When it comes to keyword best practices, the main rule is that the rules are always changing. However, the idea that user experience is king still resonates, and that's where the main conundrum lies: What makes a good user experience is a concept that search engines continue to refine and redefine, which explains why, even with paid search marketing, a top position is not guaranteed. There is no magic bullet to get a higher search ranking, but you can do your best to stay on top of the game with these keyword best practices.
1. Go With the Flow
Companies have always tried to influence consumers who are already prospects, and with the widespread availability of information available to consumers on the Internet, the ability to make those connections is much stronger. Google points out that your keywords should reflect the different queries that could help someone find your site when they're searching. Think of your keywords as your customers' verbalization of the problems they're trying to solve, and create content around relevant answers. For example, if you sell women's evening shoes, posts about trends in evening wear will draw a wider range of prospects and give you more options for keywords.
2. Be Real
How would you describe your business or product to someone who'd never heard of your company? Your customer is unlikely to be familiar with your industry's keywords. If you sell bike locks, you know your average customer asks for a U-lock as opposed to a D-shaped shackle lock, the technical term for the same item. Use that knowledge. Also keep in mind that keywords vary in different parts of the world. In the bike lock example, you'd want to include the word "push-bike" for U.K.-based searches.
3. Use Keyword Tools
If the idea of knowing all possible variations on keywords is daunting, rest easy. In addition to Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster Tools and Ubersuggest, there is a lot of help available. Google also notes that using Dynamic Search Ads can help streamline your account management because you won't need to make continual updates to your keyword list every time you make change to your site.
4. Go Long
Brush up on your keyword terminology. Broad keywords are short words or phrases that may be interpreted widely, such as "running shoes," while long-tail keywords tend to be longer words or phrases that are more specific to your company or industry, such as "best running shoes for flat feet." Long-tail keywords are generally the way to go because they bring in the most relevant and qualified traffic.
5. Adapt to Survive
As your product and the market changes, your keyword strategy should do the same. Monitor the keywords that are performing well, and test new ones. Google recommends deleting your low-search-volume keywords as part of your regular maintenance. If those keywords aren't performing for you, they are basically just getting in the way and creating clutter. There are always new ways to make your awesome products (more) findable.