The primary aim of any SEO policy is to have your website rank, preferably in the top 10 search results, for words relevant to your business. Yet many equine businesses miss out on full rewards of SEO because they skip the crucial first step - keyword research. The importance of keyword research in SEO is not to be overlooked, and it can be pivotal when aspiring to that evasive first page of Google.
This article covers:
The Importance of Keyword Research in SEO
Keyword research is the crucial first step in any SEO strategy. Without it, you cannot effectively plan your SEO. There are a number of reasons for this:
Never Assume Which Keywords To Target
Firstly, it’s rarely safe to assume what keywords search engine users are actually using. Many equine businesses will make assumptions about which keywords they need to target. However, keyword research will often reveal that some keywords are not used as often as you might think. Furthermore, you can miss out on keywords that you may not have thought of, which are actually being used by a considerable number of people.
Secondly, keyword research allows you to identify the search volume of each keyword. Search volume is usually expressed as the average number of times a keyword is used each month. The search volume of a keyword can affect how competitive it is, as well as whether you target it as one of your focus keywords or as a minor or secondary keyword.
Competition / Keyword Difficulty
Thirdly, keyword research allows you to identify how competitive a keyword is. Less competitive keywords may be less valuable (i.e. lower search volume, lower intent, less likely to result in a website visit or sale) but they may be easier to target if you are just starting out on your SEO journey. Very competitive keywords are likely to be more valuable (i.e. higher search volume, higher intent, more likely to lead to a sale) but they can be much harder to rank for. Getting your website to rank in the top 100 search results - let alone the top 10 - can take months or even years.
Strategy and Direction
Not carrying out keyword research before embarking on an SEO campaign is like hopping on your horse for a schooling session without first knowing if you’re working towards Grand Prix dressage or Novice eventing. Sure, you know you want to get more website traffic - just like you want to be a great rider - but if you don’t know which keywords you want to target, your SEO strategy will lack direction.
This lack of direction will only cause more problems later on. As your website grows, how will you allocate keywords to new pages? How will you know whether it’s worth adapting your strategy to target higher-value keywords? How will you avoid wasting all of that time and energy on optimising your website for the wrong keywords?
SEO takes time to plan, implement and work. This means it also takes time to change course and adapt your strategy. It’s a bit like training for Advanced dressage, working towards your piaffe and your passage, then all of a sudden, entering a 2* eventing competition. Your dressage horse won’t suddenly be able to go cross-country overnight; it will take time for you both to adapt and re-train for a new discipline.
How to do SEO Keyword Research for Your Equine Business
Now you understand how crucial the keyword research process is, it's time to learn how to carry out your keyword research. We have written an article on How to Find Keywords for SEO, so do take a look. The guide includes information on which keyword research tools to use, whether to target high or low search volume keywords, and where to begin when carrying out keyword research for your equine business website.
Top Tips for Effective Keyword Research
Start Basic: It can be very easy to get carried away with so many keyword ideas to choose from! Aim to stick to a handful (maximum 30) before expanding your keyword list later on.
Start Simple: Aim to target easier keywords to begin with. This will drive your website up the rankings faster, and from there you can start to target more difficult keywords.
Consider Intent: We will cover this in another blog, but you should consider the intent of someone searching for each keyword. Are they looking to buy now? Are they doing preliminary research? Are they comparing the available options? Do they already know what they are looking for? Are they already committed to your competitor, or are they open to trying your brand? Are they looking for the cheapest price, the best-performing option or the most convenient solution? All of these things can affect whether you seek to target a keyword, and how.
One Per Page: A good SEO strategy requires you to allocate one unique focus keyword to each page of your website (with exceptions for privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc). This will affect how many keywords you need to find, and how you decide to distribute them throughout your website.
Don’t Forget Your Blogs: If you have, or plan to have, a blog, then aim to gather some keywords to use for your blog articles. Things like questions, how-tos, definitions and statistics can make good inspiration for blog articles.
Get Your Keyword Research Right with Purple Horse Marketing
We are an equine marketing agency specialising in helping equestrian businesses get found in search engines like Google. Our SEO packages, which range from Intro to Grand Prix, each come with the essential component of any successful SEO strategy: effective keyword research. A thorough understanding of the effective use of keywords is pivotal to any website's SEO success. Discover our SEO services for equestrian businesses and book your free consultation with us today.