The best keywords for your business don’t just come to you. It’s a process and work to find the right keywords. How do you get good keyword search results? In this article, we will address the most effective keywords, national vs local keywords, and user intent keywords. We have some great tips at the end too. We will give you 5 steps to better your keyword search results.

Most Effective Keywords

Adding keywords to your website is crucial in optimizing your site. Having the right keywords in the right places is one of the most effective methods of driving more visitors to your website. Here are some effective ways to incorporate keywords.

URL’s- URLs rarely change and they describe the webpage. Therefore, this is the perfect place to add keywords. Google places value on what they say. Make sure your URL has your focus keyword. (Don’t forget to redirect if you change your URL!)

Title tags- Title tags influence click-through-rates (CTR) and rankings. Including keywords can be effective with both.

Meta description tags- Meta descriptions don’t influence Google rankings. However, they give searchers a brief description of the webpage which may increase your CTR. Many people disregard the importance of meta descriptions. Make sure yours are great!

Most visible content- Google’s job is to understand what your webpage is about and whether or not it’s relevant to the Google search. The most visible content tends to be the most influential for SEO. Content is king after all. If your keywords are not prominent and used in your headers, then you still have some work to do.

Internal links- Incorporating keywords into your anchor text of links is another way to tell Google what your page is about. MAke sure your internal links are contextually relevant!

Image and video files- Giving your images and videos a descriptive name, using keywords rather than the default name given by your phone will help your SEO.

Image alt text- Alt text tells Google what your picture is about. It also makes your site more inclusive for your visually impaired audience. Make sure to take the time to properly name your alt text.

Video closed captioning and/or transcripts- Most videos contain relevant keywords. In order to let Google know that is the case, include the keywords in your captioning.

National vs Local Keywords

Before diving into national and local keywords, we need to understand what the difference is between local and national SEO. Is it more important for your website to be found locally or nationally? That really depends on what you are selling. I doctor in Denver probably does not need national exposure, do they?

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO, or local search engine optimization, is for businesses targeting local customers. Small businesses in a particular area will benefit from local SEO.

You can identify local keywords by:

1. Specifying your location

Establish yourself as a local business. You want to target areas near you for local search results. Make sure you include all the places you service so that you’ll reach people in those areas.

Industry-related keywords will ensure you drive the right leads looking for your products or services. Some examples are:

  • Doctor offices in Portland
  • Local donut shops
  • Bookstores near me

3. Include keyword modifiers

Keyword modifiers add more to your core keyword and help expand your reach, so you can drive more relevant traffic and leads.

Types of keyword modifiers:

  • Quality- Words focusing on the quality of your business. For instance, “best” or “top.”
  • Occasion- Words focusing on a specific point or time. For example, “birthday” or “New Year’s.”
  • Type- Words focusing on something your business offers. For example, “wedding venues in Nashville.”
  • Special offering- Words focusing on a unique offering. For example, “same day shipping” or “all inclusive.”

What is National SEO?

National SEO is for businesses who are targeting customers all over the country. This is beneficial to online businesses where location is irrelevant.

For an e-commerce pet supplies website, some examples of national keywords include:

  • Cat toys
  • Dog food
  • Dog beds
  • Grooming supplies 

User Intent Keywords

Simply put, user intent keywords represent the user’s purpose for the search. It’s what the user is likely to do when searching for a particular phrase. Or, to be more precise, it’s what we think the user is likely to do since we cannot always be sure.

Types of Keyword Intent

Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are used simply when people are searching for information. Some examples of these keywords are:

  • Coffee calories
  • National Coffee Day
  • Difference between cold brew and iced coffee

Informational keywords often include question words like “what is,” “how,” etc. These keywords can be valuable for brand awareness by targeting people with informational content and for educating your audience.

A navigational keyword is when someone searches for a company or brand. For example:

  • YouTube
  • Apple
  • Starbucks

These searches are done by people who already know the brand or product and are looking for a physical location or the correct website. Navigational keywords can be helpful sources of organic traffic when the brand or the site are well-known and popular.

Commercial Keywords

Commercial keywords are specific to the searcher’s interest around a certain product or service. These searches happen when someone wants to know more about the product or service. They may be looking to compare products, for free offers/discounts, or to make a purchase.

  • Free coffee
  • Dunkin iced coffee flavors
  • iPad vs iPad Air
  • iPad Mini reviews

Commercial keywords can be valuable opportunities to reach an audience that could be converted into future customers.

Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords have the strongest intent to buy or take imminent action. These keywords can be targeted via paid ads and optimized purchase pages where people can take immediate action. Some examples are:

  • Sandwich places near me that deliver
  • Pickup truck for sale

These keywords may include words like “for sale,” “buy,” or “subscribe.”  As a result, Google will display Google Shopping ads. Transactional keywords can be more specific and describe a product or service more precisely.

Successful Keyword Search Results

1. Analyze Search Intent

Search intent will help you identify the best keywords for your business. As previously discussed, you need to know your audience. What is their intent? Think about the intent keywords in relation to informational, navigational, and commercial keywords.

2. Understand Keyword Types

There are a few keyword types to know. 

  • Head keywords- One or two words in length. (Ex. Birthday cards)
  • Body keywords- Two or three words in length. (Ex. Mother birthday cards)
  • Long-tail keywords- Four or more words. They produce focused results and most people have learned to use them while searching.

3. Keyword Planner Tools

There are many keyword research tools out there to help you identify the best keywords. Some keyword research tools include:

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • Moz Keyword Explorer

4. Study Your Competition

Make a list of your competitors, go to their websites and see what keywords they are targeting. Looking at competitors’ keywords will help you broaden your list.

5. Analyze the Results

In order to know whether or not your keywords are working, you have to monitor and analyze their results. Insert your keywords everywhere such as blogs, social media posts, metatags, and your website’s content.

Keyword research can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many resources and marketing tips that can help you find and use the right keywords for your content!