OK, so, you hear SEOs talk a lot about keywords, right?
You hear them talk about keyword targeting.
And then you hear them talk about traffic.
And the two things – keywords and traffic – almost seems separate.
The link between keywords and traffic is not always clear.
So, today, I want to delve into how targeting keywords lead to website traffic.
So, firstly, let’s look at search from a user’s point of view.
Why does a person use a search engine?
To find something, right? To find what they are looking for.
Let’s take the example of ‘Car Insurance’.
When a person types this keywords into a search engine, like Google, it’s clear what they are seeking, right?
They want Google to provide them with the absolute best results around the term ‘Car Insurance’.
Now, let’s consider the ‘why’ and make assumptions of the thinking behind this search.
Assumptions will give us an insight into the thinking, the mindset, of the person who searches for this keyword.
Considering the ‘why’ will unveil the search intent behind the keyword.
You see, keywords aren’t just terms. They are proof, evidence, if you like, of people’s interest.
Understanding the intent behind a keyword is understanding what the person is interested in.
Being able to match what a person is interested in is the way you win their business, primarily by attracting their attention in the SERPs.
So, when a person searches for ‘Car Insurance’, you can reasonably assume they want to take out a car insurance policy.
Let’s say you have a website that’s all about insurance – you’re the Amazon of insurance products.
In order to attract the searcher seeking car insurance, you require a page on your site that’s about Car Insurance.
This page has to show to the searcher that you perfectly match what they seek in a car insurance.
The page also has to show this ‘perfect match’ to search engines.
Why, you may ask?
Because search engines, for many decades now, have provided a trusted service to people.
The service is simple: to organise the world’s information, and present it to users, quickly.
How would you show to search engines that you have the information that users seek?
With the searcher who’s seeking car insurance, for example, how can you show to search engines that you have this information?
One of the ways to show this is to have a page about Car Insurance, and to use the appropriate words about this product on the page.
What is the most appropriate word about car insurance to use on a car insurance page?
The word, ‘Car Insurance’, itself.
You see, this is where keyword targeting comes into play.
By targeting a keyword (in this case, ‘Car Insurance’) on a page, you let search engines know what the page is about.
You provide them a signal that your page is relevant for this information.
By doing this, you indicate to them to list your site when someone searches for this information.
And when someone searches for this information and sees your site, they are likely to click on it, thereby, resulting in that person visiting your site.
And this is how keyword targeting leads to traffic to your website, via search engines, AKA, natural search, AKA, the organic channel, AKA, the best channel!
I’m slightly biased here but it is – it’s the best channel.
Organic is the team I bat for, and if I do say so myself, it’s the best!
I firmly believe this: SEO is the core of all digital marketing channels.
If you have a website, if you want to require traffic, you need SEO.
It’s a necessity when you have a website.
Now, you may be thinking…
OK, I target keywords on pages so my site ranks. Understood.
Does it matter what page keywords are targeted on?
The answer to this question is a resounding ‘YES’!
The operative word to targeting keywords is ‘targeting’.
Far too often, businesses focus on keywords without considering the pages the keywords belong to.
This isn’t marketing.
Marketing is being specific. It’s targeting.
From an SEO point to view, this means having keywords targeted on specific pages, for specific goals.
And the goals are all geared towards serving users – those you wish to attract with the keywords you target.
Behind keywords, are real people.
Real people have a need they want addressed.
They use search engines to find the best site that will provide them with what they need – the best site that has a solution to their problem.
They search for what they need with keywords.
Behind the keywords they use, is an expectation.
Tell me, when someone searches for ‘Car Insurance’, do you think they want to read an article about the history of car insurance?
Most likely not!
Because it doesn’t satisfy what they seek. The intent behind the keyword doesn’t suggest they want a history lesson on car insurance.
So, how do you determine what someone’s intent is behind the keyword they use?
Let me delve into the glorious world of search intent, on the next podcast.