpoint.
Always keep the searcher’s intent in mind.
When choosing keywords to target, always keeping the searcher’s intent in mind is essential. In other words, what are people actually looking for when they search for a particular keyword?
For example, someone who searches for the keyword “buy women’s clothing” is probably going to be further along in the buying process than someone who just searches for “women’s clothing.” So if you’re selling women’s clothing, you’ll want to target keywords like “buy women’s clothing” and “women’s clothing store” instead of more general keywords like “women’s clothing.”
The bottom line is that you should focus on keywords that match searcher intent and will actually convert instead of just going after high-volume/low-competition keywords. By doing this, you’ll be much more likely to drive traffic that is actually interested in what you’re selling.
There’s more to SEO than just picking the right keyword
Of course, picking the right keyword is just one part of SEO. Once you’ve chosen a keyword to target, you also need to make sure your website is optimized for that keyword. This includes making sure your title tags and meta descriptions are effective and having high-quality content relevant to the keyword.
If you’re not sure how to optimize your website for a particular keyword, plenty of resources are available to help you. But the bottom line is that you need to do more than just pick the right keyword if you want to be successful with SEO.
Quality content is still king.
Nothing has changed when it comes to SEO: quality content is still king. No matter what keyword you’re targeting, your success will ultimately depend on how well your website’s content ranks in the search engines.
So if you want to drive traffic and sales with SEO, start by focusing on keywords your target audience is actually searching for. Once you’ve done that, ensure your website’s content is high-quality and relevant to the keyword. If you do these things, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Don’t horde all of your knowledge.
Your website’s content should help your visitors, not just sell to them. So don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and expertise with the world. The more helpful your content is, the more likely people are to find it helpful – and the more likely they are to buy from you down the road.
Don’t get wrapped up in keywords.
We see it all the time. The website’s copy will be so focused on a particular keyword that it’s obvious to the reader that the page’s sole purpose is to rank for that keyword.
“Women’s clothes near me are on sale today! So if you’re looking for women’s clothing stores near you, be sure to check us out!”
This is not only annoying for the reader, but it’s also a major turn-off for the search engines. So instead of cramming your keyword into your copy as many times as possible, focus on making your content readable and enjoyable for your visitors. Remember, write your content for people, not search engines.
Here’s an oldie but goodie. The tweet may be old, but this still happens.
Ladies and gentleman here is a classic example of keyword stuffing pic.twitter.com/tJdqi818Vx— Sandra Padilla (@sandrillita) April 8, 2013
The bottom line is that you should focus on creating quality content that is relevant to your target keyword. If you do this, you’ll be much more likely to rank well in the search engines – and you’ll also be more likely to convert your visitors into customers.
Write for users – not for search engines.
One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear when it comes to SEO is “write for users, not for search engines.” And this is still good advice today.
What does this mean? Basically, you should focus on creating enjoyable and helpful content for your readers instead of just trying to stuff as many keywords into your copy as possible.
Not only will this make your content more enjoyable for your readers, but it will also make it more likely to rank well in the search engines. So instead of writing solely for the purpose of ranking in Google, focus on creating content that is interesting and informative for your readers.
You can’t neglect backlinking.
While this article focuses on choosing the right keyword and creating quality content, it’s important to note that you can’t neglect backlinking if you want to succeed with SEO.
Backlinks are still a significant ranking factor in Google, so you need to make sure your website has high-quality links pointing to it.
And how do you get high-quality backlinks?
By creating quality content that people want to link to. So if you’re serious about SEO, make sure you’re creating the best content possible.
Remember when we said earlier about sharing your knowledge and expertise with the world? This applies to backlinking as well.
If you write an informative article that is helpful for people in your industry, there’s a good chance they’ll link to it. And the more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the better your chances of ranking well in the search engines.
Plus, it’s doubtful that someone will link to a page optimized around a keyword like “women’s clothing stores near me.” But if you have a helpful article about the best ways to shop for women’s clothes, there’s a much higher chance people will link to it – and that will help your SEO efforts.
Social media is still essential.
Next, it’s important to note that social media is still an essential part of SEO.
While this article focuses on choosing the right keyword and creating quality content, don’t forget that social media can also help you rank higher in search engines.
Social signals are becoming more and more important to Google, so it’s essential to make sure you’re active on social media and that others are sharing your content.
Look at the following infographic from SEMRush, and you’ll see how social media posts impact SEO:
Again, don’t create social media posts just for the sake of SEO. But if you’re already active on social media, make sure you’re sharing your content and that it’s interesting and informative for your followers.
Don’t forget about user experience.
Finally, it’s important to note that user experience is still a significant ranking factor for Google.
So what does this mean for you?
Basically, you need to make sure your website is easy to use and navigate. Your content should be easy to read and understand. And your site should be mobile-friendly and load quickly.
If you want to rank well in the search engines, user experience is something you can’t ignore.
There are some tips on focusing on keywords that will convert. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Write for users, not for search engines. Don’t forget about backlinking and social media. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to ranking higher.
And if you want even more tips on how to improve your SEO efforts, check out our blog for more great articles.