The first links you’ll see are shopping links and ads. Below that, in the outlined box, is Google’s top suggested answer, pulled from the top ranked link. And then below that are the links that Google’s algorithm thinks best relate to your search.
According to Moz, a business that focuses exclusively on SEO and is a major blog authority on it, Google prioritizes content by a number of factors including the crawl-ability of your site (how easy it is for search engines to search your site), the content relatability (is content related to the search?), and keyword optimization (does your content attract searchers and search engines?). To make your content relatable and to optimize keywords, you need to do SEO research to determine what leads and prospects are searching for to lead them to you.
SEO Research Tips
As you are getting started using SEO best practices to optimize your website/content for better ranking potential, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with information. If you’re at the beginning of the process and are a novice when it comes to SEO optimization, you’re going to want to focus on researching first, and really getting to know the keywords, search terms, and questions that your personas are using in their searches and buyer’s journeys. Start with these three tips to begin your research:
Find online communities for your personas:
When you work at a business, your perspective is shaped by being on the “inside”, but your customers are external facing. Until you see their perspective, you won’t be able to really dive deep into keyword and SEO research. One of the best ways to start is to find online communities that would interest or relate to your personas.
To continue the latte frother example, you could use Reddit, Facebook Groups, and Instagram hashtags to find niche communities related to making coffee drinks at home. Take the time to go deep down the rabbit hole. Take notes about what topics get the most engagement. That can be a key idea of where to start looking for keywords.
Start with the most frequently asked questions:
It can be tempting to start looking for short and long tail keywords right from the get-go. However, understanding the intention behind the keywords that prospects are using will make your content more useful and your SEO strategy more effective.
A great place to start with this journey is by determining what the biggest questions are that are asked that leads people to discovering your product or service. “How to make lattes at-home” or “What do I need to make a latte at home?”” are both questions that could be asked in relation to discovering a latte frother. Use Google to discover pre-fill questions related to your product or service. Visit those online communities you found in the previous step to see what questions arise consistently.