Knowing how to successfully integrate relevant keywords from across the spectrum is an essential aspect of any self-respecting SEO campaign. Keywords play an important role in everything from link acquisition to on-site placement. But it takes a bit of experience to know exactly which terms to target in order to produce optimum results.
One of best strategies available lies in defining and categorizing all the main keyword types. This will allow you to better understand each of their roles in driving traffic to your website. While keeping in mind that there is more than one way to classify keywords according to their type, the seven main ones are:
1. Product keywords
Simply put, product keywords describe the items you’re selling. When it comes to selling products or services, the goal is to be as clear and concise as possible. If you sell scuba diving products, for instance, be sure to use brand names and include their main specs as well, to make it easier for people to find exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll also attract individuals who are very dedicated to a particular brand or type of product, who will be more likely to take action when approached for brand building and linking. Finally, product keywords can be an excellent starting point for creating targeted original content on your website’s blog.
2. Market-defining keywords
The most broad and generic keywords of them all, market-defining terms and phrases are used by your target audience in reference to your business or industry. They often include some of the most common keywords you can come up with. For example, a site that sells scuba diving equipment can benefit from including terms such as “scuba dive” or “diving”, which will need to be peppered throughout your site’s pages. What’s more, market-defining keywords are excellent for link acquisition, and you can even use them to partner up with other great websites within your field.
3. Customer-defining keywords
These are the keywords that focus on your target customers. Some will be directly related to your main customer base, while other may refer to people from a similar niche. Following our previous examples, a scuba diving site would do well to identify the types of customers that are likely to be interested in its products, such as “underwater photographer” or “scuba diver” itself. Thus, customer-defining keywords can help you connect directly with the people who want what you’re selling.
4. Related vertical keywords
SEO is all about creating a connection. Therefore, it helps to use keywords belonging to industries and markets that are closely related to your company. For a scuba diving site, keywords like “water sports” or “surfing” could lead people down a path to your business, even if what they’ve initially expressed is only tangentially-related to your products. Such items are essential in unearthing new opportunities and expanding your link outreach, thus helping you spread your message to people outside your immediate circle.
5. Geotargeted keywords
Local rankings are growing ever more important as people increasingly use the Internet to find things that are close to them. By simply adding location markers to your existing keywords, you’ll be able to identify local groups and events that your company can engage with. Additionally, if you have a physical location, local SEO will help drive traffic to your doorstep as well as your website. For a related example, if you provide SEO services in Toronto, you might want to target keywords like “SEO in Toronto” to improve your chances of finding more targeted customers.
6. Competing company names
While you won’t be using them directly for on-site optimization, competing company names are still great for discovering how others feel about companies similar to yours. By simply seeing your competition discussed in the news, on blogs and on forums, you’ll gain a better idea of what you’re up against and maybe even discover the things that make you stand out from the crowd.
7. Industry leaders
Just like with competing company names, you shouldn’t use keywords related to industry thought leaders in your home title tag, but that doesn’t mean they can’t prove useful as far as your outreach efforts are concerned. In fact, by connecting with respected experts on social media channels, you’ll uncover various PR opportunities that can increase website traffic and add more value to the business itself.
All in all, good SEO is crucial for your website. But you should know that using the right keywords in an optimized manner often requires some time and a bit of tinkering, so be patient with yourself throughout the process, and you’ll eventually reap the rewards of your work.
Michael Sanduso lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a freelance writer and editor, tech geek, and stay at home father.