While some people will try to convince you that SEO is dead and keyword research is no longer important, we’d like to respectfully disagree. It’s not dead, the approach has simply changed to one that’s topic-driven. Nevertheless, we must still understand how people shop for our products or services. This requires a methodical approach so you strike a good balance between keywords and their long-tail variants. Doing so brings more organic traffic and paying customers. With this in mind, here are the steps you should follow to conduct proper keyword research.
Use Multiple Sources for Keyword Discovery
You’ll want to use a variety of tools to help you conduct keyword research, including:
- Google Ad’s Keyword Planner so you’ll have ideas for semantically related keywords and their relative competition in the market
- SEMrush so you can conduct competitive analysis
- Answer the Public helps you expand your keyword discovery to include more search terms your audience is using, including prepositions by industry and location
Leverage Competitor Research for Fresh Content
Your competitors will serve as your best source for discovering new keywords. To analyze what your competition is doing you’ll want to use some of the following competitive analysis tools that will help you uncover new keyword ideas and see how your competition’s website is best meeting user intent:
- Ahrefs’ Content Gap
- SEMrush’s gap analysis
- SpyFu – This tool is especially helpful for spying on your competitors’ AdWords performance. It shows you what keywords they’re bidding on, what ones you’re using that they’re also using, and what their landing page copy is.
You can also leverage the top Google search results for a specific query or the top trending topics on BuzzSumo. When you run any of these pages through any of these tools you’ll learn what keywords your competition is ranking for. Make sure you leverage any keywords you share with your competition to outbid them so you can steal their traffic.
Categorize Keywords by Topic and Match Type
Once you’ve conducted your keyword research, you’re ready to start working on SEO. For this you’ll want to make sure that your keywords are organized by category, match type, brand and user intent. The easiest way to do this is to:
- Build columns for each topic
- Find any matching keywords for PPC bids and to evaluate your SEO search volume
- Eliminate any irrelevant or branded keywords
- Evaluate your keywords based on search volume and competition
Now you’ll see what keywords you can easily rank for and what keywords you should work on ranking for.
Create Goals Centered Around Keywords for Combined Campaigns
Now that you have your keywords you’re ready to create goals and KPI’s so you can track your SEO performance. When working with AdWords you should track CPC, quality score and conversion rates so you know how to improve your campaign’s performance. For organic search you’ll want to track clicks, traffic and session time so you can see where you can improve your page-level performance, increase lead counts, and nurture conversions.
Share Keywords Between Both Campaigns
To magnify the results, you get from your SEO you should target these same keywords when implementing cross-platform campaigns. This will significantly increase your brand visibility and organic CTR. You should also use AdWords to help you get a direct view of how well your keywords are helping with clicks and conversions.
There are many steps beyond keyword research that you must take to get more traffic and leads for your business. You must also optimize your landing page and leverage your content marketing. These things will take time and we know your time is valuable. This is why we at the Local SEO Tampa Company invite you to contact us today. We’re certain we can provide you with the results you need.