How to use different broad and narrow keyword and content strategies to optimise your website

7 December 2015

When you undertake any keyword analysis for your website it can sometimes appear to be very daunting. You can be faced with a long list of keywords and search terms but might not always be sure of how to use to use them to best effect on your website. We have found that it can be really beneficial to split the keywords that you find into two groups for narrow and broad targeting. Narrow content strategies focusing on very specific terms which are searched for with a clear intent. In contrast, broad content strategies look at how you can employ more expansive search terms that may have a higher volume of searches.

How to analyse your keywords

When you have your keyword list you can assess each keyword to work out which category it falls into. Here are some of the key factors that you could look out for to help you narrow down where each keyword or phrase belongs.

Narrow Search Terms usually focus on a very specific search term. For example a women’s fashion store may have “blue mother of the bride outfits” on their list. This search shows that the user has a clear idea of the specific product or service that they want to purchase.  There tends to be much smaller search volumes for these terms as they are very particular and are not always easy to expand out into other phrases.

Broad Search Terms are far more fluid and there can be a number of reasons why a user may be putting in those terms when looking online. It could be that they are doing some research, looking to purchase or looking for further guidance.  These broad search terms can be easily adapted to other phrases and often have a very high search volume as they are more general. So our example of the fashion store could have “outfits for weddings” as one of their broad search terms.

How to utilise your narrow and broad keyword terms for search engine success

Once you have assessed your list of keywords and search terms you can then use this to your advantage when planning your website. For the broader terms you can make sure that they are used at a higher level in your site plan. As the terms themselves are fairly flexible you can look at the long tail keyword phrases that could work around them. You could also incorporate them into blog posts.

Then, for your narrow keyword terms, you can focus on using them to help customers find very specific products which they don’t want to spend ages searching online for. These narrow terms can be used to split larger pages into more product specific sections so with our example you may use ‘Wedding Outfits’ as your page title, then direct customers to “mother of the bride outfits” and finally allow them to drill down to their chosen product by colour.

What are the benefits of this dividing search terms in this way?

Using this type of targeting has many benefits both for your customers and for your website. Firstly it really helps you to understand the ways that your customers are trying to find your product or service online. This means that you can create your site map to capitalise on the search keywords, using the broader search terms to inform your heading and page titles, and then building on the narrow search terms for more specific product details.

Secondly it helps to provide the user experience that the customer really wants. So for customers who are researching general terms they will want to be given more wide ranging information and guidance to help inform their choice. Likewise customers looking for something very specific and with a clear intent will want to be taken to that product or service quickly and efficiently and including the narrow keyword terms in the right places will ensure that they can do this. We know that Google really values a great customer experience and so this will positively impact on your website’s place in the search rankings too!

Taking the time to analyse your keywords and to work out where to use them on your site really will pay dividends both in terms of happy customers and a great ranking with the search engines.