As you know, virtually all buyers search the internet before making a purchase, so ranking online for the words and phrases most relevant to your products and services is essential. Business keywords are the bridges that connect qualified prospects to your website.
Here's a high-level overview of how to choose the best terms and phrases that your potential customers will most likely search online. To help illustrate, I'll refer to an example of a medical device company called Paragon28.
Create a Strategic SEO Plan
If you've been watching any of our videos, I'm probably going to start sounding like a broken record: but success always comes back to the plan. Here are four things that you need to have in place before you can even start doing SEO for your company.
- Tools: You need a tool or some way to figure out what keywords will get you the best results. Not all keywords are cut from the same cloth. Some get searched more than others, and some are easier to rank for than others. We use an SEO tool called Semrush or Semrush, and that's what I'll be showing you today. There are many different tools that you can use, and I'll put a couple of links below in the description area if you want to do some investigation. Now, if you're not interested in buying more software for your business or learning how to use more tools (it is essential to have a tool if you want to do proper SEO), you can always hire someone to do it for you instead, right? :-)
- Buyer Persona: The second thing you'll need to get started with SEO is a buyer persona. You need to understand who you're targeting, what goals and objectives they have, and who you're writing for. You need to have that well mapped out. That's going to help you determine what kind of words and phrases would be important to someone like the person you're trying to talk to. Check out this article, Resources for Creating Buyer Personas, for details on how to begin.
- Content Plan: The third thing that you need is a content plan. Now that you have a tool and know who you're targeting, what are you going to say to them? That's essential. The content plan has to be mapped out before you even start doing SEO.
- Goals: Once you have the content topics planned out, you also need to make sure you understand your goals, right? What are you trying to achieve with your content, and what kind of outcomes are you looking for?
When you have your tool, buyer persona, content plan, and goals, you're ready to move on to step two, which is keyword research!
Now it's time to jump into the SEO tool that we talked about. As I mentioned, I'm going to be using Semrush along with the example of the medical device company Paragon28 to show you how to start flushing out target business keywords that you want to focus on. Okay, let's look at Paragon's website to think more about how we do this keyword research.
Overview of Example Company, Paragon28 does.
Paragon28 is a medical device company, and they work with foot and ankle surgeons. They have products that solve foot and ankle conditions. People break their foot bones, and these surgeons have to go and try to figure out how to put them back together in a way that's best for the patient, obviously. So, that's what this company provides. If you go to their products page, they have different surgical products to help surgeons mend their patients.
So, how do you figure out what keywords you should focus on? Well, let's jump into the Semrush tool, and I'll show you some information that you might find valuable.
Find out what keywords you currently rank for.
Company-Specific Words and Phrases
In Semrush, if you type in a website (which I'll type in the Paragon28 website), one of the things that you can do is find out what words are currently ranking on your own website. I'm always interested in finding out what terms and phrases are ranking!
Most companies will rank for words related to their company, which is good: "Paragon," their name brand things, etc. They're ranking number one for those terms, which they should because that's their company.
But here's the thing to think about: if someone doesn't know who you are, they're not going to search for anything related to your company, so those words don't help you drive new people to your website.
Non-company-specific words and phrases.
You want to find words that are not specific company terms. When I go to Paragon28’s home page, some of the phrases that stick out to me a lot are:
- foot and ankle
- foot and ankle community
- foot ankle conditions
- foot and ankle specialist
- foot and ankle surgeons
- foot and ankle surgery
If I had to make a guess, they really want to rank for the term foot and ankle! When I check their site in Semrush, I can search and see if they currently rank for anything like "foot and ankle." They rank for foot and ankle products in the 12th position. So if you go into google and search up foot and ankle products, you'll see they're on the first page now, so pretty cool! They're right near the top.
Keyword Research Example 1: Foot and Ankle Surgery
Paragon28 is ranking for "foot and ankle products" now, but maybe they want to rank for "foot and ankle surgery." This is when you come into the keyword research part. Go to the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool (or whatever tool you're using), and type in "foot and ankle surgery." It shows the word and different variations of it that you can review to help drive your content ideas.
"Foot and ankle surgery" has a volume of 480. That means 480 people a month are searching for this term, which is pretty good. Search volume goes from in the thousands, like sixty thousand, down to zero. It depends on your business, but you could be targeting words with a volume of 40 or 50, or depending on your products or services, they could have a higher volume.
Criteria for Good Keywords
You always want to look for words and phrases that have:
- The most volume
- For the most relevant word/li>
- Including insights into how difficult it would be to rank.
In the “foot and ankle surgery” example, the difficulty is yellow, which means it's possible to rank for it. Other difficulty levels include difficult, hard, or very hard to rank. Based on the decent search volume and lower difficulty, the phrase "foot and ankle surgery" is definitely one that I would consider as a top keyword for this company.
Keyword Research Example 2: Calcaneal Fracture
Here's another way to think about this: Paragon28 sells to surgeons, right? What will a foot and ankle surgeon try to learn about, think about, or want to know more about? That might be more related to things like their calc (calcaneal, I don't know if I'm saying that right!) fracture plating system to fix a broken heal. "Calcaneal fracture" is a phrase I would think a surgeon would try to search and learn about so that they can do a better job for their patients or have new cool things that they can do to solve the problem.
Next, I would go into Semrush and type "calcaneal fracture" in there. Then I would say to myself, "Oh, look at that! Calcaneal stress fracture has a volume of 1900 and the keyword difficulty of 34." The phrase is specifically and directly related to what they sell.
Action Item! Create and optimize pages for vetted keywords and phrases.
The take-away is to create a web page completely optimized for that key phrase. But, unfortunately, the way their page is set up right now it's not optimized. [Retract statement, see more info to review.] Wait! Let's check out the product page to see if it's optimized.
Based on the URL and H1 title, it looks like the page is optimized for "cal-fracture-plating-system." So then, I go back to Semrush and check to see if it has any SEO. Unfortunately, it does not.
Based on the keyword analysis, you would want to go in and update the page for on-page SEO. The goal is to get the keyword phrase “calcaneal fracture” on the page. Then you at least have a chance torank for it and have your website link served up on a search engine if someone's searching for it.
Find out what your competitors currently rank for.
There's one more step to the keyword research process that can add a lot of value, and that's competitor research. If you can find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, and maybe what keywords you overlap with, or if there are any gaps, then you can put together a plan to be competitive in the SEO space.
The last thing you want is your competitors to rank for words related to your business too, and then they capture all the traffic, and you don't get any! Definitely think about doing competitor research. I'm not going to go into more detail about how to do that right now, but just know that you should do that.
There you have it! If you select the right business keywords for SEO with -
- a good strategic SEO plan
- solid business keyword research
- and a competitor analysis
- you'll have the framework ready to create optimized content that opens opportunities for your potential customers to find and engage with your company online.
Don't Forget: Follow On-Page SEO Best Practices
There's one last important note for search engines to index your website properly. The keywords need to be in specific areas of the webpage. Check out the article, How to Add Keywords to Your Website Using Best Practices (coming soon...in production now!), for details on on-page SEO.
If you have any questions about leveraging the power of organic search to drive qualified leads to your website, let us know! We're here to help. Good luck!
If you have any questions about how to move forward with your website, we’re here to help.