The Best Keyword Research Tips You’ll Read Today
Attention all content marketers, content creators, and content curators: Keyword research is not dead. In fact, keyword research is likely one of the most important steps for all digital marketers, especially if you want your content to be found, consumed by your target personas. That’s why you need the best keyword research tips for 2015.
One of the first strategies we show all of our new team members is how to do keyword research. Not just any old keyword research but how to do effective short and long-tail keyword research, to specifically target the right prospect/consumer, on the right medium, at the right time.
Your target readers will be using a variety of specific, long-tail phrases with “questions” that your quality content needs to answer. You need to make sure you are using these keywords and phrases, and the many short and long-tail key terms in your metadata and on page copy, among other important areas of your website code.
So, in this post today, I’d like to share a tips on how to use Google Search Console to create a keyword strategy that will give you endless amounts of new, quality content ideas. These tips will hopefully take you beyond simply using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, and also help your team uncover many new content ideas.
By the end of this post you should be able to create a keyword strategy using Search Console that will provide you, or your SEO company, enough data to do the following:
- Comprehensively SEO optimize your home page.
- Get an edge on your competitors SEO strategy.
- Uncover valuable content ideas you never thought about!
- Prioritize your extensive list of long-tail and related keywords.
How To Build a Keyword Strategy
Depending on your level of SEO expertise and the amount of time you actually have to optimize your company website, building a keyword strategy should be kept simple. I’m not saying you should ignore in-depth keyword research, i’m just suggesting to keep it simple when you’re starting out.
Get comfortable with these tools and tactics, try a few of them out and see what you gain. Once you feel comfortable with the basic keyword research tips below, see this article for some further insights and advanced keyword strategy techniques.
Google Search Console. The Old Webmaster Tools
I’ve been using Google Webmaster Tools for many years. They recently changed the name of this product to Google Search Console, which is far more appropriate. Especially from my perpetual SEO perspective. This tool is the tool to use for so many reasons, but I’ll stick to why it’s awesome for keyword research and building a solid keyword strategy.
What if I told you there was still a free tool available that will show you, or your SEO consultant, many of the keywords your website’s visitors used to land on your website.
What if I told you that that free tool also tell you, or your SEO agency, the page the user landed on when using what specific keywords? Is that something you might be interested in learning more about? I certainly would!!
Here is a screenshot of a recent report run in Search Console for VPDM.ca. It shows you the top 10 phrases that users used to land on the website in a given period of time. You can see that there are plenty of non-branded search terms that people have used to get to our site.
If I didn’t do my own SEO, and had an SEO consultant, they could use the data above to see how much website traffic was generated from organic search, using those keywords. This is a good opportunity to create more content based on those keywords listed above.
Since Google has already indexed your website, specifically a page on your website, for any of those 5 underlined phrases above, is good news for your SEO strategy. It means users who are typing in those phrases are finding your content. So why not create more content on that topic right?
If you think that is cool, just wait, it gets better.
Google Search Console Provides SEO Opportunities You Never Knew Existed
Here is a second screenshot of the same report for the same time period from Search Console for VPDM.ca. Except this time, we’re focussing deeper into that list and not just the top 10. I mean really, who cares about the top 10 keywords and phrases that lead people to your website? Those metrics are likely the same each month.
What I find really interesting and extremely valuable is keywords near the bottom of the overall list. The keywords and phrases in the top 10 are have very high numbers in terms of search traffic, relative to how much organic search traffic your website gets. But the ones further down below present some untapped opportunities for a smart SEO consultant.
The search terms underlined in blue show a low search volume leading to website visits. For sake of reference, let’s say keywords in your top 10 bring in 1000+ visits /month to your website, the keywords in the bottom 40 likely only bringing in 30-50 visits per month.
With such little traffic being brought in by some key phrases, why bother analysing that data right? Wrong!
For the same reasons above, I ask all SEOs on our team to always take a look at the lower traffic keywords to see if any are relevant or if any new content ideas can be uncovered.
When Google Talks. Be a Good SEO and Listen
Look at it this way. Google is telling you, loud and clear, that they have indexed your page, optimized for a specific, low volume, keyword, and you haven’t done anything to achieve that! For doing absolutely nothing, Google has rewarded your content with a high ranking in search and users have rewarded your site with a click to your content.
Hopefully the content was quality enough to allow them to spend time on the site, consuming the content, possibly clicking through to more of your content, and finally hopefully converting one of your website marketing goals.
Regardless, Google has already indexed one of your pages for a specific keyword or phrase. So what do you think you or your SEO company should do with this info?
If you’re saying “make more content based on those low volume keywords that Google has already ranked you for”, you’re bang on right!
Google has already told you they find your website relevant for a set of terms, if you created more content, quality content, based on that key phrase and other key phrases related to it, chances are Google will index and rank additional relevant content of yours and therefore increase qualified traffic to your website.
How To Prioritize Your Keywords
I hope by now you can see how important good keyword research is for your content marketing strategy. Once you’ve determined a primary and secondary keyword for a particular web page, and after you’ve researched each phrase and come up with 10-20 related, long-tail keywords for each, you now need to prioritize and use what’s best for the overall SEO strategy.
My suggestion is to take your long lists of relevant keywords and separate them into 3 separate and distinctive categories.
1. Ready To Buy
Here’s where high volume keywords, also very high in competition are used by people who are ready to buy. These are the “key-key” keywords of your SEO strategy as they will definitely get you the traffic you want but good things don’t come easy.
It can take a really long time to rank for those high volume, highly competitive keywords. This is a great example of a quick SEO tactic many SEO masters and gurus use that I outlined above.
If you’re looking for some killer qualified traffic of people who are ready to buy, your competition is doing the exact same thing. Why not try something different and something smarter than bidding on highly competitive phrases?
2. Less Popular
Some keywords may not be relevant to your current strategy. These types of words have low search volume and not much competition. Mainly because these targeted consumers have potentially low buying intent. These could be useful if you need a quick win to create a case for a client to support further investment.
3. Bread & Butter
Your “bread and butter” keywords of your strategy, make up keywords and phrases with medium search volume and medium competition. Consumers using these words may be near the top of the sales funnel with medium to low purchase intent. I use words like this when creating one off content and sometimes landing pages.
Keywords and a solid keyword strategy is no dead. Users use keywords and phrases when searching for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. Smart digital marketers and SEOs understand that a well researched keyword strategy could be the edge that is needed to out rank local competition.
We’ve found that long-tail keywords with low and medium volume, can bring significant ROI to almost any company. It always surprises me how many Niagara Falls businesses prefer their SEO company go after the popular, category-level keywords instead of focusing on more specific, longer-tail phrases, with low competition!
Remember that your SEO strategy is never a one-time fix. It can’t be. We all know that your company’s keyword search volume can change significantly over time as consumer needs and search volumes change.
Your best bet is to hire an experienced SEO agency or consultant to conduct your keyword research and develop an SEO strategy that works for your business. A good SEO company will always stay alert for new trends that can drive new search volume to your website.
If you’re ready to kickstart your SEO strategy starting with a killer keyword research plan, contact VPDM Digital today to discuss your goals and how we can exceed them all.
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