posted in Sales & Marketing

We’ve talked a little about Keyword Research in the past, but we thought it was time to provide some more direction, so here’s a guide to performing your Keyword Research. We lay out the steps with simplicity and with contextual examples for you, the UK Manufacturer. Keyword Research is a foundational step in your journey to getting your website to rank on the major search engines, such as google. Keyword Research provides the target and direction for your Search Engine Optimisation, so it’s kind of important!

Keyword Research Guide For Manufacturers

Before we get onto the step by step Keyword Research process, let’s recap what a Keyword actually is.

“A keyword is a search term or phrase a user would type into a search engine when searching the internet…”

Keywords are one of the most significant ways search engines like Google decide when to show your website in their search results, and how far up the search results you should appear.

Back in the bad old days of Search Engine Optimisation there were really underhand or “Spammy” ways that web development companies could use keywords to “trick” search engines. Things are very different today, search engines are a lot more intelligent to the point where they self-learn. This self-learning allows search engines to predict what it is searchers are going to type next, and what the “intent” behind their search is.

Finding the right Keywords for your manufacturing business and then using them correctly is paramount when it comes to using your website to gain customers and leads.

Finding the right Keywords for your manufacturing business and then using them correctly is paramount…

If you want to find out more about Keywords and using them correctly I’d suggest you check out this article for a bit more background.

Step 1 - List All Of Your Capabilities As Keywords

A typical user search is likely to contain a “Capability” and a “Location”. For example an engineering buyer may type “Tube Laser Cutting in Nottingham”. The intent of this search is pretty obvious, and if you offer Tube Laser Cutting Services in the Nottingham area this is definitely a Keyword for your business.

Capabilities like “Laser Cutting” come in any number of variations and Geographical locations can take different levels of granularity, for example “East Midlands” and “Midlands”.

So, now you understand your first task. List all the combinations of capabilities and locations that are applicable to your business. Create this list of Keywords in a spreadsheet, list all of these Keywords in the first column of your spreadsheet and label the column “Capabilities / Locations”

This is just the first step!

Step 2 - Check Out Your Competitors Keywords

Now it’s time to turn to Google. Type each of the Keywords you just came up with into Google and check out the top 3 search results. Click on each result, then we need to look at the HTML code that sits behind the web page you’re seeing. Don’t worry, this isn’t scary, it’s just a Right Click and then press “View Page Source” or “View Source”.

You’re web browser will present you with a page of Code, now you need to check out what Keywords these competitors have used. Click “Ctrl+F” and a search box will appear, usually in the top right of the page. Type into this search box “<Title>”, this will highlight the Title Tag. Read the words that follow the Title Tag and make a note of the Keyword or Keywords in column 2 of your spreadsheet, let’s call it the “Competition” Column.

Now you want to repeat the searches of the page code for the following words: “Keyword” and “Description”. Following the “Keyword” tag you’ll find a bunch of words and phrases, make a note of the most relevant ones, same goes for the “Description” tag.

Repeat the above steps for each of the top 3 Google search results. You should start to see some Keywords that are repeated.

Step 3 - Brainstorm Some Ideas

If an Engineering Buyer was looking for a company with your capabilities, what might they type into the Google search bar?

Think about other words that buyers and engineers may throw into the search term. That might mean adding in a specific material like “Stainless Steel”, or a turnaround time like “Overnight”. It could also include an industry like “Aerospace”, or a level of certification like “CE marking”.

This can lead to a whole load of search terms and Keywords, but that’s ok, we want plenty of Keywords and Phrases.

Make a 3rd column in your spreadsheet for these terms, and list your best ideas down.

Step 4 - Use A Free Tool To Find More Keywords

The 4th column of your spreadsheet can now be filled with some terms that Google itself knows that users are typing into their search engine. Cool huh?

It’s a free tool and it’s called Google Keywords Planner. It’s a free tool that’s part of Google Adwords, and you don’t need to be spending any money on Google Ads to use it. You just need to create an Adwords account.

Once in the Keyword Tool you want to “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Now it’s time to put some of those Keywords you’ve already found into action, the Keyword planner will suggest some more Keywords you could use. The tool also shows you how many monthly searches there are, and how competitive the suggested keywords are. This allows you to select Keywords that are ACTUALLY being searched for and also which Keywords are the most competitive.

Use the Keyword Planner on all of the Keywords you’ve come up with so far, and list the most relevant suggested keywords in the 4th column of your spreadsheet. Call the 4th column, “Keyword Planner”.

You Now Have Your Keywords

You now have a bunch of relevant Keywords you can use on your company website. There will be words and phrases that have appeared in more than 1 column of your keyword spreadsheet. There will also be some really obvious Keywords that you simply KNOW are relevant to your business and to those searching for your capabilities.

How To Use Your Newly Discovered Keywords

You’ll now be wondering “what the heck am I supposed to do now?” Using your Keywords involves updating the pages of your website. So it’s time to head over to your Content Management System and insert your Keywords in the right places.

Don’t know what the “right places” for your Keywords are? Don’t panic, we explained all in one of our previous articles. Check out our article on How And Where To Use Keywords right here.

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