Find Better Search Terms for Your Website with the Google Keyword Planner
The Sprocket Report
Your website needs regular tweaking – such as using better words in your content to improve your site’s visibility. For help finding better words, try using the Google Keyword Planner. (There are also other online tools that are similar, but we’ll use the Google version to explain what you can learn from them and how to use that information.)
The point of this exercise it to brainstorm the terms your customers are using to find what it is you are offering. When you know what terms they are using when looking for your products and/or services, you can drastically improve your chance of being in the search results by featuring those same terms on your website.
The Google Keyword Planner is intended for people who run Google Ad campaigns, but anyone can take advantage of the tools there. Google will ask you to create an account, which is free, and to set up a campaign, but you never have to actually run it.
Once you're at the Google Keyword Planner, start with the “Discover new keywords” option.
On the next screen, the Planner will ask you to “Enter products or services closely related to your business.” Be specific. Instead of “restaurant,” say “pizza delivery,” if that’s your main focus. You may even want to be more specific and say “brick oven pizza delivery.” It is possible to be so specific there are no results, but you can always back up and start again. For this exercise, you don’t need to enter a domain for a filter.
After you have entered your keywords, click on the blue “Get Results” button. The Planner will suggest some more words to “broaden your search.” These could be really good suggestions that you will want to note.
Go ahead and add a couple of the suggested terms to the search tool, if they make sense, and “Get Results” again.
The results table will show you the number of Average Monthly Searches for each term, the Competition for each and the price range if you were going to run a Google Ad. Keep in mind that this “competition” is actually for Google Ads, not for organic search trends. Even with that caveat, you will get a good sense of how people are searching online.
Words you’ll want to take note of are ones that people use most frequently when searching. If people aren’t looking for certain words very often during the month, they probably shouldn’t be featured in your content. Words that people are searching for a lot but aren’t getting a lot of competition probably should be featured more prominently.
You may notice that some of the suggested search terms may include descriptors such as “best” or “near me,” but they don’t seem to be competitive. Companies often do not want to pay Google Ads to rank for those terms, but they are still great to use in your organic content. Also keep in mind that some terms have seasonal popularity. You may want to change the report date if you have a seasonal offering to get more accurate results.
Once you have a nice list of terms that people are using to find what you offer, rewrite your website content so that they appear naturally and near the top of your pages. Don’t forget your headlines, page names and image tags. Then keep that list nearby as a reminder when you add new content such as blog posts or calendar items.
As a follow-up, be sure to check your Google Analytics under Acquisition > Search Console > Queries to see which search terms are actually being used most often by your online audience.
If you have any questions about how to use these tools for your business, we’re happy to help you. Just give us a call to talk about search terms or any other website concerns.