If your company has just launched a new website, you’re likely preoccupied with the technical details and making sure that there’s a good user experience that makes sense. It’s a lot to think about, but don’t forget the importance of proper SEO, especially as it relates to keyword strategy. By proactively following SEO best practices, you’re positioning your website to be successful from the start, instead of creating more problems to be fixed later.

The main problem with new websites trying to be effective with SEO is a lack of data and telling analytics in regards to what content is resonating with visitors, and what keywords worked to bring those people to your website in the first place. If your company has never implemented an SEO strategy before, that’s another knowledge gap that must be filled.

What is Keyword Research?

Before going too in-depth into the topic, it’s important to define what exactly keyword research is. Put simply, keyword research is a specific search engine optimization practice professionals use to determine the actual search terms people enter on search engines.

By arming yourself with knowledge based on actual searches, it’s possible to optimize content accordingly. By also taking into account existing competition, it becomes necessary to get very specific in keyword choice. With the right mix of keywords that take your audience into consideration, you’ll rank higher and attract more relevant visitors to your website.

To help get your new website started on the right foot, here are some winning keyword research tips for new websites.

Know Your Competition

If your website is new, it’s likely that you have some existing competition that has likely already tried to optimize for specific keywords on Google. Start the process of keyword research by analyzing 3-5 top competitors and the content on their website, especially on their blogs.

SEMRush is a tool that can help you find keyword phrases your competitors are using to rank in organic search, as well as the terms they’re bidding for on paid search. Are there unexplored opportunities your competitors haven’t yet sought out? A different way to use keywords that they haven’t tried? These are your opportunities to capture search traffic in regards to your competitors and fill the information void on the internet.

Know Your Audience

The single most important consideration in keyword research is the type of audience your website is going after, and using keywords that speak to these people, and then incentivizing them to click through.

Google Keyword Planner is an extremely useful SEO tool that is invaluable when it comes to determining search volume on specific keywords. Although the tool is designed with the Adwords user in mind, there are a lot of parallels for keyword planning in regards to organic search. Pair with Google Trends to analyze the seasonality of keywords, then turn to Answer the Public to determine long tail keyword phrases worth targeting. It may seem like a lot of work, but putting in the effort now will pay off later when organic search is bringing in potential customers.

Ignore Search Volume

There are many keywords that gets millions of searches each month that are tempting to try and rank for. There’s bound to be a keyword like this that you’d like to target for your specific geographic area. However, higher search volume means more competition for that keyword. Remember that your new website will be going against other big and older brands with established SEO practices and money to spend on big SEO firms and Adword spend. Besides that, just because a certain keyword has high search volume, doesn’t mean it should be your priority keyword. Just as your website/company shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone, high volume on a search term doesn’t mean that everyone who’s searching is a qualified candidate for your offerings.

By targeting long-tail keywords, or very specific keywords that combine many related words, you have a better chance of ranking and being relevant. Users who search using more specific keywords are likely much better customers for your website, because they know and want exactly what you have to offer. The chance for conversion is much higher, especially if you’re targeting for keywords with buying intent.

Evaluate Social Profiles

Besides these standard SEO research tools, keywords can be found in the communities  you’re a part of, especially where customers gather. Evaluate your social community and take a look at their profiles for keyword phrases relating to how they describe themselves.

Look through social posts and groups and see what questions they’re asking. Quora is another excellent resources for getting in the mind of your customer. Established websites can also look to the questions customers submit through contact forms and FAQ pages for ideas. Knowing your community is essential to determining ideal keyword selection, no matter what stage of the process you’re in.

Be Flexible

Google is constantly changing it’s algorithm, which means that strategies have to be flexible and willing to change when big updates occur. Besides that, your industry will evolve and all things connected to it will also evolve. Vocabulary may change to favor new terms, and customers will be less interested in older topics. You have to be willing to keep working with new keywords on your website to avoid being outdated. Work to create some content that stays relevant over time, and some content that will likely need to be updated or replaced as things change. This mix is essential for gaining interest.

Understanding the basics of SEO and keyword research will help new websites hit the ground running, even with established competitors. Your keyword target will be the center of your SEO campaign, and will be a large determinant of whether qualified people click through to your website. Of course, you can always retroactively apply keyword best practices, but it is better to start strong.

Still need help picking keywords to successfully show up on Google and attract your audience? Blu Sky is happy to brainstorm with you! Get in touch for a free consultation.