Say you’re a veterinarian and you write a great article at your website titled “Nutrition for Your Bunbun.” Will that article bring you traffic, increase your thought leadership, or get the attention of prospective new clients? In this conversation, Rebecca and Rosie Haden talk with Jeremy Conkle about keywords and how they affect the performance of your website.
Hint: you’d be better off with “How to Feed Your Rabbit.”
“The things that you imagine somebody is going to look for to find you are usually not the things they will be looking for,” Rosie points out, “because you have more information.”
So how can you tell which keywords will work best for your website?
People start with problems
People usually start searching with their problems. If I’m concerned about whether to feed my rabbit hay or carrots, I probably won’t search first for “veterinarian that cares for bunnies.” I’ll start with questions about feeding my rabbit.
As I learn more from Googling, I’ll make more specific searches. I might visit retailers, bunny bloggers, and my local Agricultural Extension, as well as vets providing useful advice for rabbit owners. I’m still not going to type in “Nutrition for Your Bunbun,” but if I read a vet’s article on how to feed my rabbit and find it helpful, I might also learn why I should schedule a visit.
When I’m ready to look for a vet, I’ll search for something like “vet that cares for rabbits” or “bunny vet” or “pet rabbit care.” If you’re the vet who gave me good information in my earlier search, you’ll probably show up again. Since you have already helped me and made a positive impression, I’m likely to make an appointment with you.
As the vet in our example, you might think first about keywords like “veterinarian” or “pet care.” Those might be the highest volume keywords at your website. Perhaps for 100 organic search visits, 22 have searched with your highest-volume keywords.
But that means that 78 have searched for something else. That long tail on the chart is actually the majority of the keywords people use to find you. That might include “feeding a rabbit” or “paper train a puppy” or “best pet for allergy sufferer.” Having valuable content for all those searches at your website will bring you more organic traffic.
We used to recommend that site owners make sure to include local geographic terms in their web content. Nowadays, Google generally knows where you are. However, including your address and other local information is always a good idea.
Our goal is to cooperate with search engines and to make it easy for them to show you to the right customers.
If Google is showing me vets in a different state from the one where I live or where I’m searching, Google might be confused about my location. But this is also a sign that my local vets are doing a bad job with their SEO. In fact, when I Google “bunny vet,” the closest option is in Indiana, 500 miles away. Any vet in my town who is willing to care for rabbits is missing out.
They’re probably missing keywords about rabbits.
Personalized search keywords
“The things you usually search for affect what Google shows you,” says Rebecca at one point in the conversation. She’s talking about the fact that different people see different search results.
There are lots of factors affecting personalized search, and some of them have to do with previous search behavior.
That’s why, if I have visited your page about rabbit feeding and then I search for a vet, your website will probably show up. Google knows that I visited you before, and figures that I am interested to see the website of a vet who has already helped me.
As you can see, the decision about what keywords to use for your website is not always a simple one — but it’s always important. Contact us to help you with this or any SEO or digital marketing issue.