How to research your web keywords
Ranking for the right web keywords can make or break your website, meaning research is absolutely vital. By researching your market’s keyword demand you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target but also
learn more about your audience.
Your primary objective shouldn’t be ranking for just one single keyword but increasing the total domain authority through content quality and relevancy to your target audience.
Keywords have long played a central role in SEO and driving traffic to websites. Originally the mechanics were
straightforward, although today the use of keywords is much more complicated.
Google’s algorithms have become much more complex (Rank Brain AI, in particular), and they now evaluate the intention behind your query and then search for a ‘best fit’ candidate in its network of indexed sites.
Clarifying the intentions and purpose of your business to Google is therefore paramount in achieving good quality traffic. The modern customer journey is also complex, so it’s important to focus on the key moments that can help inspire people to interact and engage with your business.
With the evolution of SERP features and a more personalized approach to search results, you cannot solely rely on a page 1 keyword ranking to get you as much traffic as possible. Here’s how you can master web keywords research…
1. Understand short and long tail
Researching the terminology that inspires your audience and encourages them to convert is crucial. These high intent keywords are an excellent opportunity to connect with qualified, conversion-ready
These keywords can be broken down into:
- Short tail (shorter, more generalized with greater search volume).
- Long-tail (longer, more specific with less search volume, which also has an impact with voice search).
These variants will have an impact on impressions, click-through rates, and competition.
2. Start with ideation and research
A good place to start is with Ideation. Brainstorm your ideal customer’s keyword search terms and establish a baseline list. These seed keywords define your niche and describe your service. Get into the mindset of your
audience: who they are and what are their pain points; get to know them better by studying their terminology.
If you can, utilize your ‘search box’ result terminology to outline what your target customer is thinking during their buyer journey. Brainstorm their Awareness stages (Inspiration-pain points), Consideration stages (research-comparison) and Decision stages (purchase-advocacy).
3. Google your initial ideas
The next step is to understand what keyword terminology, in line with your ideation list, is used by your audiences in the search engines. Investigate the SERP and review what Google believes is the most relevant to your keyword.
There is also an opportunity to review the ‘searches related to’ field in Google (bottom of the page). This will
showcase a wealth of related keyword searches aligned with your initial thoughts. You can also head over to Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends) and review how your keywords have evolved.
This will give you a good indication of interest and related topics due to seasonality, geography/location, and media coverage to add further weight and terms to your list.
4. Don’t forget about Bing
Bing is increasing its share of the search engine market, with the mass release and rollout of Windows 10. The savvy marketers will capitalize on this and understand that Bing may have a certain demographic to target.
Keyword terminology will, therefore, be a key factor with this channel and nuisances between this and Google will be evident. Research keyword terminology around this older demographic and the opportunities that come from it.
5. Analyze your competitors’organic web keywords
Having an insight into what your competition is doing well – and what keywords they rank for – can give you a huge advantage.
Review the websites appearing on the first page naturally alongside your ideation list. Dig deeper into these websites, understanding the keyword terminology used within their URLs, header hierarchy, meta titles, and descriptions.
6. Analyze your competitors PPC keywords
Look at what keyword terms the competition is bidding on. You can do this as per your initial research process
utilizing your ideation list within the search engines. As well as utilizing third-party tools to save time, a useful
tool that can help with this is SpyFu (https://www.spyfu.com). Simply enter the competitor’s website domain and press enter.
7. Understand what you already rank for
As well as building your keyword list, knowing what you already rank for can increase opportunities to target
keyword placements outside of page 1 positioning. This can highlight ‘easy wins’ with Page 2 positioning’s that
need a simple push! Go to Google Search Console, click Search Traffic> Search Analytics, filter by Queries and click ‘Clicks/Impressions/CTR/Position’. Then select Dates and Filter by Position to view the positioning and terminology.
8. Set primary and secondary keywords
Now you have a list, select a primary keyword and a set of related secondary keywords that share your searcher’s intent (understanding what their motivation is crucial). The intent behind these keyword terms and phrases should be the same, so the same landing page content can ultimately serve it. Employ these primary, secondary and related keywords in the page’s content, metas, and links.
9. Gain some metrics
Use your keyword list inside the free ‘Google Keyword Tool’ (https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner). Here you can review these metrics:
Search Volume: understand the search demand for a keyword and utilize this alongside ‘Google Trends’for insights on seasonality.
Keyword difficulty is a balance between the business value of the keyword and its ranking difficulty. Invest in where you will receive the best return and be patient for the results.
Clicks: Having volume is great, but PPC adverts, localized map listings, and rich snippets can immediately answer or steal clicks. Be mindful of this metric when selecting keywords.
10. Structure your keyword list
Having generated a list and used the metrics to identify the very best web keywords, it’s now time to add some structure to your list. Ideally, this process is whatever makes the most sense to you. For example, group by keyword topic and landing page, or group by user intent, or group by business value.
Prioritize actions based upon Groupings
Group by Topic and Page: find which keywords (primary and secondary) are semantically and contextually related, and group them under a ‘highest volume keyword’ to target within a single page. Highlight the keywords and
the page within your spreadsheet.
Group by Intent: at what stage is your audience in the buyer’s journey (ZMOT – UMOT); what is their intent; what are their expectations? This moves us into the implementation of the design and content of the page, building
the page to match expectations and keyword relevancy.
Group by business value/commercial intent: be mindful of vanity metric keywords and those which will drive a clear ROI.
Prioritize: The aim of any keyword research is to utilize the findings across your website content and back-end metas. The best keyword strategy is a diverse one that understands each page will have its own challenges.
Review each page individually and embrace the flexibility of topic-based, location, short tail, and long-tail keywords. Contact Musato Technologies to learn how our ICT solutions and products can help grow your business.