One of my first experiences with Google SEO and SEA happened more than 10 years ago. My father owns a small construction company, and I was going to promote his business on the internet. I was also going to improve his ranking by performing SEO. We defined his main target market as an area that’s called “Het Gooi.” I had the perfect plan to improve his SEO ranking by optimizing his page texts, using “Het Gooi” more often in strategic areas of the website. What could go wrong, right?
The main thing I learned during that first experience is that you should always research the competition before continuing with your keyword research. One of the other construction companies had the same target market but always ranked higher than my father’s. The reason was simple; it was very hard to compete with a business that was called “Construction Company Het Gooi.”
How brand, product, or service names affect your SEO
Google ranks your website based on several aspects, and one of the algorithm components you can alter to improve your ranking is the right keyword selection. Your target audience uses search terms to find the product or service they are looking for, and you will be rewarded with a higher ranking when you show Google that you can provide what they need.
Let’s take a look at an example of how this works from the perspective of a customer.
Let’s say you’re living in the Bahamas and you are looking for a new air conditioner. You look up “Air conditioning specialist Bahamas.” If a website sells all sorts of items and an air conditioner is part of their selection, you will only find an air conditioner if you take a closer look at their website. But if there is a company that only sells air conditioning units and that is all their content is about, Google will rank this company higher because they are a better fit for your air conditioning needs. After all, that is what they specialize in.
Google ranks the keywords higher if they are more prominent on the website. If the keyword “air conditioning” is in the footer of the website, it does not count as much towards the ranking as when it is in the main text, or even better, in the header of the webpage. If the keyword is also in the name of the product page, there will be an even better ranking. If the keyword is everywhere on your website, even in the name of your brand, there will be a full circle. So, in this example, the keyword “air conditioning” is used in all aspects of your company, which makes it very clear to Google that you are all about air conditioning.
Should I name everything after the best-ranking SEO keywords?
One very important thing to keep in mind is that just using the keywords isn’t enough for Google. The algorithm also includes other aspects, among them readability. This is something that needs to be kept in mind, your use of keywords must make sense. Otherwise, a company that sells air conditioning units could just write “air conditioning” 100 times in a row. Nothing is said, but the keyword is used very often. Google would not see this as valuable text and, therefore, your ranking would decrease. The same applies to naming your products, services, or company after keywords. It only works if it’s logical and if it’s readable.
For example, “air conditioning” might be the most searched keyword in the Bahamas, but you cannot simply call your company “air conditioning”. Including the keyword in your name is beneficial, though. If your name is John Smith, you can choose to call your company “John Smith air conditioning” instead of “John Smith cooling services.”
But what if you sell air conditioning units, swimming pools, and electric gates? When selling multiple products or services, it can be hard to implement a keyword in your brand name. You can, however, still use the keywords in your product pages. If a potential customer opens your website and the main menu consists of “air conditioning”, “swimming pool” and “electric gate”, you still use the keywords in a place where they are highly ranked.
Every month, an average of 70 people look for above-ground pools and 20 people look for Intex pools. This means that it’s better to be higher ranked for “above ground pools” than for “Intex pool”. By choosing “above ground pools” as the name of the product page, John will score higher in his SEO rating because his keywords are better aligned with the search interests of his target audience. This insight can help John change his main menu, including “above-ground pools” instead of “swimming pools”.
A real-life example of optimization after performing keyword research
We recently had an internal discussion at Profound about whether the department that creates online ads should be called Online Marketing or Digital Marketing. At a lot of companies, these decisions are made purely on feeling; the people who are involved with picking the names simply go with what they think sounds best. Of course, this is not the approach of a digital marketer. A digital marketer makes decisions based on data. That’s why, during the meeting where we discussed the name, I came up with a data-driven approach.
Our target area includes Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and several other Caribbean countries, which have roughly 4 million people in total. These people all use Google, and they use certain search terms to find what they are looking for. By analyzing their search behavior, it was possible to choose the keyword that best fit what they were looking for. Let’s have a look at the results from the keyword planner below.
It is better to reach 1000 potential leads a month for a keyword with low competition than to reach 90 people a month for a keyword with medium competition. That’s why I am a part of the digital marketing team, as opposed to the online marketing team. A seemingly small difference, but it makes a significant impact on your SEO ranking.
If you are working on improving your SEO for an existing or new company, do not forget to take a close look at the names of your products, services, or maybe even the name of your brand. Choosing the right names, based on keyword research, can help you achieve an improved SEO ranking. Are you already aware of how often people search for the terms related to your product or service?