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What are keywords?
How do I find the keywords for my business?
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Do keywords even matter?
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I see you.
Curled up on your couch and cracking your knuckles, preparing to build your website, crank out the most memorable website copy, and check all the boxes to show up on the front page of Google overnight.
You just need some ramen to fuel your work and a basic understanding of keywords.
Here’s the stitch: keywords DO make a difference in how your website performs online BUT they aren’t the end-all, be-all.
Think of keywords as the broth in your ramen website – while it’s a critical part of the dish, you still need to add the noodles, egg, seaweed, and tasty toppings for a hearty meal.
So settle in and get ready to slurp up all this keyword knowledge.
Keywords are the words or phrases your dream clients are typing into Google to find your business (or into Bing if anyone actually uses Bing). You need to strategically place these words on your website to tell your clients AND Google’s robots what your service-based business is all about.
As Google scans your website, your keywords tell the search engine what you do, your expertise, and who you serve. Then, when your dream clients search for those same keywords, Google matches them with your website.
When you strategically use best-fit keywords on your service-based business website, you get free advertisements targeted to your best-fit clients.
Myth: Keywords are only words.
Truth: Keywords can be one or two words, but they can also be phrases or questions up to 6-8 words long.
Myth: All keywords are equal.
Truth: Some keywords are popular (aka high competition), so it’s hard for your website to rank on Google for them. Other keywords are barely searched for (aka low volume), so even if you rank number one on Google, your business is only getting in front of 3 pairs of eyes.
Myth: Keywords need to appear in the exact order.
Truth: Google is scary smart. It understands context meaning as long as your chosen keywords show up near each other, they don’t need to be a perfect match. Ex. brand and website designs | designing unforgettable brands and websites | branding and website design studio
Myth: The more keywords = the higher your website will show up on Google.
Truth: As I said, Google is scary smart and it wants to provide searchers with not only relevant websites but also an enjoyable experience. What’s not enjoyable? Awkward sentences stuffed full of keywords.
Myth: Keywords don’t make a difference for your service-based business website.
Truth: SEO involves more than just keywords. But writing with specific keywords in mind helps you show up in front of your type of people and attract them to your service-based business.
Good ole’ Google – use the autosuggest capability to see what people are searching for and check out the top sites to see how your competitors use the keywords they’re ranking for.
Pinterest – Pinterest isn’t just a site for interior decor inspiration or delicious recipes, it’s a search engine like Google. Test out the autosuggest capability to find out what words people are looking up.
Ubersuggest – A somewhat free tool that gives you an overview of your website SEO, keyword metric, and keyword suggestions. My go-to keyword research tool!
Other tools I’ve heard recommended but haven’t used: Keywords Everywhere, SEMRush, Ahrefs.
So I’ve convinced you that keywords DO make a difference for your service-based business (as in they bring in your dream clients and help you see more ‘payouts on your way’ emails). Now it’s time to actually find the right keywords for your website.
This is where you pull out your pen and paper and brainstorm every term that your ideal clients might type into Google to find your service.
Start with thinking about the purpose of each page of your website – your home page, service page, about page, contact page, and blog posts – and what a reader would do on those pages. Explore elopement photography packages? Hire a creative website copywriter? Join a womens surf retreat? Learn how to find keywords for their service-based business?
If you run out of ideas quickly, that’s when a little spying helps.
Head over to Google and start typing in your ideas to see what the autocomplete suggests or take a peek at your competitors’ websites and how they’re using keywords.
Once you have your list of keywords, it’s time to narrow them down by choosing the most effective ones for your website. This is when you should find a keyword metric tool (like Ubersuggest).
The two main metrics you want to examine when choosing keywords for your business are Volume and Ranking.
Volume is the number of Google searches done for this term each month – >50 is ideal.
Ranking is how easy it is to get your website ranking for this keyword – <50 is ideal.
Now that you understand your audience’s search intent, know your website page purposes, AND identified your keyword metrics…you’re ready to narrow down your keyword list to the best options for your service-based business.
Pick one main keyword for each page of your website. This keyword should fit in your Title Tag, Meta Description, and H1 Heading at the minimum.
You can also pick two supporting keywords to sprinkle throughout your website copy for variety.
Keywords themselves aren’t hard to grasp. You just need to step into your dream clients’ shoes and imagine what they’re searching for when in need.
The tricky part comes when you need to seamlessly meld keywords into your brand’s voice, positioning, and communication style. This is where you need a copywriter who understands SEO and writes in your brand’s voice.
But if right now, you’re only focusing on understanding and finding the right keywords for your service-based business, then you’ll want to download my free keyword video training for a 20-minute lesson on the exact process I use to find keywords for client blogs, website copy, and strategy sessions.
Discover keywords for your website copy that has Google and your dream clients falling head over keyboard. Get eyes on your page and fingers clicking your ‘book me button’ with this free video training and workbook.
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Creative copywriting for open-minded adventurers and imaginative entrepreneurs seeking new experiences.