When it comes to lead generation, keywords is what everything is built upon . . . your web and landing pages, blog posts, offers, emails, even the conversations you have with your customers.
As such, keywords help in all four phases of the customer journey: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
When it comes to lead conversion it’s the first two phases that we’re interested in.
Attract – Keywords help prospects understand what your business does; Create content that includes keywords that can be found by search engines!
Convert – Now that we’ve attracted people to site, use keywords in your offers to convert visitors to leads!
Below are three best practices to help create a keyword strategy that results in more qualified leads for your company.
Keywords are topics of importance to your customers, and they use keywords to search for answers to their questions. Keywords come in the form of questions, phrases, words, names, business names, products, services . . . really anything descriptive format that can be typed into a search engine.
Keywords are used two ways:
As your customer or prospect, keywords are usually something that the user wants more information on, and the information will help him or her to learn, solve a problem or solution, find an appropriate product or service, etc.
As a business owner, keywords are what your customers use to find answers to their questions. Since you are the one providing the information, you must translate your subject matter expertise into keywords and seed your content and messaging with these keywords in order to be found online.
Keyword Best Practices
There are three best practices when it comes to keywords and lead generation strategies. They are:
Uncover and understand your buyer persona queries
Determine if you can rank for these keywords
Create and optimize content around each keyword phrase
We’ll cover each one of these best practices in detail below.
1. Uncover and understand your buyer personas' queries
You must understand the language your target personas use in order to identify their keywords. But, before you can understand their language you must first understand your prospects – who they are and what keeps them up at night.
Primary research is important when generating keywords because you will actually uncover the language your customers use. Sound bites and phrases from personal research translates directly to the queries, or keywords, they use in the search engines. Use these keywords in conjunction with the customer journey:
Buyer Personas + Buyer’s Journey = Content to create
2. Determine if you can rank for these keywords
Only 10 keywords can make it to the first page of the search engine rankings, so you need a strategy to choose the keywords that stand the best chance to get on the first page.
There are two types of keywords, short and long keywords, each with respective disadvantages and advantages.
These are usually one to three word phrases. For example, “running shoes” is a short keyword phrase. Also “marketing”, “outdoor travel”, “commercial real estate”.
Long Tail Keywords
Also known as broad keywords, these are multiple word phrases that more precisely describe a need or form a question. For example, “red Nike men’s running shoes”, “social media marketing for small start ups” or “commercial real estate training for new brokers”.
While short keywords receive a lot more searches than long tail keywords, there are reasons NOT to want to rank for short keywords. Short keywords . . .
- Are more competitive
Are more general and vague
Require more search volume to cut through
The shorter the keyword, the greater the competition. Simply put, there are just more people who are trying to rank for the more obvious terms. And these terms, because they are short, cover a broader subject matter area and will attract people who may not have a specific need or interest for what you are offering.
For example, the term “real estate training” encompasses both commercial and residential real estate, brokers who are new to the business as well as seasoned veterans, as well as accreditation training and sales training, to name just some criteria. If you are selling training for new commercial real estate brokers on how to build a sales pipeline, a long tail keyword such as “commercial real estate new broker sales training” will be much more effective in attracting qualified leads.
The advantages of long tail keywords are many.
Save time and effort - Focusing on content that is more long tail keyword driven will take less time to achieve a higher search engine page ranking.
Attract qualified leads - The more long tail, the more descriptive the keyword, which means people have a better, more specific, idea of what they are looking for.
Higher Performance – Long tail keywords correlate to a certain subject matter expertise that reflects superior content, more content, and content that is created more quickly – often outperforming larger, brand heavy, high traffic sites.
Search engines also prefer the long tail. The Google auto-suggest / auto-complete feature promotes long tail keywords (Google wants results that are more relevant to the person searching as this makes for a happier customer).
3. Creating Content for Keywords
Create and optimize content for searchers first, then search engines second.
Black Hat SEO is about stuffing pages with keywords or trying to manipulate keywords in order to have them stand out, which doesn’t add value to the person searching, rather the business, so Google has taken to placing emphasis of placing searcher first.
Here are the five essential places to add keywords (perform your own 5 Step Small Business SEO Assessment)
Page title – the tab at top of page; not highly visible to searcher but it is for search engines.
Page URL – for consistency and to and show search engines and searchers what the page is about.
Content headers – similar to the URL, placing keywords in the page headers (e.g., your H1 tag) will stand out to search engines and confirm searchers they are in right place.
Content – Place keywords within the body of your copy to reinforce the topic or keyword phrase, and if possible create a hyperlink out of the keyword.
Meta description – while not visible on the page itself, meta descriptions are visible to search engines.
And remember, just don’t only use keywords on web site pages. Use keywords to help your prospects find offers, CTAs, LPs, TY pages, and any material that supports your marketing objectives.
To learn how to optimize all of your marketing to get more leads online, download our free guide: