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    If you’ve ever used the internet, you know more about SEO than you might think you do.

    Think of it like this—you type something in the search engine and a long list of websites populate with answers. You then decide to pick on the website that catches your eye, or you believe to be the most useful.

    That, in essence, is SEO at work.

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is, effectively, the strategy of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through brand awareness and organic search results. In this blog, we’re going to tackle only one aspect, of the roughly 200 Google lists: keywords.

    Keywords 

    Keywords are the words or phrases that are entered into the search engine to answer a question. For example, a healthy lunch spot may want to optimize phrases like “vegetarian”, “lunch”, “healthy”, or even specific brand words like “tempeh” and ” vegetarian fare” or “localvore”. By identifying keywords that people would relate to your brand, you’re closer to understanding what they will search for.

    While it may sound easy, you still have to take into account a few factors to determine which keywords you need to target.

    • Search volume: While you might think a keyword is fantastic, it doesn’t mean it’s actually being searched for. The more people are searching for a keyword, the larger audience you have the opportunity to reach—and vice versa. 

    • Relevance: You need to ensure the keywords, and audience, you choose are actually relevant to your products or services. Imagine searching “lunch near me,” but ending up on a pet supply website. That’s an incorrect answer to your question and creates a poor user experience.

    • Competition: With millions of websites on the internet, you’ll run into keyword competition. You need to research competitors to understand which keywords they are ranking for, and optimize your website to beat them.

    To create a more effective keyword strategy, read: thinking beyond your interpretation, you need to have a deeper understanding of what your prospective customers want. Ask yourself what they’re interested in, what problems they have, and who are they buying other products from. These answers should give you an initial “seed list” of keywords that you can utilize throughout your website.

    If you’re ready to discover keywords and learn how competitive they are, quite a few tools exist that you can use to help take out the guesswork:

    Once your SEO is in motion, you need to determine if it’s actually working and driving traffic back to your website. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend hours diving into your SEO keyword strategy, only to find little to no improvements. You can monitor key performance indicators, like your keyword strategy, to measure your SEO performance through tools like Google Analytics

    For our friends at The Carbondale Beat, we made sure to expand the search terms beyond their brand so that folks looking for lunch in the region could be introduced to wholesome vegetarian fare in a chic and rustic environment. 

    If you find yourself at a loss, or stressed, or overwhelmed… don’t worry! There are people who dedicate their entire career to the many aspects of SEO and some of those people work with FootSteps Marketing. Please don’t hesitate to lean on the experts. Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to assist.