Updated: Jan 31
Before you can even begin to understand SEO you have to understand the people on the other side of the screen.
Step 1: Learn the words your customers are actually searching for
You can’t optimize your website without knowing what your customers are searching for — kinda obvious.
How do you figure this out? The best starting point is to use common sense.
Imagine that you run a pet insurance company. It doesn’t take an SEO genius to guess what your customers are searching for:
pet insurance company
Best pet insurance
compare pet insurance prices
Before you begin your SEO journey do anything else, think about what your customers might be searching for and write down your ideas.
Done? Good. Let’s do some more research.
Identify the keywords people are searching for that you want your website to rank for in search engines like Google.
Sounds simple enough, right? I want my pet insurance company to show up when people look for “pet insurance,” and maybe when they type in things like “best pet insurance prices.” Yay! All done!
Unfortunately, not quite. There are a few key factors to take into account when determining the keywords you want to target on your site:
Search Volume — The first factor to consider is how many people (if any) are actually searching for a given keyword. The more people there are searching for a keyword, the bigger the audience you stand to reach. Conversely, if no one is searching for a keyword, there is no audience available to find your content through search.
Relevance — If a term is frequently searched for that’s great: but what if it’s not completely relevant to the search? If you’re selling email marketing software you don’t want to show up in searches for pet insurance and vice-versa.
Competition — As with anything in business you want to understand your competition. For SEO this means understanding where your website ranks compared to your competition.
Next, we’ll learn how to understand a keyword explorer such as Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.