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4 benefits of creating a keyword strategy


Key takeaways

  • Keyword strategies help you refine your SEO so your business can rank higher on search engines
  • Use your strategy to prioritize the right search terms once your keyword research is complete
  • Assess your current search rankings before building your keyword strategy to set a benchmark for your goals

Driving more shoppers to your site can be as simple as having the right keyword strategy that boosts your business to the top of a search engine results page (SERP).

The higher you rank, the more shoppers will see your website and click on it. In fact 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search (unpaid search results selected by algorithms), and 15% more comes from paid search engine ads. It’s no wonder why businesses are constantly competing for first-page spots.

However, not all traffic will be your ideal customer. Landing the top spot for “doggie daycare” isn’t helpful for a childcare center. If your small business SEO efforts aren’t getting the results you want, you may need to use more relevant keywords in your strategy.

An effective keyword strategy can skyrocket your search engine marketing, setting your business up for long-term success. Here’s what you need to know about keyword strategies plus tips for building your own.

What is a keyword strategy?

A keyword strategy is a master plan that helps you choose the best keywords for your company to focus on to boost your ranking on search engines

Keyword research can help you build a list of keywords to target (based on monthly search volume and relevancy), while your strategy prioritizes the right keywords so your business can become a top website that search engines trust. 

Keyword strategies challenge you to answer the “why” behind your targeting decisions. Your strategy should outline the keyword categories or topics you want to rank for, as well as what makes a keyword worth your time, money, and effort.

Your strategy helps refine your keyword research and create a roadmap for a better content marketing strategy. As you implement your keyword strategy, your business can win more traffic from the people who are most likely to purchase from your brand.

4 ways to use a keyword strategy

Here are four examples of how to focus your keyword strategy to improve your search engine marketing.

1. Optimize your website copy

Sprinkling relevant keywords throughout your website copy is an age-old SEO tactic that tells algorithms what search terms your site should rank for. 

However, prioritizing vague terms—like “facial” or “Swedish massage” for a spa business—can make it hard for your business to get a lot of organic traffic. Short-tail keywords like those—usually just one or two words long—tend to be highly competitive, and well-known websites usually take the top spots on SERPs.

Keyword strategies encourage you to prioritize less obvious keyword phrases—those with low competition and consistent search volumes—that can be easy wins for your business. As you focus your research on specific keyword categories, rather than just skimming through top search queries, you’ll uncover plenty of highly relevant long-tail keywords that you can easily rank for. 

For example, if you’re the only spa business in your area to incorporate a local keyword like “Nashville couples massage,” you may take the number one spot on results pages when people use this search term.

2. Create effective content

Since your target keywords will all fall within a set of core topics, your blog posts (and even your social media content) will naturally align with those categories too. As a result, you can become a leader in your niche—one that consistently ranks high for relevant search terms and one that shoppers will repeatedly see in their customer journey.

Keyword strategies also challenge you to consider your target audience before you start building content. While you’re doing keyword research, your strategy will make you more inclined to explore search intent (the reason users made the search). Learning the types of answers shoppers are looking for helps you prioritize keywords and create more engaging, relevant types of content.

3. Improve your ad targeting

Keyword strategies are highly beneficial for paid search, not just organic SEO. When you run online ads (which place your website or landing pages above organic search results), keep your keyword strategy in mind to make sure your target terms align with your business goals. You’ll be less tempted to target irrelevant high-volume keywords just because they’re more affordable.


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4. Profile your perfect customer 

A big part of developing a keyword strategy is knowing your target market (including what they’re searching for) when you’re selecting new keywords to implement. 

Try to uncover why people are searching for products or services like yours, which helps you understand their needs, goals, and behaviors. This knowledge can be incorporated into your customer personas, which are detailed profiles that describe the characteristics that influence your buyers’ behavior.

Tips for starting a keyword strategy

Your keyword strategy should implement search terms that are relevant and effective, and that prioritize searcher intent, search volume, and other metrics listed on keyword research tools.

As you develop your strategy, it’s important to also assess your current search engine rankings and set clear goals.

1. Assess your current search engine rankings

Your current SERP rankings can tell you a lot about your current performance: the core topics your business already ranks for and what search terms customers are using to get to your site. 

If you have an analytics tool installed on your site, you can even see which keywords lead to the most purchases, which shines a light on customer behavior. This information can help you improve your keyword prioritization process.

Your current rankings can also serve as a benchmark. As you execute your new strategy, compare changes in your search engine rankings to your starting point, so you know if you’re actually hitting your digital marketing goals.

Lastly, consider looking at competitor ranking, so you can build a keyword strategy that sets your brand apart.

2. Set goals for your keyword strategy

Outline clear and specific goals within your keyword strategy to make the most of your efforts. 

For instance, you can select a target rank (like first or second) for specific search terms, or set a goal for your number of website visitors each month. Using exact metrics allows you to better track your progress toward your marketing goals.

Reach more potential customers with an SEO keyword strategy

A strong keyword strategy can grow your website traffic and get relevant shoppers engaged with your brand. 

When you narrow down your keyword categories and know how to leverage search engine marketing, you can position yourself as an industry leader in your niche. 

To fine tune your SEO strategy, follow these six steps for doing a local SEO audit.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.