If you know what your target audience are looking for online, you’re halfway to creating an SEO strategy that works. Once you have this all-important info, you can use it to create keyword-rich copy for your website and blog posts, as well as targeted content for your social media pages, Google My Business account and all the other places your company is listed online.  
 
So how do you find out what your customers are searching for? 

1. Look at keywords you’re already being found for 

A great place to start is your existing website. Tools such as Google Analytics provide wide-ranging insights and reports into your site’s performance – including the keywords and phrases that people are using to find your site organically. The top-performing ones are obviously the most popular, so use these to continue your research. 
 
For more in-depth results, you can combine Google Analytics with Google Search Console, which tells you which pages on your site get the most clicks from Google and the keywords that bring people there. You can use this data to identify ‘opportunity keywords’ – those with a high volume of monthly searches, but a low number of competing pages. 

2. Make use of keyword research tools 

There are lots of these around (you’ll find the top 15 for 2019 listed here). We like Google Keyword Planner as the data it provides comes straight from Google, the most popular search engine by a country mile. 
 
Simply plug a keyword into your chosen planner and you’ll see a host of alternative terms people are searching for. These are sorted by relevance, number of monthly searches and whether competition for the word or phrase is low, medium, or high. It’s a useful way to get ideas for different combinations of keywords and phrases, which helps avoid repetition and poorly-flowing copy as well as boosting your SEO rankings. 
 
Another simple way to research keywords, especially longer phrases with three or more words (known as ‘longtail keywords’) is to use Google Autocomplete. Type your keyword into Google and press the space bar. A list of phrases associated with your keyword will appear, some of which should be relevant to your business. Some will be longtail, whilst others will be head terms (one to three words). Use a mixture of these in your online content. 

3. Use content strategy applications 

These are useful for identifying trends for content that people want to read about. HubSpot’s Content Strategy tool is a popular choice. You’ll need to have topics in mind already, which you enter into the tool. It then gives you real-time information about which topics are attracting attention online, and which are of less interest. 
 
HubSpot will also suggest topics that are relevant to your business, working well for the competition and generally proving popular. You can use this information to create ‘topic clusters’ on your website and blog articles, which will help your target customers find your content as it will be ranked higher by the search engines. 

4. Research the language your customers use online 

This isn’t just about keywords, it’s also about how your customers talk about your products and services online. If they’re speaking a particular ‘language’, you need to speak it too. You’ll also get further insight into the latest topics people are talking about in your industry. 
 
Visit relevant social media pages, blogs and forums, and look at people’s questions and concerns, and the recommendations they’re asking for. How can you address these in your website content, blogs and social media posts? 

5. Think about what your customers call your business 

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but a useful exercise if you’re just starting out in business and need to create and build an online profile. In short, you need to describe yourself as your customers see you – which isn’t necessarily how you see yourself! To give an example, a lot of plumbers these days describe themselves as ‘plumbing and heating engineers’, ‘Gas Safe installers’, and so on. 
 
That’s all very well, but if your boiler breaks down, the chances are you’ll just stick ‘plumber’ and your location into Google. How you describe your company is especially important when it comes to online business directories. Often, you’ll need to select an industry sector and business type from a menu, which will help customers find you as they’ll essentially do the same thing. But sometimes, you’ll just be asked to describe what you do – and it makes sense to speak the same language your customers will use when they search online. 

6. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes 

Last not but least, have a good think about what you’d type into Google if you were looking for your own business. Would you just put, say, ‘Plumber Nottingham’ or would you ask a question like ‘Who can fix my boiler in Nottingham?’ Again, it’s a case of thinking about the questions people want answered about your products and services, solving their problems, addressing their concerns and worries, and giving them the information they want. 
 
Even better, why not ask your customers what they would search for to find you! 

Like to know more? Just ask itseeze

We know all about SEO here at itseeze Web Design Nottingham. When it comes to SEO, there is no substitute for a great website design that's built from the ground up with SEO in mind. All our websites are fully optimised to boost your search engine rankings and we can also help in the longer term with our unique SEO Boost service.  
 
To find out more, get in touch today and book an appointment with an itseeze Nottingham consultant. 
 
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