Are you looking for SEO and keyword research tips to make the most out of your SEO?
Are you tired of struggling with unproductive keyword research tactics? Do you want to learn SEO methods that work, once and for all?
If so, you’re not alone. Today, keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO, and companies that learn to do it correctly stand to enjoy major gains in traffic and sales.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the SEO tactic of researching the keywords and phrases users are most likely to input into a search engine to find a website. A critical piece of designing a user-friendly website and content, keyword research is a fluid practice that marketers and SEOs typically undertake several times a year.
Good keyword research makes it easier for marketers to attract the right users to a website. It also helps ensure the content they’re publishing is relevant, quality, and informative.
How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research: 5 Tips
If you’re working to conduct more effective keyword research in 2017, you’re not alone. Here are some simple tips to get you off to a great start.
1. Understand the Difference Between Head and Long-Tail Terms
All good keyword research combines two different types of keyword phrases: head terms and long-tail keywords. Head terms are the shorter, more general keyword phrases (“dog grooming,” for example). Long-tail phrases are more in-depth and feature specific terms like “Springer Spaniel summer clips.”
While head terms have a much larger search volume, they’re also more competitive and can be harder to rank for. As such, it’s essential to employ a healthy mix of both head and long-tail terms in your keyword research strategy.
2. Focus on Relevance
Relevant keywords always perform better than irrelevant keywords. While this seems obvious, some marketers get so caught up in things like search volume and competitive keyword phrases that they attempt to rank for keywords that aren’t entirely relevant to their user base. This is always a bad decision. Irrelevant keyword phrases have a negative impact on your conversion rate. They also consume valuable marketing dollars that you could be allocating to more productive terms and projects.
Instead of getting lost in high-volume but less-than-relevant keyword phrases for your brand, focus on the opportunities that provide the most value to your customers. Not only will these convert better, but they’ll also help you brand yourself as a company that understands and cares about your customers’ concerns and interests.
The more familiar you are with your target audience, the easier it will be to see the difference between relevant and irrelevant keywords.
3. Narrow Your List
The number of keywords you include in your keyword strategy should be limited by virtue of content. In other words, you can’t create enough content to target 1,300 keywords effectively. Instead, focus on the most relevant, productive, and interesting keywords for your brand and user base.
Once you’ve developed a list, build your content strategy around them. This means narrowing your keyword list after you’ve compiled an initial batch of opportunities.
To start this process, evaluate your keyword phrases objectively. Which are too competitive? Which have a low search volume, but are likely to bring in lots of highly qualified leads? Are some more attractive to your user base than others? Cut anything that doesn’t offer promise and proceed with only the most valuable and attractive opportunities.
4. Cluster Your Keywords Around Topics
With the rise of Semantic Search, keyword research is changing. Gone are the days of targeting hyper-specific keywords and stuffing them into content everywhere an opportunity appeared. Today, modern SEO standards dictate that you focus on “topics” rather than individual terms.
Put simply, this means target a specific topic – starting a blog, for example – and develop a list of topics around it, rather than targeting the keyword phrase “starting a blog” exhaustively. Related keywords for this example could include “why use WordPress,” “how to add a featured image to a blog,” and “ideal blogging frequency.”
The “topics rather than terms” approach makes for a more expansive SEO strategy and creates more useful content for your readers.
5. Pay Attention to the Competition
As you conduct your keyword research, you’ll want to pay attention to your competition’s keyword ranking. There are two good reasons for this. The first is that understanding the competition is always a smart idea. Keeping an eye on their keyword strategy is a great way to enhance and expand your own.
The second is that your competition’s keyword rankings influence the keywords you’ll want to target. If your competitor is dominating your top seed keyword, for example, you may choose to compete head-to-head with them, but only if you have the team and the budget for it.
If you evaluate competitor keyword strategies and find big gaps in what they’re targeting, you’ll be able to develop your keyword strategy accordingly.
Keyword Research for the Modern Day
While some people believe keyword research is an archaic SEO tactic, the truth is that it’s more relevant today than it’s ever been. Great keyword research can set your company apart from the competition and make it easier for you to get the attention and traffic you deserve. What’s more, since not all companies excel at keyword research, the ones who do will enjoy gain in traffic, sales, and views for years to come.